As a leader, your employees see you as their moral compass. You offer guidance and reassurance through challenging times, but nothing speaks more clearly than your own actions. Although you know everyone makes mistakes, making a zero-tolerance decision speaks volumes to your team.
From violent, angry outbursts to the intentional mismanagement of funds – harassment and misconduct hold no value in our workplaces. You cannot expect employees to bring their best selves to the job if any form of assault or wrongdoing is tolerated, including:
- Drug use
- Sexual harassment
No one wants to work in an environment that fosters these types of behaviors, either out in the open or behind closed doors. Enforcing a zero-tolerance policy when faced with violent or inappropriate behavior reassures your team that you are rooted in integrity as a leader and company.
The Best Defense Against Harassment or Misconduct in the Workplace
The best way to fight back against drug abuse, sexual assault, or any form of misconduct in the workplace is prevention. More specifically, a preventative plan that fosters transparency and open communication to ensure everyone knows and understands expectations and what steps to take should they find themselves victims in the workplace.
Here’s what your preventative plan should include:
1. Employee Handbook
Start with your employee handbook. Do the policies and procedures detailed there address harassment and misconduct?
This is likely the first place an employee will go if they feel they’ve been harassed and want to report the incident. At the very least, your employee handbook should contain an Anti-Harassment Policy, a Non-Retaliation Policy, and a Viable Complaint Procedure.
2. Training of Frontline Leaders
It takes a team approach to develop a zero-tolerance environment. And your frontline leaders play a vital role in making that possible. Make sure your frontline leaders can answer the following questions:
- What’s the law?
- What do I do with a complaint?
- How do I avoid retaliation claims?
- How do I address confidentiality?
- How do I document the situation?
Be sure to properly train team leaders to handle zero-tolerance issues so they’ll be ready to handle incident reports confidently.
3. Viable Complaint Procedure
Not only is it vital that your leaders know how to handle a zero-tolerance situation, but your employees need to know how to report incidents and what they can expect from managers after doing so.
Offer training and resources to ensure your employees know who they can report to (specific managers, leaders, human resources, etc.). Encourage all employees to speak up if a situation does occur. And reassure them that their report will be kept confidential, be taken seriously, and fully investigated.
Zero Tolerance Support with HR Alertline
At People Solutions Center, we know that managing zero-tolerance cases can be challenging. From the emotional toll harassment can have on individuals to understanding the laws and your responsibilities as a business owner, these issues are complex.
That is why we created the HR Alertline. Our HR professionals manage this hotline that becomes accessible to all employees when you partner with us. All calls are confidential and have the option to be made anonymously. We’ll conduct full investigations and offer recommendation reports to managers ready to take the next steps.
If you’re ready to feel fully supported in operating your company with a zero-tolerance policy, give us a call today at (314) 302-5969 or contact us here to set up a free consultation.