What is incident management? More than just processes and procedures, incident management refers to how an organization mitigates and prevents incidents of workplace misconduct, such as discrimination and harassment that negatively impact workplace culture, reputation, employee satisfaction, well-being, and more. To cultivate successful, happy, and productive workplaces, organizations should implement a strategic and data-backed approach to incident management – or they could face serious organizational risks and repercussions.
Understanding Incident Management in the Workplace
More than 76% of employees who experienced a toxic, misconduct-ridden workplace also shared that their workplace negatively affected their mental health – leading to reduced productivity, satisfaction, and retention. However, with in-house reporting practices, many employees struggle to know when to take a problem to HR and what the repercussions might be for reporting an incident. Similarly, when they do report misconduct they’ve experienced or witnessed, their concerns are often ignored – or, as EEOC data points out, they face retaliation for coming forward about misconduct.
Without proper incident management processes in place, organizations risk increased voluntary turnover, leading to a surge in recruiting, hiring, and training costs. Additionally, the risks from a lack of incident management can cause permanent reputational damage, negatively impacting an organization’s bottom line, as well as relationships with key stakeholders and future partners. Not to mention, with organizations averaging $160,000 to litigate, defend, and settle a claim, employers can face severe financial risk, demonstrating the need for effective incident management in the workplace.
Essential Building Blocks of Full-Service Misconduct Solutions
To ensure fair resolutions to misconduct, it’s important for organizations to implement the essential building blocks of incident management – including incident identification, incident reporting, third-party investigations, and resolving incidents, as these components contribute to a comprehensive incident management system.
With traditional in-house incident management, incident identification can cause a lack of reporting due to fear of retaliation, as a staggering 75% of workplace harassment incidents go unreported annually. Through incident management software such as Work Shield, organizations can have visibility of their cultural health via actionable insights and real-time data, such as regional trends and patterns that could lead to future incidents. To ensure employees can safely and securely report incidents, Work Shield also allows employees to anonymously and non-anonymously report 24/7 for a confidential and stress-free reporting process that improves response times, reduces bias and fear of retaliation, and gives employees a safe space to speak about incidents they witnessed and/or experienced. Lastly, with Work Shield’s incident management software, it’s easier than ever to come to impartial resolutions – empowering employees and employers to report, swiftly address, and resolve workplace misconduct.