After years of workplace and field observation by women's fans, we have developed the "Workplace Relationship Interaction Spectrum" set of tools for evaluating team interaction, this article will show you how to use this tool to find the current situation of team interaction and start to improve the pain points!

The recent occurrence of many MeToo incidents in Taiwan remind us that we should pay more attention to the issue of psychological safety in the workplace, not only to prevent harassment within the enterprise, but also to further create an environment for safe interaction and dialogue.

According to the sustainability report of all listed OTC enterprises (588) in 2022, it is found that 88% of domestic OTC enterprises agree that occupational health and safety is a key issue second only to economic performance. Maintaining mental health is crucial, but most companies don't know where to start. Colleagues are talking and laughing, even if it is a perfect score? Or is it time for a review whenever employees express dissatisfaction?

Before planning the implementation, you first need to determine the state of interaction within the team. We can use the concept of "workplace relationship interaction spectrum" to help judge, and then we will introduce in detail the three endpoints of the workplace relationship interaction spectrum, the impact of enterprises in different positions, and the mental method of sustainable management.

What is the Workplace Relationship Interaction Spectrum?

After years of workplace and field observation by women's fans, we have developed the "Workplace Relationship Interaction Spectrum", a set of tools for assessing team interaction, which divides the interaction status into "inclusion zone", "potential risk zone" and "harm zone".

Photo by Women Fan DEI course

Inclusion Zone: Very good, please keep it up.

In the inclusion zone, team members work to eliminate bias, proactively ask and offer options to the relatively small groups within the team, and maintain empathetic interactions. It's an area where employees feel safe, respected, and belonged.

For example, the company has a lunch meal, and although there are only a few Islamic employees in the company, it still offers halal-certified food options and respects the religious choice of the other party. Or provide flexible work locations and hours for employees with childcare or long-term care needs.

It's worth noting that businesses in inclusion zones are able to foster talent development and enable efficient collaboration. Research by McKinsey shows that companies that actively promote a pluralistic and inclusive DEI can improve their performance by 31% compared to before adoption. In addition, a Deloitte study found that companies with a diverse and inclusive DEI constitution are twice as likely to meet or even exceed their financial goals.

Potential risk areas: Crisis awareness and improvement of the situation.

In potential risk zones, team members may make each other uncomfortable and reinforce stereotypes due to unconscious bias. Because of prejudice, offensive or discriminatory remarks may be inadvertently made, and interactions may be less empathetic.

For example, in the 2023 Women's Fan Workplace Environment Annual Survey, she received feedback from a colleague who cared too much about unmarried female employees, and the colleague often advised her that "if girls don't marry quickly while they are young, they won't be found in the future." This is actually a gender stereotype, which not only causes anxiety in the listener, but also fails to consider that marriage is not necessarily everyone's life goal. In addition, there is also male feedback that colleagues default to boys who are more informal, so they do not respect his personal body boundaries. The above two examples, while not intentional, or even well-intentioned, can cause harm.

Enterprises in this area need to be aware of the possibility of brain drain, because poor communication and intra-team collaboration are prone to conflict and inefficiency.

Injury zone: Don't ignore it, deal with the problem as soon as possible.

Many companies will choose to deal with it coldly or not at all when relevant issues occur, for fear that the handling will be more serious, or expect employees to mediate by themselves. But the truth is that such cold treatment only makes the problem worse, and even leads to harassment, bullying, and even sexual harassment and assault, when team interaction is already in the zone of harm.

According to the 2022 Women Fan Thousand People Workplace Abuse Survey, up to 73.5% of workers said: "The workplace is really sad!" In this area, there are violent acts such as coercion within the team, and employees' psychological safety is negative, such as verbal taunts at team members of different sizes, or handing over tedious work to employees with special status. Such a situation can lead to serious brain drain and brand crisis.

Actively moving towards an inclusive area is the king of sustainable management

Harassment is unpreventable because everyone has more or less established perceptions and prejudices, and our behavior often falls in the hidden risk zone, perhaps unconsciously saying biased words, or not knowing how to interact with people kindly, but only a few people will intentionally or deliberately cause harm. If we don't manage it, we can fall into the zone of harm.

However, the strategy companies should adopt is not to passively avoid causing harm or staying in the hidden risk zone, but to more actively move the team towards the inclusion zone. In the face of these challenges, active adjustment is the goal that enterprises should pursue, and it is also the key to sustainable operation.

In addition to making good use of the "Workplace Interaction Spectrum" to examine the interaction status of enterprises themselves, enterprises should pay attention to the diversity and inclusion DEI principles of diversity, equality and inclusion. This means that companies should establish an open, respectful and equal work environment where team members are encouraged to learn, understand and support each other. At the same time, companies can provide training and resources to help employees raise awareness, avoid prejudice and discrimination, and promote inclusive interaction.