Creating a Safe Working Enviornment
As lockdown measures ease and businesses across the country open their doors, society appears to be settling in to the ‘new normal’. However, a worrying trend has begun to emerge, with instances of hostility towards customer-facing staff appearing to be on the rise. According to recent Harvard Business School research 76% of front line workers claimed that they had been treated rudely in the last month which is significantly up from less than 50% prior to COVID. Verbal abuse is most common, but a small but significant number of cases include being physically assaulted; examples range from being shouted and sworn at, to in extreme cases being spat on or physically assaulted.
This type of behaviour is of course unacceptable at any time, but it is particularly shocking given customer-facing staff have, since the very start of this crisis, been at the forefront of efforts to keep our nation running. An army of employees from across multiple sectors have worked tirelessly to provide the vital services we need – from supermarket staff working overtime to keep shelves stocked to utilities workers keeping our basic power and water needs met. They have, quite literally, been keeping the nation’s lights on.
Sometimes it’s just a one time episode that nonetheless can be really consequential for people. Many workers hold onto these for not just weeks or months, but years. And so it can be really damaging for people as far as the mental and physical toll on them.
Unfortunately, this has a many negative consequences. So when this happens to someone, it pulls them off track such that people have a hard time concentrating on the task at hand. They lose attention, they lose focus, they make more errors, and they perform far worse. So it really shuts people down in a lot of different ways. It can lead them to question themselves and more likely to quit in environments like this.
In light of these societal trends Hall & Hart has implemented a Zero Tolerance Policy to protect our dedicated staff which is outlined below.
Zero Tolerance Policy
Hall & Hart employees treat our clients and customers with courtesy and respect and ask for the same in return.
Our staff have the right to carry out their work without abuse or harassment. Any behaviour verbal or physical, which causes staff to feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or threatened, is totally unacceptable.
The Zero Tolerance policy includes aggression or threats made in person, over the telephone or in written communication. Hall & Hart consider threatening behaviour to be:
Attempted or actual aggressive threatening physical actions made towards any member of staff
The use of aggressive, threatening or abusive language, (including raising of the voice, swearing and cursing, shouting) which threatens or intimidates staff
Continued calls, emails or posts that do not allow reasonable time for an answer to a question or issue to be addressed
Threatening to use social media in a negative manner
Posting derogatory comments about staff on social media
This policy applies throughout the company.
Anyone verbally abusing members of staff, either in person or over the telephone, will be sent a letter from the General Manager advising that this behaviour will not be tolerated. Any future violation of this policy will result in our refusal to conduct business in person or telephonically with the offender and only transacting with the offender in writing. There will be no appeal process.
Any instances of written abuse will be handled with the same level of severity. All abusive correspondence received by our office will be retained for reference should the matter persist and need to be referred to the police.
Hall & Hart reserve the right to remove any client or customer details from their systems and cease to correspond with or do business with them.