Transgressive behaviours and abuse of powers are never okay. Especially in a work environment. These behaviours are not just sexual in nature, but rather any behaviour that makes a person feel uncomfortable or unsafe. No longer can we look the other way and not talk about these issues. Transgressive behaviours and abuse of powers happen, and it may be happening at your workplace.
Dutch #MeToo movement
After last week’s allegations of sexual abuse on The Voice of Holland, many would say that this was the beginning of the Dutch #MeToo movement. The fact that issues of transgressive behaviour and abuse of powers are still happening in the workplace is ridiculous. Even more ridiculous, considering the fact that we can prevent them. Unfortunately, most companies have little to no policies about how to prevent these concerns. And the keyword here is: prevention.
When it comes to company culture, we need to hold each other accountable for their behaviour and have someone available that we can speak to. We want to prevent problems from occurring. Hold each other accountable. Do you see or feel that a colleague is abusing their role or displaying unacceptable behaviour? Talk about it with someone you trust or talk to that person about it. You are not alone. Together we can create a safe environment
When I read the reports on all the news channels and saw the episode of the BNN- VARA program BOOS, I asked myself, ‘Do we have a protocol or policy on transgressive behaviour? No, we don’t have one.’ We don’t even have an external confidant to contact for these situations.
We are a small organization with only six people. It is possible that as the owner, I do not see these issues. Maybe my colleagues might feel uncomfortable communicating with me about these issues. I can no longer look at myself in the mirror, knowing that there might be issues of power abuse and transgressive behaviour, and I had no protocols in place or an external confidant for my colleagues.
Call to action!
After these reports, we immediately found an external person that would be a temporary, confidential advisor at Blueyse. We are working on making new protocols. And we are looking for professional parties who know how to deal with such reports. Specifically, an external party that our colleges can always talk to.
To be honest, I have no experience with making such protocols. If you are reading this and your company already has these policies; or you have experience with an external, professional confidant, please contact me. I am open to suggestions.
Thank you BOOS! You opened my eyes.
Do you want to talk about something that happened to you? Or about something that you saw? See below for some resources.
Victim Support Netherlands (0900-0101, Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, or via chat on www.slachtofferhulp.nl)
Sexual Violence Center (0800-0188, available 24/7, or via chat at www.centrumseksueelgeweld.nl)
Mind Korrelatie (0900-1450, Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, or via chat at mindkorrelatie.nl)