Examine the current costs to the organization

• Absenteeism
• Presenteeism
• Lost productivity
• Lost creativity
• Lost business opportunities
• Sick leave
• Stress leave
• Long term disability leave
• Staff turnover
• Recruitment and retraining costs
• Legal costs and litigation

When people are feeling bullied and harassed, it can be very difficult to concentrate on the job at hand. “Presenteeism” refers to workers who are present in body but whose minds are elsewhere. This state of mind can contribute to accidents and errors.

What will it cost to implement a respectful workplace initiative?

That depends on the current climate in your organization, and the extent of any changes that may be needed.

How long will it take?

Realistically, a respectful workplace initiative needs to be approached as a three- to five-year project. Of course, the longer the period over which the problems have developed, the longer they are likely to take to resolve.

Who should oversee the process?

• Identify people within the organization who can lead this initiative.
• Who are the most likely change agents?
• It will require the support of a small team of resource people, and the participation of an advisory committee or a steering committee.

Advisory committee

An advisory body is usually made up of people outside the organization who provide advice on matters of policy, management, program development, or other specifics. They may perceive impacts of an organization’s actions in relation to their own domain and may inform decision making from their perspective. An advisory committee is often an ongoing group.

Steering committee

A steering committee is usually made up of people within an organizational who help to invite organizational investment in an issue. Their involvement is most significant at the beginning with new initiatives or projects and diminishes as the project moves through its initial implementation cycle. When the project is over, the group is disbanded.

• Confirm senior management’s commitment to making this priority
For an organization to take this seriously, commitment needs to begin at the top. Creating and sustaining a respectful workplace needs to be a management priority, with appropriate staff, time, and resources allocated to ensure its success.

• Set clear goals and realistic expectations

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