Detecting Employee Harassment

Employee harassment is something that should be foreseen. It is crucial that employers and employees search for any signs of distressed coworkers. Not everyone handles harassment the same way; an employee may present the issue to a manager while another might become annoyed and cause an unnecessary scene. Another thing to keep in mind is that not everyone is comfortable with reporting incidents of harassment and discrimination. Employees may fear retribution or that they’ll be disfavored by fellow coworkers, thus adding additional stress. The culture of a workplace plays a big role as it determines whether or not an employee is comfortable with coming forward with an issue. The following tips can help managers identify workplace harassment and take the necessary measures in response:


Maintain Open Communication and Engagement

Communicate with your employees daily to distinguish any differences in their mood and better understand how they’re feeling each day. Be sure to monitor any unusual shifts in an employee’s behaviour as this can be an indicator that something is wrong. Unusual extended behavior is a clue and should be looked into. Doing this will help strengthen both relationships between employees as well as the workplace culture, and it’ll be easier for employees to voice an issue to a manager.


Carefully Oversee the Workplace

Employees will be able to ask questions and raise concerns with ease if a manager is always visible and accessible to everybody in the workplace. Try to monitor employees as they work, but in a non intimidating way. In doing so, you can deal with any small problems that can be handled quickly (such as any company violations). Keeping an eye on employees will allow you to quickly identify any changes. If an employee suddenly stops talking to their normal group of co-workers, you may want to look into the cause of this. A manager should be interested in their employees’ tasks, and answering any questions they may have.


Record Employee Work Conduct

Any incidents where an employee is subject to harassment or discrimination immediately affects their productivity and relations at work. Monitor the performance of employees to analyze any drastic changes that raise concerns. If the employee doesn’t want to work in a group with certain co-workers, this could be a sign of harassment. Even though this may not be the case in particular, you should always be cautions or you might regret it.


Investigate Reasons for Resignation/Turnover

There are a number of reasons why employees decide to leave a company. Some may decide to leave unexpectedly without much notice or a clear reason. It could be the case that they did not like something about the job, even though they were very proficient in their daily tasks. One of the obvious reasons why people leave is because of an increase in salary or other personal reasons. Also, some may leave due to harassment. Either way, it is important to conduct a short exit interview with an employee to learn more about their decision to resign.



K. Nwankwo | DBPC Blog

Unfair Management Practices

Have you ever questioned the fairness of your management practices? An obvious gauge of how you’re doing is your relationship with your staff and how often you’re the subject of HR interventions. But some bosses get away with unfairness without a word, often because employees are intimidated or fear for their jobs. For all those in a managerial role, here are some unfair practices that you need to identify and cease (listed in order of severity).


Illegal practices

That’s right, illegal practices – because discrimination, harassment and the denial of employees’ rights are against workplace fairness and equity legislation.

Have you ever limited, segregated, classified or deprived staff of opportunities “based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and pardoned conviction”? Have you been directing any intentionally offensive and improper conduct toward an employee? Have you withheld from your workers any of their legal entitlements including a fair wage and public holiday pay?

If you’ve engaged in any of these unfair practices, you may have broken the law. You’ll be required to give an account when one of your employees takes union or legal action.


Unprofessional practices

A tier below criminally unfair managerial behaviours are those that are unprofessional and inappropriate. Managers can be unfair in the way that they display nepotism or favouritism. Getting along with some staff better than others is only natural, but a line is crossed when managers recruit, promote or give preference to less qualified employees based on the fact that they are related, have a personal friendship or share a common affinity.

Other inappropriate practices include taking credit for an employee’s work, unjustified exclusion from important projects or meetings, and denying well-deserved promotions or raises without explanation. Managers can also demoralize employees by publicly shaming or teasing them. All of these damaging behaviours can lead to staff lodging grievances to your organization.


Unhelpful practices

The third category of unfair behaviours includes those that are simply unhelpful and unpleasant. Each person has different personality traits and cultural influences, as well as insecurities, sensitivities and varying levels of social/emotional intelligence. People can rub each other the wrong way and have different ideas of what behaviour is acceptable in the workplace.

A manager can think that it’s okay, even motivating, to treat employees with excessive criticism, sarcasm, ostracism or (subtle) aggression. Other managers can unintentionally exhibit hostility or unreasonableness under the pressure of job stress or dramas in their personal life, though this isn’t an excuse. If you’ve knowingly or unknowingly treated your employees to these kinds of behaviours, cut it out, up your professional game and resolve to be a fairer manager.


J. Paik | DBPC Blog