If you’ve always worked in offices, the chances are that you’ve seen how gossip spreads. Even those who are supposed to keep things confidential join in with whispers. Sensitive information can slip into the conversation before they know it.
Many a workplace lawsuit has come about as a result. Even if things don’t go that far, not having confidentiality can cause significant morale issues. Your staff won’t feel safe expressing concerns. As such, in-office bullying, or other sensitive matters, could go unreported.
As a boss, it’s your responsibility to cater to your staff’s happiness. And, tackling confidentiality is a significant part of that. It’s down to you to squash the whispers in your workforce. Here are a few ways to achieve the goal.
A private meeting space
Often, offices are open spaces. Partitions are usually made of glass if anything. All the better to open the space up and create a communal working area. But, this can become a real issue when it comes to confidentiality. Staff members will be aware that everyone else will see them come to you. And, if that happens, you can be sure that the whole office will be talking about it. This is especially the case if bullying or other such behavior is involved. The perpetrators will see their victim approach and may increase their aggression as a result.
To make sure that doesn’t happen, provide a private meeting place for such issues. This should be a room which is separate from the office and enclosed. Here, you can meet with employees who want to discuss sensitive topics. By doing this at times when the office is relatively quiet, you can ensure the wrong eyes don’t see what’s happening.
Protect private files
It’s also your responsibility to ensure that private files are kept hidden. As an employer, you’ll have a multitude of details, including addresses and phone numbers. You’ll also have disciplinary records and any sick notes from colleagues. If any of this gets into the wrong hands, there’s no way around the lawsuit you’ll face. As such, it’s essential you turn to companies like apsmontana.com who can help you restrict access to certain areas within the workplace. This is the only real way you can ensure sensitive information stays safe. So, don’t hesitate to take this step.
Strict punishment for breaches
Of course, it isn’t only you who needs to uphold confidentiality. Supervisors and HR staff are also ports of call for distressed staff. Obviously, you’ll need them to sign a confidentiality agreements. If they then breach that, it’s essential you’re strict to ensure it doesn’t happen again. In some cases, like the one outlined on www.lexology.com, breaches like these even result in termination. It may seem harsh, but a hardline is essential. You can’t allow one loose lipped superior to unravel your whole workforce. While termination may not be necessary, you should at least suspend, or file note such colleagues. It may also be worth removing them from their position of power.