No matter the size of your business, you need to be prepared for your employees to complain about harassment or discrimination in the workplace. You may be able to resolve some issues internally, but you also need a plan for more complex situations.
Once an employee has an issue, they need a simple method for reporting it. Many employees have problems in the workplace that go unreported because they are not comfortable with their employer’s system.
Here’s what you should know about having an effective system for employees so they feel comfortable reporting a complaint.
Training is important
You could have an efficient system for reporting, but if your employees do not know it exists and how to use it, they will not feel comfortable reporting a problem. It is essential to train your employees at critical times, such as:
- During onboarding
- Annual or semi-annual intervals
- After system changes
As you complete training with your employees, make sure they are comfortable with the process so that they can use it without help if the need arises.
Keeping it confidential
Employees are more likely to report an issue with another employee if they can do so anonymously. An employee who has already experienced a reportable situation can be uncomfortable talking about it to another employee.
To help employees feel more comfortable, consider having two or more people who can help an employee with a report so that there is an option if one of the points of contact is the reason for the report. Also, consider using a self-help system. A self-help system allows employees to make a report without fear of retaliation or embarrassment.
If your employees are uncomfortable reporting issues like discrimination or harassment, it could mean more trouble for you and your business.