The dynamics surrounding workplaces has changed over the years. Various technological advancements and access to education has made roles in offices available to both men and women. But while this change has fostered a new wave of managerial positions, it seems that certain “urges” still need to be cropped out.
The incidence of sexual harassment happening in the office has always been an issue of great concern, and it will continue to be so unless the proper practice and ways to prevent such an event happening is in place. The following tips will help you build a safer work environment for you and your employees.
Educate Employees and New Hires about Sexual Harassment Issues
While some forms of sexual harassment may be a commonsensical scenario, there are still different forms that it can take and without proper sexual harassment in the workplace training, many of these can go unnoticed and in turn be tolerated in the workplace.
Jokes of a sexual nature, innuendos and subtle display of objects with a sexual leaning may cause discomfort among your employees. By orienting people about their negative effects in the company, you’ll be able to tackle them at their root causes. House rules must be strictly implemented highlighting the risks of sexually harassing a co-worker or anyone in the organization
Review Policies and Revise If Necessary
A workplace with a culture of guilt is toxic for anyone. Sexual assault cases can bring a huge impact on the organization and the people working in it. Therefore, it’s good to encourage employees to report any incident regarding sexual harassment to stop it as soon as possible. Also, healthy communication and good leadership in the company can help prevent such incidents.
Your workplace’s culture can greatly contribute to how incidents like this can occur. So right from the start, your organization must instill in its culture an air of respect and openness so as to encourage employees to speak out about this.
Cases of sexual assault can have big repercussions on how you conduct business as well as how your employees trust their superiors and management staff. With this in mind, the full extent of of such an even happening must be reinforced and taken seriously.
Uphold Policy and Make Everyone Accountable
Current reports and trends in the organization will help HR people to stop sexual harassment by simply evaluating existing policies. Managers must ensure their workplace has clearly written policy on such case. It should also be regularly communicated to the entire workforce. New hires should be educated about the policy to maintain safe work environment for everyone.
Respect Claims and Treat Them Seriously
If someone suffers from sexual assault in the company and they report it to the HR representative or any authority, it’s important to hear them and treat their case seriously. Make sure they feel taken care of and you treat them seriously. HR managers should support employees and take claims responsibly.
Victims may feel uncomfortable having to report a colleague regarding this issue, and it can affect them emotionally and manifest physically. It is imperative that they are ensured a safe space to talk about this incident and with the proper individuals.
Inform the Authority and Get their Support
Aside from letting the HR manager know about the situation, it’s best to inform the main authority of the company. Prevention plans when it comes to sexual harassment must be handled by the management. After all, they are the ones who should be responsible in the well-being of the employees.
Harassment, today, doesn’t only mean physical touch. It could also be via social media platforms, mobile devices, or any avenue of communication. HR managers should understand how their employees communicate. That way, it’s easier to implement policies that will help build a safer workplace for all employees and personnel in the organization.