Managing diversity discrimination means that a supervisor must know how to handle discrimination and harassment complaints, but it also means knowing how to lead by example and prevent discrimination. The following steps will help you handle discrimination incidents and lead by example.
Handle Discrimination and Harassment Complaints
If you are a supervisor and an employee comes to you to report a harassment or discrimination incident, follow these steps:
- Help the victim.
- Explain that he or she is in a safe environment to discuss these issues and thank him or her for coming forward.
- Let the victim know that he or she is safe and will be protected from any backlash from the accused harasser or others in the company.
- Maintain confidentiality and do not speak of the incident to others accept human resources.
- Listen and take detailed notes regarding the incident. Ask the victim if he or she has confronted the harasser yet and if he or she kept any records of the incidents.
- Create a formal complaint or involve human resources.
- Depending on your company policy, either involve human resources or create the formal complaint yourself.
- The formal complaint or grievance process includes interviewing the victim, witnesses, and the accused harasser.
- Maintain the victim's confidentiality.
- The ultimate goal of the complaint process is to protect the victim and stop the harassment.
- After the company has performed an investigation, make sure a suitable resolution was reached for your employee.
Lead By Example
Supervisors should always do the following:
- Treat all employees equally and with respect.
- Value each person's ideas and contributions to the team.
- Support a collaborative environment.
- Praise ingenuity.
Employees will be more likely to appreciate the benefits of a diverse team if they see a direct value from their supervisor. Employees can feel threatened by their different colleagues if supervisors do not manage the team properly.
Interrupt and stop any discriminatory comments or behavior you observe immediately. Make sure that your team knows that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.