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Written by Elizabeth Brown

Employee well-being is a significant matter for employers, regardless of the size and scale of the team. It fosters trust and credibility for your employer brand and empowers your company with employee loyalty and retention. When it comes to well-being, the mental health of your team members should be the top priority. People with sound mental health tend to be more productive, efficient, and loyal. But ensuring it is easier said than done because people stress out due to a poor work-life balance, tight deadlines, and workplace disputes.

A less common but more serious reason that can affect their well-being is false accusations at the workplace. Such allegations are increasing in workplace settings after the #MeToo movement. But the sad part is that not all are true as people use them to harm co-workers due to vindictive motives. As an employer, you must do your best to prevent them in the first place. But they may still happen, so you must have a plan to deal with the implications and provide support to the falsely accused employees. Here are some ways to protect them.

Establish a policy against false allegations

The first step to supporting employee mental health is by establishing a policy against false allegations. Define a clear procedure to deal with such charges to deter employees from indulging in them in the first place. With a stringent policy in place, people will worry less about falling into the trap of false allegations by co-workers. It goes a long way in preserving their mental well-being and keeping them relaxed. Moreover, it shows your intention to deal with problematic employees strictly.

Take an unbiased approach during investigations

An unbiased approach during incident investigations takes your people a step closer to good mental health. The last thing you should do is assume that the accused is guilty right from the start. It is one reason most employees feel stressed when an investigative procedure begins. Ensure that all allegations are investigated by an independent expert who does not know either of the parties. Call both parties separately and hear out their sides of the story. Collect evidence and check finer details thoroughly before making a judgment.

Let the accused have a voice

Being an employer, you must be impartial towards your employees until the truth is unveiled. Let the accused have a voice and give attention to their statements. Offer support and guidance for handling the legal proceedings because they must have a solid defense to prove their innocence. You may even connect them with a sex crime attorney to handle their case. Providing them with the requisite evidence, such as office emails and video footage, goes a long way with support. Placing your trust in the accused employee boosts their mental well-being inherently.

Enforce a disciplinary action against false accusers

Supporting the team members accused falsely is also about penalizing the accusers. They deserve to be punished because of the intention to harm the career and life of a co-worker. You must enforce disciplinary action against such people who create an unhealthy atmosphere in the company. The benefits extend beyond the well-being of the individual employee. A strict stance against wrongdoing sets an example for the entire company and team members. This way, you can protect your company from future cases of false accusations.

Create a secure work culture

A secure work culture can be the cornerstone of the mental well-being of the employees. It makes your company a safe, happy, and positive place for the team. When people bond well with each other, there is hardly a chance of employees bringing up false accusations against others. Implement a background check procedure as a part of the hiring process so that you get people with honesty and integrity on board. A clean reporting procedure and seamless communication with the HR team also help you build a secure work culture. It keeps people in a happy mental space without negative emotions like jealousy and resentment against co-workers.

Preserving the mental well-being of your employees is your responsibility as an employer, and you must go the extra mile to fulfill it. Think beyond the regular initiatives like team bonding practices, employee engagement, and dispute resolution. You must also cover them for unpredictable situations like false allegations by co-workers. The innocent shouldn’t pay for something they haven’t done, no matter how serious the charges against them are. It is your responsibility to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to prove their innocence and that justice is served.

About the author

Elizabeth Brown is a freelance writer covering HR, Law and Business.