An organization, no matter how well designed, is only as good as the people who live and work in it. Dee Hock

More and more the line between work and home is merging. The days of the nine to five are well and truly over. In fact, for many of us, the only time we truly switch off is on a plane, and even then there is talk of planes having WiFi; now, I am not going to get into whether or not that is a good idea; but it really is the only time employees are free to say ‘I cannot be contacted’. There are international conference calls at all hours of the night and day, because we live and operate in a modern world and we accept this as the reality of modern business.

Any successful business knows the truth of Dee Hocks’ words, “a business is as good as the people it employs“. So, with business life increasingly flowing into home and home life flowing into business, the wellbeing of a company’s staff is tantamount to productivity and a successful company culture. Most companies have Workplace Harassment and Bullying Policies, Mental Health Training, and some are implementing Mental Health First Aid. And they are doing this because they know it makes good business sense to take care of the most important part of their business – the human part.

For me, both as a survivor and a business woman, it is heartening to see so many companies embracing the need for a Workplace Domestic Violence Policy. We have spent far too many years hiding behind the myth of ‘what goes on behind closed doors should stay behind closed doors’. The wind of change is blowing through corporate Australia, and I believe there is real power in that wind. If the people with the largest level of power and influence in this country embrace this change, then it is a good thing for all of us.

BUT – and it is a big but; this change needs to come with more than just a policy document in HR. Change needs to come with training, so employees can benefit from it fully. It is with this in mind that I spent the last year creating a training program that:

  • embraces diversity,
  • is non-biased and most importantly
  • is objective with the complexities of both domestic violence and business in mind.

I truly believe companies that engage in both policy creation and training on this issue will not only avoid the costs involved in productivity and company culture, but will be ahead of the curve. And by being ahead of the curve? They will be seen as the true leaders and changemakers, who are willing to look after their people in the most effective way.

We need to understand one key message; this issue is not going away. Pandora’s Box is open, and realistically, has been open for a long time. By accepting this truth, businesses can openly embrace these policies and training as part of their social awareness.

This is not reinventing the wheel, it is simply an evolution and good sense. It is adding common sense, necessary policies and training that will benefit the business and its people as a whole.

I am proud and willing to be ahead of the curve, and to be associated with corporations who sit there with me, because when it comes to business, it is the most effective place to be.