Create a comprehensive policy about sexual harassment
It is quite possible that your firm already has a policy against sexual harassment in place; also, several states have laws that compel businesses to have such a policy. Most states that require firms to have an anti-harassment policy also require that it be determined by a human rights agency, including Connecticut, New York, and Illinois.
A sexual harassment policy describes your company’s attitude on sexual harassment. Click here to read more on a sexual harassment policy. It is a vital document that your workers may turn to if they need to check whether they have been harassed, understand how to make a complaint, or seek some help following an incident of harassment that has occurred at work.
The policy of your company provides you with the chance to show that you and your business take the issue of sexual harassment extremely seriously. Your workers will have an easier time reporting harassment incidents and will have a greater sense of feeling protected when you have an effective policy.
The following is a list of a few items that should be included in your policy to guarantee that it is useful:
- The breadth and meaning of the term “harassment” in the context of the workplace
- The steps that victims of harassment need to take in order to file claims, including the appropriate authorities to contact
- Exemplified and defined in such a way that they cannot be interpreted in any other way
- The corrective measures you will take to address the situation
- The victim will be provided with resources to help them heal.
It is important to provide frequent training on sexual harassment to all workers, regardless of rank. Sexual harassment prevention training is a key element in an anti-harassment policy. The first thing that should be done to avoid sexual harassment is to raise awareness about the problem. California, Delaware, and Massachusetts, for example, have laws requiring businesses to have a policy in place to combat sexual harassment.
In addition, managers and employees working in human resources (HR) have a more significant role in the effort to avoid sexual harassment. If you want to identify and prevent any cases of sexual harassment, you’ll need to teach your managers how to become more proactive about the problem.
Establish reporting protocols that are both transparent and efficient
In every policy and program for the prevention of sexual harassment, establishing transparent reporting mechanisms is an essential component. For the sake of those who have been harassed, there must be a well-defined process for filing reports that will make it simpler for others to do so in the future.
Most individuals find it quite difficult to even bring an occurrence to the attention of authorities. People who would want to act will be dissuaded from doing so if the method is difficult and the directions are unclear.
Establish a clear method for reporting harassment incidents, including who to contact and what to prepare. Listen to each and every complaint and do all you can to restore workers’ faith in you.
Your staff will acquire knowledge through regular training on sexual harassment, the harrassment policy will provide them with a road map they should follow, and showing that you take sexual harassment allegations seriously will reinforce your policy of having zero tolerance (Zero tolerance – Wikipedia) for sexual harassment. It is necessary to reinforce what is deemed sexual harassment by action, now that your workers are aware of what constitutes sexual harassment, how severe it is, and what steps they may take to make a complaint on it.
Develop a relationship of trust with your staff. Don’t allow their identity or the severity of the situation stop them from reaching out to you for support. Act quickly and ensure that you treat each and every complaint with the seriousness it deserves.
Act quickly and in a disciplined manner as the situation warrants
72% of victims of workplace sexual harassment do not come forward to report their experiences. This figure might be affected by a variety of different things, but one of them is clearly the mindset that nothing will ever change.
It is just as crucial to take the necessary disciplinary action as it is to create trust with your staff. Everyone’s concerns count and taking prompt action to address them demonstrates that they do it out of a sense of responsibility and bravery.
If the victim perceives that the offender will not be punished or that the penalty will be delayed for an unreasonable amount of time, they may decide that it is not worth their time to report the incident. This, over time, contributes to the development of a poisonous culture in which sexual harassment has the potential to, sadly, become the norm.
A disciplinary action demonstrates to future offenders that sexual harassment has repercussions in your company. It’s possible that this may dissuade them from harassing you in the future and make them more aware of the consequences of their actions. It may also inspire more victims to come forward, which is the first step toward creating a better and safer working environment.