The BeeMail Sender Support

Next Steps on the Road to Addressing and Resolving Workplace Harassment

When you sent The BeeMail, your goal was to address harassment without immediately involving HR. Sending The BeeMail is the first step to a resolution. This is a process that requires continued awareness and effort on your part. 

This is the time to stay aware of potential concerning behaviors, prepare for next steps, and develop skills to improve the possibility of reaching a resolution. Being proactive and well-prepared will help you manage this process.

Below are information and tools to help you reach a successful resolution, while limiting your risks.

Document Everything

This is a critical time to document interactions with all involved parties. This includes interactions with the person who has been harassing you, colleagues who may have witnessed or been involved, your superiors, and company representatives. Keeping a detailed record serves as a vital tool to help you recognize potential patterns of behavior and recall incidents accurately.

This record will aid in determining if you’ve reached a firm resolution, if retaliation is an issue, and if you need to consider options to escalate.

Sending The BeeMail not only demonstrates your proactive approach to addressing inappropriate behaviors in a safe manner, but also serves as valuable documentation. The BeeMail tracks the delivery and subsequent actions taken by The BeeMail recipient, and this information can be utilized in your documentation.

Make sure to forward all emails pertaining to this issue, to a personal email address and organize it into a folder for easier access. Our documentation templates are available for download.

Identify Retaliation

After calling attention to, or reporting workplace harassment, it is important to remain mindful of the potential for retaliation. Distinguishing between genuine concerns and baseless retaliation will help you make informed decisions moving forward. Consistently documenting incidents will help you identify patterns in case of any potential retaliation. While documenting the interaction, it’s essential to strike a balance between awareness and avoiding undue paranoia.

Two sources of retaliation may emerge in these types of situations. Retaliation can come from the person directly responsible for harassing behavior. And retaliation can come from “your company”, specifically individuals representing the company’s interests, including supervisors, HR representatives, and company attorneys.

Retaliation can come from different sources and show up in various ways, ranging from microaggressions to obvious actions. Here are some things to keep an eye on.

Work Conditions or Treatment Changes
  • Changes in work assignments or responsibilities disproportionate to others in the team.
  • Isolation or exclusion from team activities and communication
  • Denial of opportunities for advancement or professional development
  • Being subjected to unfounded complaints or investigations as a means of retaliation
  • Receiving undesirable shifts, schedules, or job assignments
Negative Feedback
  • Negative performance reviews or feedback after reporting an issue or raising a concern
  • Unwarranted disciplinary actions
  • Increased scrutiny in job performance
  • Experiencing increased micromanagement
  • Excessive monitoring of work activities
  • Facing sudden and baseless allegations
  • Facing sudden policy violations or misconduct
Hostile Social Environment and Personal Attacks
  • Verbal threats or intimidation related to your complaint
  • Spreading rumors or gossip intended to damage your reputation
  • Experiencing a hostile work environment created by colleagues or supervisors
  • Witnessing sudden and unexplained changes in the company’s treatment or attitude toward you
  • Being unfairly excluded from meetings or important decision-making processes that directly affect your job
  • Facing unwarranted scrutiny and criticism of personal conduct or non-work-related issues
  • Experiencing social or professional ostracization from colleagues and peers as a result of raising concerns
  • Observing a sudden decline in performance ratings or work evaluations without legitimate reasons
Compensation and Benefits 
  • Unjustified salary reductions or changes in benefits after raising concerns or reporting misconduct
Assignment of Menial Tasks as Punishment 
  • Being assigned menial or demeaning tasks unrelated to job responsibilities as a form of testing or punishment

Be Prepared to Communicate

Developing conflict resolution communication strategies is a valuable soft skill to develop and practice at work. 

Before discussing an incident with the other party, get ready to have a productive conversation by having a specific goal in mind.  Being clear with yourself about what you need to move forward with the other person, will make this process easier for both of you. 

If the other person initiates a conversation about their behavior and you aren’t ready, let them know you would like to have a discussion, but you need time. Then set up a time that works for you.

We have additional communication information and tools, including:  Addressing Harassment Directly, and Scripts to Address Harassment.

Four Communication Steps to Facilitate a Resolution
1. Identify What You Need to Reach a Resolution

Identifying what you need from the other person, in order to move forward. What outcome would you like to see from them? This could include any of the following: 

  • they acknowledge their behavior
  • an explanation for their behavior
  • a sincere apology
  • a commitment to change
  • a plan outlining specific steps to avoid repeating the same behaviors
2. Prepare for Your Conversation

Create an outline to take charge of the conversation and effectively express your needs clearly.

  • Summarize the incident/s and their inappropriate behavior
  • Summarize how that behavior has impacted you, or why this is a concern for you
  • Clearly state what actions and changes you need to see from the other party.  
  • Clearly state your willingness to move forward once these actions and changes are fulfilled.
3. Have the Conversation
  • Use your outline to make sure all your concerns and needs are clearly stated
  • Listen to the other person and what they have to say
  • Listen for what they are promising to do to improve their behavior
  • Observe body language and non-verbal cues to gauge the progress of the conversation
  • You can ask for time to consider what they have said, particularly if they are unable to fulfill your requirements for moving forward
4. Continue Documenting
  • Document the conversation and capture the terms agreed to
  • Send an email with a meeting summary
  • Continue documenting interactions that demonstrate progress or raise further concerns

If the Problem Continues

If the problem continues or escalates, you may need to consider escalating to a supervisor or your human resources representative, or consult an attorney.

There are risks and benefits for each option. You can explore each option:  Should You Report To Your Boss?  Should You Report to HR? Should You Consult an Attorney.

Check The Wolf and The Bee’s free resource: Navigating Workplace Harassment Guide to determine the best option for you.