We are all unique beings. As individuals, we have an innate set of characteristics and identities. Events occur through our lives that affect us and impact on our day-to-day lives in a multitude of different ways. Our lives outside of work impact on our work-lives, and vice versa.
One of our founders knows this all too well. He was 17 years into his career at a large international technology company before he felt comfortable to discuss his sexual orientation at work. Keeping this to himself for nearly two decades, it was because he didn’t know who he could speak to, who he could trust, and how people around him would react, and whether it would negatively impact on his career.
Sadly, this is an experience that isn’t unique – many people in the workplace have encountered; some from time to time, others more regularly.
It could be a team leader not knowing who to turn to for advice on how to handle a workplace situation. Or a witness to discriminatory behaviour not knowing who to share their concerns with. Someone starting a new medication regime, or a woman approaching menopause, which may affect energy levels and perhaps work patterns. A new starter who needs help but doesn’t know who they can trust to ask for it.
The list of situations requiring potentially difficult personal conversations by an employer with their company is endless. All of them have a potential impact on company performance and create unwanted corporate risk.