Since the election, there’s been a spike in hate related incidents.  Here in Michigan we’ve had intimidating incidents related to race, religion, sexual orientation, and national origin all in the past few days.

Regardless of your position on the candidates, as employers, we all have an obligation to keep our employees safe from harassment and violence.  Here are some things that you can do to help keep your employees safe:

  • Communicate your policy: Remind employees of your anti-harassment policy and why you have it.  You have it for a reason, dust it off and talk about it.  Make it clear you will enforce it as well.
  • Be vigilant: Encourage all of your employees to be vigilant for actions and comments that are harassing, discriminatory, or bullying in nature.
  • Offer support: This is a tough time for many people who are feeling persecuted and potentially threatened.  Be an organization that supports them.
  • Offer protection: Depending on your situation, consider offering extra security to individuals who may find themselves in potentially dangerous or harassing situations, especially if they are dealing with the general public.
  • Be open: Make it easy for employees to raise concerns that they may have and to report issues.
  • Take action: If an issue occurs, investigate it and take appropriate action.  Don’t allow issues to fester.  Hold employees accountable for reporting issues and leaders accountable for immediately addressing those situations.
  • Be kind: Remind everyone that we are at our best when we are all working together and supporting each other.

As employers, we may not be able to control the actions of the general public, but we can, and must, protect our employees.

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