How Coercive Control Can Impact in the Workplace

As an employer, how would you recognise if an employee is suffering a form of domestic abuse such as Coercive Control. The chances are you have had employees who have been experiencing this form of abuse and this has impacted them in the workplace but not been recognised, even by the employee themselves. In addition to this, some employees could be perpetrating coercive, controlling behaviour towards an intimate partner and using your workplace resources to carry out this abuse.

Many employees see their work place as a Safe Space and I am passionate about supporting businesses who care about their Corporate Social Responsibility to fully ensure this. What can your business do to send out a key message that violence and abuse will not be tolerated? For example, do you have a domestic abuse or stalking policy in place? How would you be able to support an employee?

What is Coercive Control?
It is behaviour that a perpetrator uses to control their intimate partner such as serious threats, manipulation, tracking movements, monitoring phones and other devices and isolation tactics. A more detailed definition is given on the Home Office website: https://bit.ly/2I8gQeo (page 3), along with the following quote, which sadly, is all too true;

“Not only is coercive control the most common context in which [women] are abused, it is also the most dangerous” Evan Stark (2007) Coercive Control. How Men Entrap Women in Personal Life. New York: Oxford University Press.

Controlling or coercive behaviour is identified as a form of violence against women and girls and is underpinned by wider societal gender inequality (Home Office website – link above, page 7).

However, Coercive Control can be perpetrated within any intimate relationship such as female towards male and in same sex relationships. This is portrayed very well in a recent collaboration organised by the High Sheriff of Dorset, Dorset Police and Bournemouth University Film students with their three highly emotive productions which can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/2pwjS0s #cutyourstrings

How is this relevant to the workplace?
Unfortunately, domestic abuse will follow a person into the workplace and impact on them, their work colleagues and ultimately the business. Coercive Control is now a criminal offence under the Serious Crime Act 2015, where two or more behaviours are identified. If similar behaviours (and/or using workplace resources) are carried out against a work colleague, these would be classed as bullying and/or harassment. Employers have a legal and moral duty towards their employees and need to be aware of the risks i.e. breach of policies such as:
• The Equality Act
• Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 & the Management of Health & Safety at Work
• Employment rights Act 1996
• Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

Having an awareness of all forms of domestic abuse can help reduce the risk of harm, not only to individuals but also to your business.

There are many ways Coercive Control can impact on an employee and in the workplace;
• Financial Abuse, lack of money for lunch, travel or work expenses
• Monitoring phones, emails, social media
• Limiting access to transport, travel to work
• Changes in behaviour/appearance
• Changing work patterns/shifts/routines
• Absent or off sick frequently
• Criminal damage to company car, laptops, phones, uniforms to prevent their partner from going to work or continuing to work

Unfortunately, this list just touches the surface and I’m sure as employers you will recognise some of these but maybe not identify it as Coercive Control. Are you aware of the barriers that may exist within your business which prevent employees from disclosing and seeking support? The risks are increased if the intimate relationship ends but the behaviour continues, which can then lead to Stalking https://bit.ly/2rdwVpf

A recent article in the Daily Echo https://bit.ly/2JPS2Vk states that more than six cases of stalking in Dorset are being reported each day, double the cases from 2015, therefore Coercive Control needs to be taken seriously by employers.

Further information can be found via www.safespaceconsultancy.org

It’s Spring! Time to prune your website

Even if your business website was perfect when it went live, is it designed for growth?

Websites, a bit like gardens, need to be well-kept, pleasing to browse round and well signposted, so that people can get to what they need and see the great stuff you want them to see.

Unfortunately over time websites can become overgrown, especially those who have several members of staff working on them from different areas of the company.

Your website will naturally grow as your staff add content to it – sometimes branching out in all directions! It may become unwieldy and “hard to see the wood from the trees”. Sometimes you need someone with an outside perspective to take a look. To identify what it is you want to push to the front – and what might need a sharp snip at the base.

Or the opposite may be true, your website might be neglected or thirsty due to lack of attention – looking jaded or sparse with nothing blossoming.

The larger the company and its website, the more it needs some special care every now and then.

Here’s a quick sample checklist for a Spring Review:

  • Has your company outgrown its website by a few years?
  • Do you know how many of your staff actually update your website?
  • When was your last blog post or news item – does your website look dated and un-cared for?
  • Do you know how many people use it and which pages they view? Or measure whether your social media activity is actually driving customers to your website?
  • Do you know how many broken links your company website has?
  • Can your web visitors clearly find your most important and topical products, offers, events – or signposts to them – from every page they may land on? Remember although a homepage is designed as the main gateway, very often your visitors will land on other pages from search results. Are they still getting a good picture of your business?
  • Does your main menu at the top of the page still make sense to your customers – or does the structure of your website need changing?

There are of course lots of other points to consider.

But your business website is your global shop-window and you don’t want your customers to feel neglected or tangled up in overgrown, out-dated information.


With 15+ years of experience with large websites, I’m available to give you advice and hands-on help with maintaining and managing your website content. I also design and build websites for local businesses using WordPress.

I’m here (with shears at the ready) so contact me if you need some help making your website look great and work beautifully again.

Read more about my web content services.

Social media: Let’s focus on engagement

How important is fan growth to you and your organisation. Is it still the top priority, the right priority and the key metric you report back on?

If you want your followers or like count to increase you can if you wish pretty much buy them. But you’re likely buying bulk likes from people who don’t even have any interest in your brand or product. So why bother?

At e-nexus we believe that fan growth doesn’t matter if your audience isn’t engaging with your content. You can have as many followers as you like but if what you post gets no engagement, your followers have very little value for you, your organisation or your brand.

Focus on engagement rather than the number of followers

Whatever your social media objective, engagement is a far more important and useful metric. For example the level of engagement influences the probability of and the numbers of your audience who will see (referred to as reach) your content in their news feeds.

One important example of engagement is shares. Shares influence how many people see your posts.  Recent changes to Facebook News Feeds prioritise content that comes from family and friends over content posted by fan pages. Therefore it is essential to create content that your audiences will want to share with their own networks.

Another critical but currently often neglected component is reactions. Facebook has updated its news feed algorithm again, this time with an emphasis on your audiences use of ‘reactions’. The social network now prioritises reactions over “likes” when ranking your News Feed. According to the company, a reaction is a stronger indicator that you want to see similar posts to ones you like.

Monitor others

Don’t forget to monitor the social media engagement that your competitors are gaining as this can provide a useful benchmark over your social posts performance. Don’t just look at the posts but aim to delve deeper by splitting the monitoring of both organic and paid posts. If your competitors out perform you on their organic posts then it would suggest that their content resonates well with their audiences thus boosting their reach for ‘free’.

For more ideas on how to transform your marketing visit our e-nexus blog at http://www.measure4success.wordpress.com

Data, what data?

The digital revolution means that you can now access more data and insight than ever before to understand the impact of your marketing. With so much being available for free and at a click of a button there are now real opportunities for you to better measure your marketing.

Through our day to day work we still support companies that feel they have no or very little data or insight. For many of these businesses we go on a journey of discovery, helping them to think about their needs. We work with them to identify what data and insight they actually have, what they need as well as how it can be captured and stored – and yes at times that includes uncovering all the data and insight stored in numerous note books, diaries, excel spreadsheets, business card holders and even their own heads.

So if you think you are marketing data and insight poor or want to better measure the performance of your marketing consider some of the following to build your knowledge and understanding:

• Website analytics – many websites have some form of analytics platform linked to them so you can understand where your visitors are coming from and how they interact with your site.

• Social media analytics – these will tell you a lot about the types and levels of engagement you are receiving from your posts. Platforms like Facebook will also give you some demographic data so you can be sure you are reaching the correct people.

• Email – platforms like Mailchimp will tell you how many people open your emails, how high or low your bounce rates are and your click through rate to your website. If you A/B test your emails you’ll also get a much clearer idea of what type of content or subject headlines work better with your audience.

• Voice of the customer – such things as feedback from your customers as well as interviews and survey ratings will give you a clear view of what they think of your product offering or service levels.

• Competitive intelligence – It’s important to monitor the performance of others. For example monitoring the social media engagement that your competitors are gaining can be a useful benchmark for the performance of your own social posts.

• Sales data – understanding what and how frequently your customers are buying from you is key. What channels are they reaching you to make that purchase – is it via your website, retail outlet or exhibition stand?

• Customer churn rate – establish how many customers are cutting ties with you over a given time. Monitoring your churn rate is the first step in understanding how good you are at retaining customers and identifying what actions might result in a higher retention rate.

• Your top customers – sounds simple but identify which customers drive the most profit your business. When you can look at a single list and see your main customers you have the power to identify the unique characteristics of this group and work on attracting more.

• Cost of acquisition – calculate how much you spend in acquiring leads and turning these leads into new clients. How does that differ using different channels? The key here is that the fees you charge need to at least cover your associate costs.

• And finally conversations with customers – always a great place to start

Need some help on where to start with your data and insight gathering?

At e-nexus we undertake marketing audits where we’ll work with you to identify your data and insight needs, what you already have access to and how you can begin to fill the gaps. Just email us at info@e-nexus.co.uk and we’ll organise a time to meet.