Every organization, regardless of its nature and size, needs to take proactive measures to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Otherwise, the management can face liability for its failure to address an important concern. There is a need to implement reasonable actions to prevent harassment and respond to it when it happens. In this article, we’ll list down the best measures an organization needs to undertake to prevent sexual harassment.
- Train the Employees
One of the most important is to implement compliance training. This can be done through using different channels to inform and educate the employees, such as compliance blogs, e-learning software, and classroom-based training, among other approaches. This teaches the members of the workforce about the legal repercussions of any act of sexual harassment. The training also informs the employees about the steps to undertake in case they are a victim of sexual harassment.
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- Publish a Policy Handbook
To prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, it is not enough that you train the employees. It would be best to have everything in writing, which is why you need to publish a handbook that stipulates the policies regarding general and sexual harassment. It should also indicate the policies on how the management conducts the investigation. More importantly, the handbook must identify the consequences of sexual harassment to prevent employees from committing such an act.
- Emphasize the Role of Managers and Supervisors
The managers and supervisors are the ones in the frontline of managing the welfare of the employees, so they need to have an active role in preventing sexual harassment. They are responsible for implementing a positive work culture, an environment where there is no room for harassment. They should be firm on their actions, especially in terms of punishing those who are guilty of committing sexual harassment, even if it is a person who is a member of the top management.
- Respond Appropriately
It is crucial to respond appropriately to any complaints of sexual harassment. This needs to be done as soon as the employee files a complaint. If not given proper attention, the perpetrator will not be punished accordingly, and the problem will just keep on happening within the organization. It is important to not brush off any complaint, regardless of how small it seems.
- Employees Should Be Aware of Their Responsibilities
The management is not the only one responsible for addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. The employees need active involvement as well. They should understand the policies of the organization. They need to know what constitutes harassment. If possible, they should confront the perpetrator if his or her actions are already being offensive. A personal resolution strategy is the best approach. However, if things go south, they should already involve management.
There is no room for sexual harassment in the workplace. The management and the employees should work together to create a positive work culture where no one has to suffer from harassment in any form.