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12 Ways to Navigate Workplace Mistreatment

Mar 10, 2022
HR Acuity

Workplace mistreatment takes many forms, and it’s not always an obvious experience. Sometimes, cases of workplace mistreatment can even seem harmless at first, until a sequence of occurrences unveils a bigger issue.

The bottom line? Workplace mistreatment happens – even in the most secure work environments. We’re breaking down how you can get ahead of it with 12 tips to addressing workplace mistreatment for a happier, healthier and transparent company culture.

1. Have a process in place for addressing complaints.

What happens when an employee comes forward? How is the situation handled? Who is involved?

2. Be transparent with employees about how workplace complaints are handled.

One of the main reasons employees don’t speak up is fear of the unknown. Share the process with your workforce to establish safety and trust.

3. Establish clear expectations for all employees – and stick to them.

Make sure your organization has set clear expectations of what’s tolerable and what isn’t – and stick to it (i.e. all employees are treated the same whether entry level or executive)

4. Encourage employees to speak up about what they’re experiencing at work.

Some employees never come forward simply because they feel like their environment won’t allow it. Be forthcoming about your plans to improve company culture and encourage employees to speak up about what they’re experiencing at work. They need your support to feel safe!

5. Give employees the tools they need to come forward – and feel safe doing so.

Many companies don’t have a process for submitting complaints. Or sometimes employees don’t know how to report or who to go to. Give employees the tools they need to speak up!

6. Encourage employees to track workplace experiences through documentation.

Workplace mistreatment isn’t always black and white – and sometimes employees aren’t sure what they’re feeling. Documenting or journaling can help them process what they’re experiencing.

7. Analyze trends in the workplace to understand the types of conversations you need to be having internally.

Diagnosing trends in the workplace is a major step in identifying what conversations need to be taking place. For example, if you’re seeing an uptick in bullying complaints, perhaps it’s time for an expert-led presentation on anti-bullying efforts.

8. Continuously offer education on what workplace mistreatment may look like and its varying forms.

EDUCATE! Mistreatment at work is anything but black and white, and can happen in many ways. Prevent harassment by making sure your organization is aware of its many forms.

9. Roll out company pulse surveys to get a feel for what employees are experiencing.

Want to know if employees really enjoy happy hour? Or maybe you want to get a pulse on what employee benefits are the most valuable. Give employees the opportunity to provide feedback on company-related topics via regular pulse surveys.

10. Reassess your workplace reporting tools (i.e. anonymous hotlines, etc) and consider if there’s a better option. (there is!)

Real talk: your anonymous hotline isn’t working. And honestly, it’s a little old school. Give employees a sense of safety and security with a reporting tool they can trust, like Speakfully.

11. Define what company culture means to your organization.

Company culture is the way people feel about the work they do, the values they believe in, where they see the company going and what they’re doing to get it there. Establish a vision of what this means to you and your organization to align future hiring and business decisions.

12. Give employees a voice. That’s Speakfully.

Tis’ the season of giving! Our suite of documentation, reporting, and support tools allows employees to speak up safely and discreetly while giving HR and people leaders real-time insights into company culture – helping leaders like you identify behavioral trends and plan appropriate action.

For more information or to schedule a demo, contact us. 

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