Having a safe, inclusive work environment can have a direct impact on the success of a company or organization.

According to Forbes magazine, some of the positive impacts companies can experience include:

  • Greater innovation and creativity.
  • A broader range of skills and resources to draw from.
  • Increased ability to attract the best talent.
  • Wider breath of understanding of their customers.
  • Boost in employee retention.
  • Rise in productivity.
  • Higher revenue growth.

But it’s not just companies and organizations that benefit from having a safe, inclusive environment. It can make a huge difference in the mindset and lives of employees as well.

In an article published by Great Place to Work, a global authority on workplace culture, when people feel they have a safe, inclusive place of employment, they are:

  • 9.8 times more likely to look forward to going to work.
  • 6.3 times more likely to have pride in their work.
  • 5.4 times more likely to want to stay a long time at their company.

The Potential Negative Impacts of an Unsafe, Non-Inclusive Work Environment

Anyone who has ever encountered a work environment that doesn’t feel safe or inclusive can tell you it affects how you feel when you’re on the job.

An international survey conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) echoed this. Their research concluded that a safe and inclusive work environment is critical to an employee’s sense of well-being i.e., the state of being comfortable, healthy and happy. Here are some of the survey’s telling insights:

  • Of the employees who reported they work in an inclusive culture, 81% said they are happy in their jobs—3X times more than those who don’t feel included.
  • Workers who reported their work environment wasn’t safe or inclusive, are 4.6 times more likely to leave their current employer within six months.
  • Worker unhappiness contributes to missed workdays and lower productivity.

As this survey underscores, if an organization has an unsafe, non-inclusive work environment, employee morale and well-being will suffer and company performance and success will do so too.

When should a claim of an unsafe or non-inclusive work environment be investigated?

A claim made to a supervisor regarding an unsafe or non-inclusive work environment may result after an employee has faced occurrences such as:

  • Bullying or insulting language.
  • Direct threats or harassment.
  • Discrimination or retaliation.
  • Violence.
  • Human rights violations.
  • Physically dangerous working conditions.

Based on the proven, negative impact an unsafe, non-inclusive work environment can have on an employee and a company, any claim should result in quick and immediate action and an investigation commenced.

Ensure a proper and thorough investigation: hire an independent firm

When a claim of an unsafe or non-inclusive work environment arises, it must be investigated objectively. To ensure this happens, many companies opt to employ an independent firm to investigate.

To preserve the objectivity of the investigation, an independent investigator will:

  • Ensure procedural fairness.
  • Conduct the investigation without bias.
  • Follow all employer policies and procedures.
  • Produce objective findings that stand up to any scrutiny and protect everyone’s interest.
  • Gather all relevant information.
  • Guard confidentiality and privacy, protecting against retaliation toward the complainant, respondent, witnesses and others.
  • Provide a level of reassurance and comfort to stakeholders (versus lawyers or Human Resources) that will encourage greater information being shared.
  • Provide a report that summarizes the documents and evidence reviewed, the interviews conducted and the findings, which will be presented in a fact-based manner.

The independent investigator’s report represents a high standard of detail, information and accuracy ensuring that it is legally defensible.

Once the report is complete a debriefing occurs between the investigator and the client representative who will receive the report. This provides an opportunity for the investigator to present the findings in person and answer any questions the client representative may have.

The findings you need to restore the well-being of your employees and company

Having a safe and inclusive work environment is something that has an immensely positive bearing on the well-being of employees and success of the company that employs them. When such an environment is compromised and a claim is brought to a supervisor, it’s imperative that the issue be investigated promptly and fairly.

By engaging an independent firm to conduct the investigation, companies can ensure the claim will be explored objectively, the privacy of those involved and interviewed will be maintained, the findings will be legally defensible and a safe and inclusive work environment will be restored.

By: Xpera Risk Mitigation & Investigation


Share this story...