Sexual Harassment Prevention Methods
Did you know?
One in three people admit to having been sexually harassed at work in the US. This number doesn’t even encompass those who have experienced sexual harassment but are uncomfortable discussing the events.
Sexual Harassment is a gender-neutral offense and affects thousands of individuals every year. In 2016, there were 6,758 sexual harassment charges filed with the EEOC.
Not sure how to approach such a severe problem?
Ideally, the best approach to eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace is prevention. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. SIA Group is here to provide your organization with steps to reduce, manage and hopefully eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace.
First, all organizations should adopt a clear Sexual Harassment Policy. This should include topics such as:
- What is Sexual Harassment?
- What is the procedure for individuals filing complaints?
- How will you investigate complaints you receive?
- What will be the repercussions for any wrongdoers?
- What is your retaliation policy?
Second, training is a vital component. It allows you to review your sexual harassment policies with employees and clear up any misunderstandings or questions they may have. This also allows you to address harassment issues that previously remained dormant.
Training your employees will also allow you to determine the effectiveness of your program.
- Are all elements of your policy understood by employees?
- Do your employees understand what constitutes as sexual harassment?
While it’s important to train all employees, don’t forget to specifically tailor training to those in leadership positions. It is important to ensure your supervisors and managers are equipped to receive and properly investigate claims. These individuals play a huge part in the success of your policies and will be the ones to ensure your policies are executed correctly.
Are you confident these individuals have the training necessary to successfully implement your company’s procedures?
A policy without authority will not be beneficial to your company or your employees. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Have they previously demonstrated the correct procedure when dealing with a complaint?
- Did they take all complaints seriously and act immediately?
If you answered “No” to the above, consider the effectiveness of your training.
Are these issues because the individual did not understand the required procedures?
Review your training materials and the frequency in which you conduct training. You should also consider whether or not the leader charged with these responsibilities is a good fit for the role. If he or she does not have the sensitivity needed for these duties, consider alternative individuals for this responsibility.
These policies have the ability to save your company’s reputation and spare you from the large financial burdens associated with harassment claims. Not only can these steps potentially reduce legal fees, but you will also reduce the costs associated with employee turnover, recruiting, and lost productivity that all result from Sexual Harassment.
While we can never make any guarantees, SIA Group is here to protect your company and employees. Ask us how we can help with your policy and training needs.