Safeguarding Employee Rights and Reputation Through Zero Tolerance

Safeguarding employee rights and reputation through zero tolerance

A recent survey conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) revealed that 23% of women have encountered instances of sexual harassment in the workplace. It is crucial to emphasize that any type of harassment has no rightful place within the office environment.

For any employer aspiring to foster company growth, the primary focus should be on establishing a safe and secure work atmosphere. The workplace ought to be completely devoid of insults, ridicule, and intimidation. Furthermore, employers must remain vigilant in their efforts to prevent harassment, recognizing its potential detrimental impact on both legal and ethical grounds. Consequently, it is highly recommended to establish comprehensive rules and guidelines aimed at preventing all forms of workplace harassment.

To effectively address this issue, introducing a zero tolerance policy would be the most suitable course of action.

Understanding a zero tolerance policy

A zero tolerance policy describes an all-or-nothing approach to dealing with problems.

In a workplace setting, this policy means taking strict action against employees for any instances of misconduct or rule-breaking. The goal of a zero tolerance policy is to enforce consequences that show little leeway for any exceptions. This approach creates a safe workplace and a productive environment. Here, every employee understands what they can and cannot do.

The growing need for creating a safe work environment

The process of creating a zero tolerance policy can seem daunting to some. Many employers even wonder if their company needs one. Why not create a policy in line with all compliance regulations? Listed below are a few reasons why other employers found a zero-tolerance policy effective.

The policy ensures all employees understand the rules and regulations

The policy underlines how employees in the office understand the consequences of breaking a rule or failing an assignment. It ensures that everyone follows the same guidelines and works towards the same goals.

Greater employee accountability

Employees who understand the consequences of rule-breaking will do everything possible to avoid punishment. Additionally, if they see a fellow employee suffer from workplace harassment, they are encouraged to take action.

Makes it easy to manage employee performance

A policy where every employee is held accountable makes it easy for the management to monitor their performance. The management can also provide feedback on areas that help the employees improve. Also, the policy helps the company remove people who are not in line with the company’s practices.

Types of offenses covered by this policy

This policy normally covers various offenses that happen in the office. These include drug or alcohol possession, sexual harassment, violence against co-workers, and theft. These policies send a message that such actions are not tolerated within the company. Sometimes, the policy will also cover less serious offenses like lateness or disruptive actions.

If you are thinking of drafting a zero-tolerance policy, it must cover the following basis.

Zero tolerance towards workplace harassment

The rise of the #MeToo movement indicates the many dangers female employees face in the workplace. We’ve all read the stories of the abuse and mistreatment they faced for many years. Despite the efforts taken by Governments, nearly 60% of women in every office space do not file a complaint.

Any company must provide the necessary means for their employees to file a complaint without fear of reprisal. A zero tolerance policy here is a necessary move to protect the employees from sexual harassment. Any company looking to take things further can use special tools or software like I’m Safe Org. With I’m Safe Org, the employees can lodge anonymous complaints or report incidents of workplace harassment to a higher-up. They can use this tool to quietly help improve their company.

Zero tolerance toward bullying

Bullying is a societal ail that is not limited to schools and colleges anymore. It is coming to the office and instances of bulling are growing over the past few years. In the United States alone, approximately 30% of working employees face bullying.

Greater employee accountability

Employees who understand the consequences of rule-breaking will do everything possible to avoid punishment. Additionally, if they see a fellow employee suffer from workplace harassment, they are encouraged to take action.

The best way to counter this issue is to ensure your zero tolerance policy is strictly against bullying. Going further, companies can also use solutions like I’m Safe Org. This solution helps employees take the necessary steps in reporting incidents of bullying in the workplace. This approach goes a long way to expelling the bad elements of a company and retaining the good ones.

Zero tolerance to drugs in the office

Almost every company in the world has a clear stance against drugs. This policy ensures employees are not to use or carry drugs on the premises or face severe consequences. Additionally, this policy prevents employers’ legal liability. Preventing the usage of drugs recreational or otherwise protects the company from any potential lawsuits in the future.

Challenges faced when enforcing a zero tolerance policy

  • The policy could discourage employees from reporting incidents of discrimination. Often, they are reluctant to speak up when they know there are severe consequences in the future.
  • The policy can sometimes punish employees who did nothing wrong. For example, if an employee is falsely excused for sexual harassment, they will face disciplinary action.
  • Sometimes, the people reporting incidents let some slide and enforce others. This approach often creates a feeling of unequal punishment.

Final thoughts

The article listed above aims to highlight the benefits, needs, and the importance of a zero tolerance policy. This policy helps employees and employers. However, such a policy must be written with care and consideration before it is implemented. That way, both sides benefit.

Creating a safe work environment goes beyond having a zero tolerance policy in place. Special tools help employees and employers in reporting incidents and taking necessary actions. Tools like I’m Safe Org complement a zero tolerance policy and go a long way to creating a safe workplace.