Willis Towers Watson has launched a “respect at work” programme, which is designed to further develop a culture of respect in the workplace and provide additional support for colleagues.
The employee benefits consultancy has appointed a network of guardians who will receive specialist external training, enabling them to offer informal support and guidance to colleagues who want to discuss workplace concerns.
The guardians offer an additional support route for colleagues who witness or experience unlawful harassment, discrimination or inappropriate conduct; a friendly face who is there to listen, talk and engage on any respect at work matter; and the opportunity to discuss options to empower colleagues to tackle the matter themselves, or avenues for additional support.
Nicolas Aubert, head of Great Britain, Willis Towers Watson, said the firm has worked hard to make sure that its working culture is inclusive throughout the business.
“Respect at work is important for all businesses, particularly in the professional and financial services sectors,” he added. “We must demonstrate leadership in driving improvements in culture, ensure the quality of conduct and behaviour within our organisations, and provide clarity of purpose to drive value for clients.”
Although colleagues are encouraged to report matters of harassment, discrimination or inappropriate conduct formally via the whistleblowing channels available, formal procedures can be a barrier, Aubert said.
Willis Towers Watson has also launched a guide to help support and encourage managers to have open discussions about the culture in their team and how a respectful working environment positively impacts the business.