At your business, you want everyone to feel welcome, from your employees to your clients to your vendors. However, unless you take certain steps, you risk creating an environment that is open to harassment and discrimination. Take these measures to ensure that you foster a supportive work environment.
Educate Yourself About Your Legal Responsibilities
As a business owner, you have a responsibility to keep your workplace free from illegal harassment and discrimination. Ask a business law attorney Long Island NY to walk you through relevant laws, such as the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Once you understand the different laws, ask your lawyer to review your policies on reporting and handling misconduct in the workplace.
Watch Your Own Behavior
You set the tone for your workplace, and if your employees hear you making sexist or racist jokes, they will feel comfortable doing the same. Before you make a comment on someone’s appearance or tell a joke, ask yourself if anyone would be offended by it. If so, do not say anything. If you are not sure which remarks are considered offensive, ask your human resources department for help.
Make Your Expectations Clear
Once you understand how your behavior affects the level of hostility in your workplace, tell your employees how you expect them to conduct themselves. Outline the actions that are unacceptable, and include details about the consequences for violations, such as formal warnings and disciplinary hearings. Send the information in an email to your staff, and then host a meeting about it with the assistance of your human resources department.
To ensure that your office is welcoming to all people regardless of their backgrounds, you can’t just hope that people will be nice to each other. Instead, you must take these concrete actions to promote the dignity of all employees and visitors.