5 Tips to Prevent Workplace Harassment
1. Set up a distinct, zero-tolerance, anti-harassment policy
Implement a zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment and encourage employees to come forward to report misconduct –even if members of the top management are implicated. Employees at all levels should have confidence that they can report workplace harassment without fear of penalty and be assured that their complaints will be taken seriously. The policy should have multiple avenues for reporting, so employees can go to their manager, human resources, or other trusted company leaders when problems arise. Also, Implement an anonymous reporting software Your Safe Hub to encourage reporting by employees who may be uncomfortable making a complaint directly.
2. Implement training and awareness programs for your employees
Educate and train all employees about sexual harassment, including managers and CEOs, without exception. Remind them that law can and do grant damages not only against the company but also against the harasser. If needed, provide training in multiple short sessions to accommodate executives’ busy schedules. Top-level Management has tremendous potential to influence the company’s culture and expectations and their visible participation in training will send a message that the company and its leaders are serious about harassment issues.
3. Create specialized training for managers and supervisors
The people in charge of managing employees should behave impeccably in all workplace situations. Furthermore, they must be skilled in acknowledging when harassment occurs and clarifying that such behavior can’t be tolerated under any circumstances. This includes being trained sufficiently so they are aware of complaints of harassment, as well as understanding that either men or women can provoke or become a victim of illegal or highly inappropriate activities.
4. Build a culture where harassment is unlikely to take place
Inspire employees to report harassment, even if they are not the ones being harassed or if the harassment did not occur on the company’s premises. In such a culture, demeaning or intimidating actions have no place, and those in charge assume the responsibility of endlessly communicating their faithfulness to ensuring work in their surroundings free of harassment.
5. Set up a system and ensure everyone understands the process for reporting a complaint
Take all complaints seriously, analyze and act right away, talk to all with the complaining employee, and document all your efforts – regardless of the position of those involved. Try to maintain discreetness, but ensure that employees know that some facts may need to be shared to thoroughly investigate and address the issues raised by the complaint. If the investigation proves the allegations, take immediate action to make sure that it doesn’t happen again and overlook such practices or fail to take befitting action because the assailant is a company leader. In order to terminate the fear of being outed, establish anonymous channels of communications to issue or submit the complaints. Implement Your Safe Hub in your organization for reporting purposes, a special communication channel that protects such employees with the power of anonymity.