Anne was a smart, creative, enthusiastic employee, and her supervisor saw her as a key part of the company’s future. Hearing that made her feel gratified and appreciated — but apparently not everyone felt the same.
Whether out of jealousy, a feeling of being overlooked, or both, a female co-worker who’d been there longer began undermining her with a whispering campaign. A few of Anne’s colleagues let her know that the woman was spreading rumors around the office that she and the married supervisor were romantically involved, and that was the reason she was receiving so much positive attention.
Angry and embarrassed, Anne told the story to her supervisor, expecting him to make the situation right. Instead, he told her he didn’t believe the co-worker would ever do such a thing, and told her to ignore it.
“He was trying to avoid a conflict, but I felt hurt that he didn’t look out for me,” she said. “I couldn’t come in every day and smile to this person’s face and pretend like nothing ever happened.”
She started looking for a new job that night. A month later, she was gone.
In an economy with 3% unemployment and ample opportunities for mobility, it is not enough to simply provide competitive pay and benefits. People want to work in a place where they feel they belong. They want to work for people who care.
Human Resource Executive recently wrote about this care principle and its importance for retaining and attracting top talent. The article centered on a white paper called “The Science of Care” by the Limeade Institute, which surveyed Americans about their workplace experiences. The study found that when employees felt cared for:
- 60% planned to stay at their company for three plus years (as opposed to only 7% of those who didn’t feel cared for)
- 90% said they’re likely to recommend their organization as a great place to work (vs. 9% of those who didn’t feel cared for)
- 94% said they feel personally engaged in their work (vs. 43% of those who didn’t feel cared for)
- 56% said they didn’t feel burned out (vs. 16% of those who didn’t feel cared for)
“The modern workplace demands an intentional shift from one that prioritizes the needs of employers to one that prioritizes the needs of employees,” said Dr. Laura Hamill, one of the white paper’s authors. “In order to do so, companies must take a ‘whole-person’ approach to managing the employee experience – from well-being to diversity and inclusion to employee engagement and other programs that make employees feel cared for both as organizational members and humans.”
In Anne’s case, the manager prioritized his desire to avoid an unpleasant conversation over the emotional needs of a model employee who was the victim of harassment. As a result, the company lost one of its most productive workers. (STOPit Solutions #1 in HR Technologist article, 6 Effective Tools for Reporting Harassment in the Workplace 2020)
Perhaps the problem could have been addressed if there were a channel in place for Anne or one of her co-workers to anonymously report the situation to upper management or a human resources officer. Then, the stories could have been investigated and independently corroborated, with appropriate disciplinary measures taken by someone who was not personally connected to the situation.
Workplaces can show their talent they care about them by instituting an anonymous reporting system like STOPit. The easy-to-use app offers a stress-free way for employees to speak up and communicate information they may not be comfortable approaching their supervisors with, from misbehavior in the office to an ideas for how a routine office task can be handled more efficiently.
STOPit can be set up and customized for your workplace in a matter of hours. Contact STOPit today to learn more about how anonymous reporting can help you protect your work culture and retain top talent.
Curious why over 5,000 organizations worldwide are using STOPit’s anonymous reporting software and 24/7/365 monitoring services?