When most companies have a Safe at Work Policy, the workplace will look similar. But,
from the perspective of workers and leaders,
everything will improve.
What changes when a company is covered by the Safe at Work Policy?
A company's wellbeing becomes tied to its employees' wellbeing.
By implementing the Safe at Work Policy, an employee who experiences harassment will never find themselves dragged through outmoded NDA requests or legal battles with their employer. With this policy, a company is proving to its employees, its recruits, and its customers that it values employee wellbeing above all else. It is commiting to a clear system through which survivors can seek redress, and harassers can expect to be terminated. It is a public promise to all stakeholders that the only acceptable workplace is a safe one.
Employees feel safe at work, which leads to a healthier business.
It is hard to overstate the benefits of abolishing sexual harassment within a workforce. Here are some examples of how a business and its employees will benefit from eradicating the threat of sexual violence:
Increased productivity and work product quality - with the removal of a source of constant threat and anxiety, workers can focus on their work, rather than allocating energy to self defense.
Decreased absenteeism - workers will have no threatening presence at work to avoid, and absenteeism will decrease.
Decreased turnover - people will not be forced to leave their jobs due to an unavoidable assailant.
Increased job satisfaction and employer affinity - knowing that the safety of the workforce is the top priority of a company, employees can take pride in their work and in their workplace.
Improved recruiting abilities - the policy is a promise of safety that extends to recruits, and recruiting teams can incorporate that promise into communication efforts.
More diversity, equity and inclusion - over 90% of sexual harassment is experienced by populations underrepresented in corporate leadership. When there is no need to leave a workplace after being assaulted, or when an assault is prevented based on the clear expectations of the policy, tenures increase, and underrepresented populations will gain a stronger foothold on the corporate ladder.
Increased trust - employees will realize that employers have equated their wellness and safety with the company's, which results in a more trusting relationship between companies and employees. More trust drives more workplace satisfaction and happiness, which makes employees fans of their employers, which improves company reputation.
All of the results above lead to increased profits for companies. It is in the best interests of both companies and employees that the Safe at Work Policy be instated - the only possible dissent is from harassers.
The first companies to demand this policy will benefit from unprecedented positive PR.
The Safe at Work Policy currently exists in writing, but it has not yet been implemented. There will be a cohort of companies who initially demand the coverage from insurance providers, and those companies can shape a communications campaign around the entire process of making the endorsement a reality:
The intention to instate the Safe at Work Policy, and the request to insurance companies.
The coverage once it is in place, and how it shapes a better workplace for all.
All positive results seen within a year, two, and onward.
Opportunities to publicly support employees who are survivors of harassment and assault, to amplify their stories, rather than to contractually mute them.
The widespread adoption of the policy will slow and stop the plague of workplace violence.
Imagine that every new employee receives a concise and effective review on the Safe at Work Policy, and signs a contract with their employer indicating their understanding that workplace harassment will result in dismissal. That empowers every company to investigate claims and act to protect survivors. Those who choose to harass and abuse colleagues will be unable to maintain steady work. Only by changing their abusive behavior will people be welcome back into the workforce.