5 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home
Being that we tend to spend most of our waking work week hours in an office setting, that also means that for many of us, we are also working among a room full of people. And while there are many studies which indicate that the most diverse a work environment is, the more a business is able to thrive, sometimes there are conflicts; sometimes people will file a discrimination complaint.
In the effort for you to be thoroughly prepared in case it happens to you, we have enclosed five tips on what can be done to resolve a discrimination issue at your office in a way that is professional, thorough and productive.
Refer back to your own company’s handbook. You might be surprised that we would start with this point, but by the time an employee has made the decision to file a complaint, you can pretty much assume that they have read the employee’s handbook inside and out. You don’t want to be caught off guard in your meeting with them, so make sure that you refresh your memory of all that is mentioned inside of it.
Do a lot of listening first. Even if it’s hard for you to believe that discrimination could be going on in your own office, it’s only going to make matters worse to be on the defensive or to not allow the person filing the complaint to share their side of the story. Remember, they probably already feel like they are fighting a battle alone, so try and present yourself as person who simply wants to resolve the issue in the best way possible.
Be compassionate and objective. By the very definition of the word, a compassionate person is someone who is seeks to alleviate someone’s suffering. No matter how uncomfortable the discussion may be, remember that until it can be proven otherwise, the employee filing the complaint is the victim. Therefore, first make sure that you hear all that they have to say (and ask if they have any kind of proof such as emails or voice mails) and that you document it. Then make a point to interview the other individuals involved as well as any people who may have witnessed the matter. Don’t make a final decision until you have all of the details.
Consider having an investigator come. If the complaint is from one person, that is probably something that you can handle on your own; however, if it’s a case that involves several people and you can’t seem to get to the bottom of the issue, there are many companies that will hire an investigator to come and check it out. If you choose to go this route, you would be well within your rights to do so.
Take appropriate disciplinary action. We’ll be honest. It’s not a wise decision for someone to file a discrimination complaint and you do absolutely nothing about it; however, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use wisdom in what the disciplinary action should be. Sometimes, a warning is fair. At other times, cultural diversity training may be ideal. In extreme cases, the person may need to be suspended or terminated. Just make sure that whatever you do, you can justify your decision with documentation. For more information on how to have a more diverse workplace, visit DiversityInc.com.