A workplace harassment investigation can be a traumatic event which affects not only those directly involved, but often causes extensive collateral damage. A healing process which helps staff feel heard and acknowledged is a very important step for re-establishing or rebuilding workplace norms.
Following a discussion about the role the of the investigation and the purpose and goals of the Workplace Restoration, participants at a recent Workplace Fairness lunch identified 10 best practices. Whether an investigation is founded or unfounded these are important steps:
- Facilitate, when appropriate, a confidential written agreement between the complainant and the respondent that is separate from performance measures.
- Provide regular and ongoing feedback to all staff.
- Ensure leadership is visible and committed to “say” and “do” accountability.
- Support leadership to share and acknowledge ownership of contributing factors.
- Follow up with the team and others affected to develop a plan and strategy with common goals and processes for the group.
- Facilitate a safe dialogue to re-establish the norms of respect and dignity by asking questions, creating a common language, and ensure the experience is normalized for all affected.
- Provide skill-building support for supervisors and those involved through training and 1-on-1 coaching, focusing on listening skills and “I language”.
- Maintain a forward-looking aspect to the restoration process.
- Appoint a new neutral facilitator who was not involved in the investigation and ensure impartiality in all follow-up dialogue.
- Ensure a restorative and healing process which allows all to be acknowledged for their experiences.
We would love your comments! Do you have anything to add? join the discussion below.