Domestic and spousal violence can often feel like an issue that is completely separate from the workplace; a problem that individuals face at home and in their personal lives that doesn’t directly relate to their employment. However, a worker who is suffering domestic violence in their personal lives is likely to struggle at work as well. Just think about how people who have already experienced this kind of violence in their homes would feel. Surely, it isn’t comfortable.
In fact, many people would be really surprised to see just how common it in these conditions. Naturally, domestic violence is still present in homes, but that doesn’t mean that there are not some other conditions where we can witness them, like work. It should be said that employers don’t know too much about these occurrences within their companies. Therefore, they are not doing much to prevent them.
But, if they know that there something like this occurring, they will need to do something about it. Sadly, we can see that many of them don’t have even the slightest idea about what they should do in these cases. This was the reason we’ve decided to do a little research on our own and see what, in fact, can be done to prevent these situations. So, what can employers do to help, protect, and support their employees from domestic abuse?
It’s important to be aware of and proactively acknowledge the epidemic of domestic violence. Just ask any psychiatrist and you will receive that violence starts as a little spark and it can become a fire. Sadly, we can see that the highest percentage of business owners simply are not educated enough in this field to be as effective when it comes to the prevention of these situations. The best way to describe this as best as possible is that by education you will be able to put out the little sparks and prevent them from becoming a fire.
Companies can ensure that they are educated on the complexity of this issue and use internal communication channels to demonstrate their awareness of the challenges that employees who are going through domestic violence are going through along with a willingness to provide confidential support to anybody in need. You can reach out to employees and provide information about local resources and organizations designed to help domestic abuse survivors, or how legal professionals like edelsonlaw.ca can help.
Check-in with Employees Regularly
Creating a caring culture in the workplace where employees feel valued, heard, and comfortable to bring up personal issues that might be having an impact on their workplace can help anyone suffering from domestic violence at home to be more confident in speaking up at work and asking for support. Not only that you will make them feel as safe as possible, but also, you will be able to get the best results from them, in terms of effectiveness.
While it is best to avoid direct questions about abuse, managers and supervisors should regularly check in with employees to ask how they have been and find out if there is any way that they could support them better, to create an open channel of communication and put employees at ease. But every owner should have the habit of visiting them and see what they are up to. We are not talking about checking what they are doing all the time. Instead, you are just letting them know that you are there for whatever they need.
Recognize the Signs of Abuse
The fact that it is not always immediately obvious when an employee is going through domestic violence at home means that it is often missed in the workplace, and survivors do not get the help and support that they need as a result. We don’t think that the owner will be able to see injuries caused by viciousness at work every day, but it is important to recognize some of these signs when you see them. Sometimes, you can recognize them in the way two of the employees are having a conversation.
If you can see hear some harsh words, you should inspect their relationship a little bit better. Of course, if it doesn’t affect their work ethic and effectiveness, you should be too involved in it. Training managers and workers to recognize the potential warning signs can help you better determine when it might be necessary to check in with an employee. Remember that not all signs of domestic abuse are physical; in some cases, a worker may be taking more time off than usual, arriving late more frequently, or appear to be less engaged in their work.
Develop Policies That Help Survivors
Legal protections for survivors of domestic violence can vary between states. As an employer, it’s a wise idea to develop a policy with the needs of these employees in mind. Thankfully, more and more companies from all over the world have become interested in creating these. So, now we can see some serious movements towards preventing all the negativities of domestic violence at work.
They have a become crucial factor in creating the best possible environment for the members of the staff. There is a wide array of different elements that can be included in this kind of policy to make it as best as it can be. For example, some employees might need to take some time off from work temporarily to find a safe living situation, participate in legal proceedings, or seek counseling.
Ensure that your policies allow for as much support as possible for employees who are going through this and that all communications regarding the issue are kept confidential with a clear privacy protocol. Before you decide to create one of these for your company, you should hire a professional who can provide you with the procedure of developing it.
Domestic violence is still a huge problem in our society and as an employer, there’s a high chance that at some point, you’ll work with somebody who is experiencing this in their personal life. A supportive employer can make all the difference when it comes to helping survivors escape the situation and go on to thrive. Here, we’ve provided you with a couple of things you can fight against violence at work. We hope you’ll find them useful.