There is never a time when a company wants to retaliate against an employee. Furthermore, workers never think that this could happen to them. While this may be true, retaliation remains a major problem throughout the company.
There are steps employers can take to help prevent retaliation claims. At the same time, there are things workers can do to remove themselves from a bad position, thus allowing them to feel better about their work situation.
First things first, companies should protect workers against retaliation. The HR department should have clear guidelines that protect each and every employee, ensuring that they are comfortable reporting wrongdoing. This can include setting up a hotline for reporting problems and dealing with any claims without delay.
Employees, even those who never feel they will be in this position, should understand that retaliation is common in today's age. For this reason, they must become familiar with all reporting procedures and whistleblower policies. Sometimes, all it takes is for one person to come forward in order to save many others from suffering the same fate.
Most importantly, the company must show a commitment to doing the right thing at all times.
When workers feel they have been retaliated against, it can lead to additional trouble, including a formal complaint. At that point, the company itself, as well as the worker, is entangled in a situation that can drag on for many months. Additionally, it can have a negative impact on the overall morale of other workers, which could take a toll on performance and efficiency.
Source: The Network, "Lessons Learned: Part 2 – Employee Retaliation and 5 Steps to Stop It," accessed April. 20, 2015