The #MeToo Movement continues to teach us that organizations must clear respect-related minefields well before a mine has a chance to explode.
If you are a manager, it is your duty and privilege to do so. If you are front-line staff, you have a right to work in a psychologically safe work environment.
A group of leaders I worked with some time ago was recovering from a couple of horizontal (i.e. employee-to-employee) harassment situations that took those leaders by surprise. The leaders were shocked that within their healthy, award-winning organizational culture such things could occur. Upon reflection, they realized they could have uncovered these situations earlier had they been more proactive.
They reached out to us at Bar-David Consulting for help.
Along with leadership training, I developed a simple, three-point scanning tool to help them detect potential respect-related issues well before the problems began to wreak havoc.
Now more than ever this mine-clearing tool we created is relevant. I’m happy to share it with you so managers may start implementing it, and front-line staff may use it as a constructive suggestion to bring to management.
Below you will find the tool and how to introduce it.
At regular intervals (say, severalmonths apart), the manager asks the questions listed below. If the answers yield any hint of trouble, the manager should follow up with additional probing questions. If the answers point to a highly respectful environment, explore what is working well, how, and why.
So here goes:
“It is my role, and the organization’s role, to ensure that we maintain a respectful work environment where everyone can work without fear or concern. To that end, I’d like to check in with you…
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how respected do you feel these days?
- How would you rate the overall respect in the work environment (team, division, organization)?
- Over the last while, has anyone said or done anything that made you feel uncomfortable or disrespected? If they ever do, please let me or Human Resources or anyone else in management know, so that we can fix things without delay.”
So, how are you, in your own organization and team, faring on these fronts?