This week’s information that managers, leaders and business owners need to know on sexual harassment, being an employer of choice and making things happen.
Sexual Harassment Case Fines Are Growing
Historically fines and compensation awarded in sexual harassment cases have been linked to the degree of assessed “injury” by the courts – typically linked to the salary or projected earning of the victim.
A recently published article highlights that this has changed with penalties (ie fines) now being set at a higher rate in order to serve as a deterrent as well as to compensate victims.
It’s an interesting shift to notice as many court decisions are. Not that the fine or penalty is what leaders and business leaders ought to be focused on – your attention ought to be on your work place behaviours and the culture of your staff.
If you’d like to read it, the article link is http://www.hcamag.com/hr-news/courts-awarding-larger-sums-in-sexual-harassment-cases-lawyers-227346.aspx
Essentially you ought to:
1. Review your typical workplace behaviours and ask if you would be comfortable employing a teenage girl in your family (if not your daughter, then a niece or someone close to you) It is a kind of good test to use “If this happened to my family how would I feel?” When there is a hesitation or the answer is no, then you have changes to make
2. Check in with feedback from your staff especially if you have noticed some changes. If some staff seem reluctant to speak up, encourage them to talk it over. Some people think that avoiding secual harassment risk means that a workplace can have no humour – this is not the case.
3. Consider implementing the tips in the article as they are practical and make good sense. Even if you have these items in lace, make sure they have been reviewed no more than 2 years ago and make sure they are kept up to date
Do you want to be an “employer of choice
A list of the best 100 or so employers for women in Australia was published recently – and if women want to work there, then you are probably going to find these companies support diversity in a broader sense as well.
If you are keen to have a good reputation as an employer then there may be some insights or lessons to learn from what these companies are doing. The list was published in this article http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/top-stories/item/7553-the-106-best-employers-for-women-in-australia
1 Remember that diversity is much more than about gender
2. Being a good place to work will generate more productivity and engagement from your employees
3. Look if there are companies in your industry as you may get some hints on their competitive advantage
On the subject of employment, we often discuss the importance of Induction and Onboarding processes. These are the early ways that we welcome new staff to our company and get them “up to speed” with what is done and how things are done in your company.
To be effective these processes need to take account of how long it takes for a new employee to “get up to speed”. Some managers presume that this is what the probation period covers, however it is more than this.
Onboarding is not merely a process to assess if a new hire is a good choice. It is more importantly the process by which a new employee is introduced to and educated in the behaviours, practices and methods that they need to adopt and display in order to be a fully effective employee.
Essentially on boarding is the process by which an employer achieves a return on investment for a new hire.
There are some insightful comments and one or two more practical tips in this article if you’d like to read more http://www.hcamag.com/hr-news/common-mistakes-employers-make-when-onboarding-228411.aspx
You might also seek external opinion on your own program to reassure yourself that you have a process that will add value to you and your new hires
Making Things Happen Needs More Than A Plan
If you wish to make change in your business, your staff or yourself you need some clear ingredients:
1. Vision and a view of what the end result might deliver or achieve. It doesn’t have to be in full detail, but does need to be compelling and desirable
2. Plan for how to get there or at least the key stages or milestones. People need to have some degree of information, otherwise the human brain will create it’s own! When you have a plan you can build that out to understand what support and resources you will need
3. Key influential supporters and stakeholders. It is important that the vision is held by more than one person. Very few people or leaders have been successful at achieving sustainable change that is driven by them alone. Having a group of influential supporters and advocates will allow you to “stress test” the level of inspiration in your vision as well as spreading the workload of getting things done
4. Communication plan with clarity on what needs to be said, to who and when. Your communication plan begins with those key people around you as it is vital that you and they are delivering consistent information to others around you
5. Attachment and links to other systems and processes. In the work place it is vital that change is reinforced by key policies, systems and work practices. This can include but is not limited to key documents, and the performance appraisal and reward system.
6. Passion. Without passion things can get done but they may need more effort and are likely to take longer. When you can engage others in the inspiration behind the vision then magic can and will happen
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If you would like to pursue or take action on anything here remember that you can get assistance and support from others to get things done. Get In Touch With Us