Time to bring this chestnut out again, although I didn’t do it last year, as we start to attend a multitude of social events, which for some, may include alcohol. Our brain is tired and adding alcohol slows the brain down even more and sometimes we can’t explain why we made certain decisions and did certain things. Unfortunately, this can lead to insult and injury.
That means it is time to re-educate employees about workplace harassment, discrimination, and bullying. I normally encourage business owners to do this education prior to the festive season. However, it is important to do this education at any time, not just this time of year.
It is important we are all aware of what workplace harassment, bullying and discrimination looks like and its consequences.
When I would conduct education about workplace harassment, discrimination and bullying there would often be comments such as ‘why don’t they just walk away if they don’t like what I’m saying’ or ‘why don’t they tell me if they don’t like me doing that’? The answer to both those questions is, ‘they don’t have too’. Sometimes the same behaviour or joke has been said many times and the offended person may have gone along with the behaviour or joke. I always tell people,
‘What you need to remember is, what is said or done today may be alright, but may not be alright tomorrow. So be very aware. Sometimes it is better to say and do nothing.’
So while you are planning your festive event, how about you also plan education for your Team regarding workplace harassment, bullying and discrimination. Also, make sure you have policies and procedures in place if the unthinkable should happen. It can be a high price to pay.