It’s important to remember that employee engagement is more than employees feeling good about the work they do or liking the people with whom they work. It’s about an employee feeling that they have a role in the company or on the team, that they make a difference, and that they aren’t just a cog in the corporate wheel.
Although stories of workplace sexual harassment were pervasive as we closed the last decade, it was uncommon to see any of these cases make it all the way to trial. Early (and confidential) settlements with the accused are the norm, and trials are rare.
There is certainly no “one size fits all” model when it comes to a written employment contract. The agreement doesn’t need to be long or complicated… or “formal”, but it is perhaps naïve in today’s work environment, including in the “gig economy”, to believe that the good natured feelings present at the beginning of the work relationship will always be there, or that you’ll part ways with a temporary or short-term employee on good terms in every instance; or to believe that everyone is in agreement as to just how “independent” the employee is.