mid day editorial: Companies must take staff woes seriously

Apr 05, 2018, 06:05 IST | mid-day correspondent

A near tragedy was averted after a woman, who had consumed pills in a suicide bid, was rushed to the hospital

A near tragedy was averted after a woman, who had consumed pills in a suicide bid, was rushed to the hospital. A report in this paper detailed how a woman had previously reported harassment at her workplace to the Vikhroli Parksite police station, but the cops did not act on the complaints.

Never-ending taunts and harassment from co-workers drove this BPO employee to attempt to kill herself. Post this attempt, the police have registered the matter and are probing it further.

A suicide note said that co-workers had spread rumours about her being in a relationship with some employees in the company and nothing was done after she raised her voice against it. The office gossip, which was apparently particularly vicious, was affecting her personal life.

Whatever the truth of these allegations, it is a pointer for companies to take employee grievances seriously. There must be a probe about why this person felt compelled to approach the police. Is it because the company dismissed her fears and complaints? Is there an avenue within the company where employees can voice their complaints? Are they being stifled for some reason? Is there a culture where subordinates fear speaking out or being treated unfairly?

Managements all over must take cognizance of the environment at workplaces. There should be an environment of no fear or favour. That this woman had to approach the police must raise question marks that need to be addressed by her organisation. Did she fear retribution at the workplace and so when to the police? Was she being coerced by some superiors to not raise the issue?

While the police probe the source of these rumours, the organisation needs to look within, too. The incident should serve as a warning and a learning lesson for companies everywhere.

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