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Freedom of Expression, Ridicule, and Harassment

Why is that so many businesses don’t want people to talk? Yes, they promote open-door policies, when in reality, they are not open to people communicating. They know that staying available for conversations is what people want today, but they have not adapted to that way of thinking themselves. They have not figured out how to delegate efficiently and as a result find themselves to reactive to their work and don’t have time to talk. They need to perform. Or maybe someone talks too much, they just haven’t figured out or trained them to operate efficiently themselves.  

So our post today revolves around the ability of people to express themselves freely without having the fear of being negatively impacted because of talking.  

Freedom of Expression, Ridicule, and Harassment

Freedom of Expression

As we are all people trying to make a life for ourselves, we are often told that we can express ourselves freely. Before starting this business, we spent many years as an employee, and we have found this to be anything but true. There was very rarely the opportunity to speak or be heard, as we were just told to listen and do. Then if things went wrong, we were criticized for doing it a particular way, that we were told how to do at the beginning! See how this can continue to spin the wrong way for the employee following direction.  

What we have noticed missing is the ability of others to express themselves freely.  Freely comes with a sub-note that when expressing yourself freely, you don’t get to curse on people or scream and it must be done with respect, on time and filled with value. If you can keep these reminders fresh, you need to communicate frequently and in short bursts. Don’t waste another person’s time and get to the point. When at work, people love to discuss things but genuinely hate it if conversations go offline and start to ramble. Express freely but provide value.

Freedom of Ridicule

Too often we witness people being ridiculed for the way they did something. Then there is no opportunity for that person to say something back. It is frustrating and demoralizing to the staff member. Ridicule is, in theory, a negative characteristic of leadership, not the staff member. If a leader is to ridicule or talk behind a staff member back, it shows weakness in the leader, not the staff. A leader is there to lead the way and show staff how to achieve, not blame someone else.  

Ridiculing people will only set you back on your performance targets. If leadership has a “bad apple” in the group, then it is still their responsibility to ensure that person is dealt with properly. Every company has a staff member that does not perform well or has a negative attitude. What leadership needs to do is talk with this person and understand why things are the way they are for that person. Maybe it is a problem at home, they hate the job, or they hate the people in the business. If this is the case, then the conversation can be directed appropriately to help people and not bring them down. 

Freedom of Harassment

When you work and live in the busy times we face today, the last thing we need at work is harassment. Harassment of the way we work, harassment of the way we look or harassment of the way we live our lives in general. In short, it is no one’s business. As long as you show up to work on time and put in the required hours, no one has the right to say anything to you that negatively impacts you. Yes, you must show up hygienically. Yes, you must treat people with respect and yes, you must follow the employee handbook as you would have signed off on, to begin with. But no one can harass you at work.  

If you show up to work under the agreed-upon conditions, you need to express yourself freely, not be ridiculed and not be harassed. If this is not the case at your work, you need to speak with leadership or the owners. If you are still not getting anywhere, then you need to communicate with your governmental bodies that can help you navigate the workplace laws in your area.  

 

If you don’t like the place you work at, why are you still there? If you need the money, maybe work two or three jobs. Because nothing is worth it going to a place of work that you hate, and people potentially treat you terrible.  

For more information on navigating these situations with staff, please reach out to our team at Future to Now Consulting so we can help where needed.