Want to motivate your employees? Keep your company safe and you will

Joan Curtice (Independent Human Resources consultant with a specialty in Legal Compliance in HR Administration and Harassment Prevention. She can be reached at 781 273 0248 or visit her Web site: www.joancurtice.com)

Handbook of Business Strategy

ISSN: 1077-5730

Publication date: 1 December 2005


This paper examines the value of a work environment that is safe, dignified and respectful. Not only does the law mandate such an environment but it also makes good business sense since typically the results are increased motivation and productivity. Successful companies practice safety and fairness procedures and consistently reap rewards for doing so. This article covers the basics of safe work atmospheres, citing examples of the significant costs to firms that do not follow these practices. People are at their most productive when they are not distracted by concerns for their safety or well being. Additionally, in recent years, many lawsuits that have occurred due to sexual misconduct that have settled with extremely large payments to those employees who have initiated the litigation – very costly in terms of time and money for a company. The article also discusses less measurable impacts such as the cost of disrespect. A recent report based on various surveys concluded that an extreme level of rudeness is rampant in the US workplace that both damages mental health and lowers productivity. “Truly safe” work environments are both genuinely protective and proactive. They are companies in which employees feel confident that they have a place to go when they have a problem. Companies need to have clearly written anti‐harassment policies that define and describe prohibited behaviors. These policies need to contain specific instructions. In addition, a non‐retaliation policy is required to send a clear message that retaliation will not be tolerated; it is as illegal as the harassment itself.



Curtice, J. (2005), "Want to motivate your employees? Keep your company safe and you will", Handbook of Business Strategy, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 205-208. https://doi.org/10.1108/08944310510557477

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