3. Support your staff

Make it clear how to report unacceptable behaviour at work and support cultural change.

Create an environment where staff feel comfortable and confident to report harassment or assault, they have witnessed or experienced at work.

Provide resources and details of local services. If you have HR or employee assistance policies, make sure these include information around the Women’s Safety Charter.

/ Creating a supportive environment

There are lots of different ways that you can ensure you are creating a culture that is safe for your team.

  • Publish your anti-harassment policy and equalities statement online
  • Invest in anti-harassment and equalitie straining for the whole team, such as the Bristol Nights anti-harassment training for front-of-house staff
  • Undertake an anonymous survey of your staff team to get a full view of how safety is experienced across the organisation. Who feels safest? In which roles? When do workers feel the least safe and why?
  • Based on the survey results, conduct a risk assessment identifying situations, places and times when safety is compromised and take actions to mitigate the risks
  • Send a memo to all staff clearly communicating your policy and reminding them that all reports are confidential and will be taken seriously
  • Call a meeting with managers to discuss and plan the different ways safety could be made a priority
  • Prioritise having a balanced leadership team,considering all marginalised communities
  • Ensure that every employee has more than one contact they can talk to
  • Use role play to challenge harmful jokes and comments, identifying the best way to address inappropriate behaviour
  • Promote compassionate leadership at all levels of your organisation and work to create cultural change in the workplace

/ Being harassed is extremely distressing and can be life changing

The person making the complaint will need to feel assured that:

  • They will be taken seriously
  • You will not try to make them confront the person they say harassed them
  • They won’t be quizzed about their personal life
  • Other people will not find out personal information about them
  • They will not be victimised for making a complaint

/ Supporting your team to report an incident

Some best practices to support your staff when making a report include:

  • Ensuring that you and everyone involved keep the matter confidential. If confidentiality needs to be broken, prioritise safeguarding over confidentiality
  • Overseeing the report in a fair, thorough, and sensitive manner while following the correct procedures. Consider your actions carefully
  • If the report becomes a formal complaint, tell everyone involved in the report what the process will be and what the outcomes are when they will be decided
  • Handle the report as quickly and thoroughly as possible, taking a person-centred approach by allowing the person impacted to inform how the report is managed, in line with your policy and procedures
  • Signpost to specialist support organisations

/ Supporting your team impacted by traumatic events

If any of your staff members have been affected by traumatic events, make sure they receive the necessary support throughout this process. There are many ways to support your staff in the aftermath of a traumatic incident, including:

  • Allow time and space to process and reflecton what they have experienced or witnessed. Consider paid leave
  • Offer an Employee Assistance Programme that provides counselling services to help them process the experience
  • Conduct listening sessions with your team to gather feedback on the incident and the overall culture
  • Provide training on harassment, including how to recognise behaviours, understand their impacts, and familiarise staff with your policies
  • Offer restorative responses to those impacted, such as a written apology from management, including how you will learn from this incident and improve
  • Regularly check in with individuals affected by traumatic events to ensure their ongoing wellbeing and provide necessary support