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We all need to call time on inappropriate behaviour in our workplaces

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How many more shocking cases will it take before everyone realises inappropriate behaviour at work. is not acceptable? It never has been, but we know in times gone by it was often seen of part of working life. It is not now and never will be again.

Weinstein in 2017, was followed by The President’s Club scandal, Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin’s “forced hugging”, the expose of the toxic Lloyds of London culture and now we have the CBI six years later.
Sadly this is unlikely to be the last headline unless people are willing to take a long hard look at what is going on in their own organisations – and perhaps their own behaviour?

Bizarrely there are still many people who are seemingly unable to learn from these cases of unacceptable behaviour and sexual harassment and still believe it is ok for them to touch colleagues inappropriately, joke crudely or not take “no” for an answer.

Reading this many of you will be thinking “Yes, she is right it is shocking”, but how many of you know someone who still believes this and thinks what they are doing is fine? Do you?

In our work in this area, we are frequently told “I thought it was fine, we’ve known each other years and can say what we like” or “I know people don’t mind because we always have a laugh together”. We should never assume how others feel or that they will just put up with it.

We all have two key responsibilities

1. Thinking about our own behaviour. Whilst we may think it is acceptable, is it? Are we relying on thinking no one has said anything so it must be ok? Or that everyone is laughing, so our jokes must be harmless?
2. Doing something when we see inappropriate behaviour. If we feel comfortable to address it ourselves, we should do that. But if we don’t (and there are many understandable reasons why it may be hard) what we must do is talk to someone who can do something about it.

If you don’t take these steps, could it be your organisation in the next headline?

If any of this has made you think there is behaviour that needs to change in your team or organisation, but not sure how to tackle it , talk to us – we can help!
For a confidential discussion please call us on 01903 732 782, email us at,contact us , or take a look at how we have helped other organisations tackle inappropriate behaviour