Is there love in the air?
I was reading with interest the other weekend how people had reacted with suspicion when a note was left on a driver’s car windscreen expressing that the writer thought they were lovely and were they single.
Now I get it that it’s a bit odd.
Perhaps the writer would have more success if they were to actually talk to the driver, rather than leave a note, but I do have sympathy with the writer in question. Face to face talking in 2021 appears to be hard.
So, what should an employer do if they have a member of staff receive a note from an admirer?
Well if the employee brings it to you or a Line Manager the key is to ask them what they would like you to do about it?
If they are happy that someone finds them attractive and has left them a note, asking to take them out, then our advice would be let’s see how it goes and let us know if you find who it is. We love a happy ending!
If they are unhappy that someone has given the note, and they want you to find out who the mystery writer is then you are handling an investigation into potential harassment.
Harassment is unwanted behaviour which you find offensive or which makes you feel intimidated or humiliated. It can happen on its own or alongside other forms of discrimination.
When investigating an allegation of potential harassment we would advise the following:
- Take a statement from the person making the complaint. Where was the note found, who found it, who do they think it is, how do they feel about it etc.
- If you find out who it is have a quiet word to find out whether it is or isn’t that person. If it is that person then explain that the note is not wanted and will be considered harassment if repeated whether in the same form or another form of unwanted behaviour. Point out that behaviour of this kind at work can lead to disciplinary action.
- Make a note on file that you have had a quiet word. Then report back to the person making the complaint and ensure that they let you know if there is any further workplace conduct that they deem to be harassment from this person. Explain that they should report any unwanted attention to the police if it occurs outside of work.
While extreme behaviour such as stalking and harassment is rare, it does happen in workplaces and has happened with our clients. As Managers we need to be mindful that harassment is felt by the individual and that what one person finds as inoffensive fun another can find unpleasant and frightening.
If you need any assistance handling an allegation of potential harassment, please get in touch on 01527 909436.