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How your company handles problems in the workplace matters just as much as your revenue. Sure, your company might perform well, but if there are internal concerns or potential issues that aren't addressed, you're setting yourself – and your employees – up for failure.
According to a survey by LegalZoom, one in 10 American workers reported that company standards and employee procedures are not discussed.
"This report highlights a major conversation currently happening in our country around workplace conflicts, and it is hopefully the beginning of meaningful change," Laura Goldberg, CMO, LegalZoom. "But as of this moment, broadly speaking, not much has seriously changed in the workplace outside of awareness."
Ensuring that your employees feel protected and valued at work should be a priority. Is your company handling workplace issues the right way? Take this yes-or-no quiz to find out.
An office without an employee handbook is like a society without laws and regulations. However, only 52 percent of workers said their company has an employee handbook. Of those who do, only 46 percent reported it was up-to-date and inclusive of all guidelines.
"A consistently updated employee handbook is vital for businesses, because it serves as a guide for the company’s policies … as well as instructs on how to report anything concerning what they experience or see," said Goldberg.
Providing your team with guidelines creates common ground so there are no misunderstandings. If you haven't already, create or update your handbook and make it available to all workers by offering a digital copy.
"Traditionally, these handbooks are seen as a long, old-fashioned legal agreement, but now there is a unique opportunity to … turn these old-fashioned chunks of paper into interactive forms," added Goldberg.
There are times when employees would like to state their opinion or bring up an issue without directly associating themselves with it. It's crucial to give your workers the opportunity to speak up without the fear of repercussions.
"Technology is such a huge part of the work we do nowadays that it only makes sense for companies to embrace it in HR departments as well," said Goldberg. "Many tech platforms allow for anonymous feedback, which is a successful way to foster an environment in which employees feel comfortable reporting wrong-doings."
However, less than a quarter of those surveyed have a way to submit an anonymous complaint or suggestion. This makes it difficult for employees to report uncomfortable instances or personal thoughts. In fact, 12 percent of employees who have witnessed harassment feared they would be penalized if they challenged it.
"All employers are responsible for creating environments where people feel comfortable being honest and speaking out about what they see and experience – and sometimes the best way to do that, without making employees feel exposed, is through anonymous feedback," said Goldberg.
An HR department handles most issues that occur in the workplace, but less than half of respondents reported that they have an HR department available to them.
"Regardless of company size, to successfully grow in the workplace, both employees and employers need to have clear lines of communication so there are no roadblocks to fostering a cohesive business and strong workforce," said Goldberg. "Employees want to feel like their management cares about them and is invested in their careers. Having a direct line of communication – with either the HR department or a direct manager – proves to employees that their company cares about them."
If you want your company to feel supported and understood, you need to hire an HR team to be the middlemen for any work-related matters.
The potential for professional development is a major concern for workers today. However, only 47 percent of respondents said they have training sessions or courses available to them.
As a result, many current leaders are unprepared, and many employees aren't given the chance to be promoted to a management role. This alone can lead to disconnects between workers and management.
"By implementing these kinds of career development initiatives, employers are showing employees they truly care about what happens in the office and are willing to invest resources into their growth," said Goldberg.
It doesn't need to be an embellished training program; a few simple courses to ease managers into their positions typically does the job.
Each question answered "yes" earns you one point. Count your score out of four to calculate how well your company handles workplace issues. The lower the score, the worse off you are, but don't fret if you didn't earn a three or a four. If you implement these simple tactics, you will be more prepared for potential issues.