Undesired and boundary-crossing behaviour
Since January 2022, undesired and boundary-crossing behaviour has become a very current problem and a hot media topic. The fact that it has become a current problem does not mean it is a new phenomenon or that it will have ceased to occur when the media storm calms down. Not at all. Undesired behaviour occurs in every organisation, every sector and is timeless.
Together we work on creating a safe work environment in which people feel comfortable. An environment in which undesired behaviour is prevented as much as possible and if it does occur, people feel safe enough to report it. That matters more.
What needs to be organised with regard to preventing undesired behaviour?
The most important thing is to have a policy, a protocol. That way employees know how your organisation deals with undesired behaviour, which decreases the likelihood of this type of behaviour. Also make sure that everyone can easily find this protocol. Want to know how to formulate and what to include in such a protocol? Take a look at our checklist.
Besides the protocol, it is important to have a code of conduct, in which you describe undesired behaviour. That way everyone in your organisation knows what is considered undesired behaviour.
What is undesired behaviour?
Undesired behaviour comes in different forms:
- Intimidation and/or sexual intimidation
These are all forms of psychosocial workload (PSW) and can lead to absenteeism.
How do you deal with undesired behaviour?
Make sure employees and supervisors know what undesired behaviour is and how to deal with it. Also make sure employees know who to turn to in case of undesired behaviour and that they feel safe to discuss the subject.
Supervisors play a key and exemplary role. How do you ensure they give the right example, recognise undesired behaviour and know how to discuss the matter? How do you ensure they know what they can and must do in case of undesired behaviour?
A confidential adviser
It can be difficult for an employee who experiences undesired behaviour to report this. An internal or external confidential adviser offers a safe and confidential environment to report the behaviour and to look for solutions together.
Do employees feel safe?
You probably work hard on creating a safe and enjoyable work atmosphere and culture. But do you know whether everyone feels safe or whether undesired behaviour nevertheless occurs? We have various tools to measure the sentiment in your organisation and gain insight. We do this anonymously so that employees feel safe to provide honest answers. It is also possible to remeasure the sentiment so that you can see whether efforts have yielded results.
The role of the prevention worker
The role of your prevention worker is to ensure a safe and healthy work environment by means of prevention. Undesired behaviour does not belong in such an environment. Consequently, the prevention worker is involved in preventive policy and measures related to undesired behaviour. This is not an easy job. The prevention worker receives the proper knowledge and skills through a prevention worker training, which is a prerequisite for properly carrying out this task.
Undesired behaviour is part of psychosocial workload (PSW)
Undesired and boundary-crossing behaviour is a form of psychosocial workload (PSW). PSW includes all the factors at the workplace that can cause stress, which includes workload.
You can measure what the PSW is in your organisation, for example by carrying out a
Preventive Medical Examination (PME) or a Risk Inventory & Evaluation (RI&E).