The information in this article is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice.

Human resource management systems and practices are important for achieving and reinforcing a culture of respect and safety. Respect@Work[1] recommendations include:

A. Recruitment

Hire diverse applicants with strong values alignment:

  • Share stories on your organisation’s careers webpage that bring your organisational values to life.
  • Ask interview questions to explore the values that are important to applicants and elicit examples of respectful and inclusive behaviours.
  • Use psychometric assessment to evaluate behavioural preferences and alignment with your core values.
  • Explore the applicants’ values and commitment to gender equality in reference checking; gather information about their interpersonal style and support for diversity and inclusion.
  • Reinforce the importance of a harassment-free workplace at every step in the process.

A rigorous screening process is particularly important in leadership roles and other critical roles that infer positional power.

Employers can download Respect@Work’s Example Interview and Reference Checking Questions to Assess Values Alignment[2] for guidance.

B. Reward and recognition

  • Reward individuals for demonstrating respectful behaviour/speaking up/commitment to diversity and inclusion by linking to performance indicators, remuneration, and promotion criteria.
  • Implement management remuneration packages that reward effective management of both financial and non-financial risks, including rewarding leaders who act to prevent sexual harassment and develop a respectful workplace. (Ensure desired behaviours account for at least a 50% weighting in performance measurements or make demonstrating the behaviours a baseline requirement to be eligible for financial incentives or promotion. Putting more emphasis on performance outcomes than behaviours will undermine the importance of core values).
  • Informally recognise desired behaviours, for example, dedicate time in team meetings to acknowledge individual behaviours that align with the values of respect, safety and inclusion.
  • Implement a formal recognition program that publicly showcases individuals and teams who demonstrate desired behaviours and values.
  • Establish an online recognition platform that enables peer and management recognition, and positively reinforces the desired values and behaviours.
  • Identify and evaluate any substantiated cases of misconduct relating to internal candidates before making an appointment decision. Sexual harassment may be a barrier to advancement, including a delay in promotion, and this should be communicated to the individual involved.

C. Performance management

  • Implement two-way performance management practices that emphasise continuous feedback and coaching to promote trust and a learning mindset.

D. Induction

  • Induction processes should reinforce your commitment to a harassment-free workplace and clarify core values and behaviours.

Culture Plus Consulting can support you in meeting your positive duty through workplace culture reviews, risk assessment, learning and development, and DEI strategy formulation and best-practices implementation. Email for details.

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