It is indeed true that sexual harassment is a significant peril in most workplaces. Correctly managing sexual harassment in your organization boosts employee morale, productivity and alleviates costly legal cases. However, effective sexual harassment management involves many strategies such as employee training, policy development, and proper approach towards reported claims.
Sexual harassment is a serious matter in today’s societies, especially at workplaces. Recent polls indicate that 40% of women are sexually harassed at their workplaces. On the flip side, reports also show an increase in the number of sexual harassment cases reported by male workers. This uncouth behavior not only affects an employee’s mental, physical, financial wellbeing, but also the company’s image and financial status. The following are five ways you can implement to tackle sexual harassment in your workplace.
To achieve a harassment-free workplace, you first must develop a clear anti-sexual harassment policy to be followed by all workers. In this policy, clearly define what sexual harassment is and set definitive processes of launching claims and complaints. In short, employees must understand what is required of them and what to do in case of a sexual harassment case. The policy should state measures and punishments that can be taken to offenders. Furthermore, set explicit anti-retaliation provisions in your policy.
Encourage a Respectful Workplace Environment
This is arguably one of the best ways to manage sexual harassment in workplaces. Since sexual harassment is more about power than sex, encouraging a respectful environment at work minimizes the risk of employees abusing their power to intimidate others. You can achieve this by prohibiting the use of profane language, endearment terms (sweetheart, honey, etc.), explicit materials, and inappropriate jokes.
Proper Training on Sexual Harassment
It is crucial to train your employees on sexual harassment at your workplace. Training should focus on the specifics of sexual harassment and behavior. Employees need to learn which actions are termed as harassment and understand related signs, and how to respond to them. A better approach can be hiring professional sexual harassment training nyc company that is well equipped to train your employees. Additionally, you can use training videos that offer great visual representation on inappropriate behavior that employees find unclear from your policy.
Watch Out for Harassment Signs
You need to be vigilant of what is happening at your workplace by watching out for possible sexual harassment signs. Create time to visit your employees at their workstations and find out how they relate with each other. Look out for potentially offensive materials and ask those responsible to remove them. Furthermore, watch out for employee behavior such as increased absenteeism, low productivity, and change in demeanor. This way, you will be able to determine if there is a need to investigate.
Carry Out Full Investigations
You must conduct full investigations after a sexual harassment claim has been presented to you. Failure to do this can lead to legal repercussions as you will be held liable for the continued sexual harassment cases in your company. It is crucial to document and investigate all sexual harassment cases, and this includes conducting interviews, collecting evidence and much more. Consider seeking help from independent investigators if you do not have qualified staff to do this.
Sexual harassment at workplaces is a menace facing many organizations today. Having a proper way to deal with this problem helps in boosting employee morale, productivity, and prevents legal consequences. Use these five ways to deal with sexual harassment at your workplace.