How to Prevent Sexual Harassment at Work
Sadly, sexual harassment is something that still happens today. In Maryland, thousands of people are affected by sexual violence annually, some dealing with harassment on the street or even in the workplace. As such, prevention programs like the RSAPP have been created, while victims also have the option of hiring a Baltimore sexual harassment attorney to help them get compensation.
If you own a business, you should prevent sexual harassment from happening altogether. Situations like this endanger employees, making it hard for them to focus on their work, and could also traumatize them. How can you prevent sexual harassment at work and make sure that none of your employees has to suffer?
Let’s take a look at some ways you can do this.
- Train Your Employees
One of the best things you can do for sexual harassment protection at work is to train your employees. You should do this at least once a year.
Training should include different sessions where your employees learn about sexual harassment and why nobody should ever have to experience this type of harassment at work or anywhere else.
The staff should also be informed about the types of behaviors that will not be tolerated at the workplace. They should also be aware that there will be severe punishments if they do not respect these rules and may even lose their job. Workers should be told that there are ways to report incidents and that anyone who violates the policies will be held responsible.
Ideally, the principles and policies should be communicated frequently. So, if you can, you should ensure that even smaller meetings and internal company communications remind people of the policies. Moreover, the communications should be made by the leaders, but should also come from top executives and other members of the team.
Managers and supervisors must also be trained. You should conduct at least annual training sessions with them, and they need to be separate from the sessions employees go through. Managers and supervisors should be educated on sexual harassment and told how complaints could be handled.
- Make Sure Employees Know How to Report Sexual Harassment
Employees should have access to various confidential reporting channels that they can use to report anyone who abuses others sexually. People who aren’t confident about filing a report may feel better with reporting channels being available.
All employers should implement channels using case management software so they can make sure their workers always feel protected and know they will be listened to. Although the investigation can be a bit more challenging with these channels, talking to someone who did not disclose their identity can help build more trust – therefore, more information may be revealed.
- Try to Look for Answers Yourself
Even if you take all the necessary steps and offer training and various ways for employees to report sexual harassment, some may still not be confident enough to come forward and file a report. So, you should not wait for employee reports to find out whether there is a problem in your company or not.
In the annual employee engagement survey, add various questions to discover whether any member of the staff has been a sexual harassment victim or if they have seen something like this happening to other workers. If the answer is “Yes” to any of these scenarios, ask if they’ve reported the incidents and if they haven’t, ask them why they didn’t do it.
This way, you will find out how effective the reporting program of the company is and what you have to do to improve it.
- Take Action If Problems Arise
Whenever you find out about a sexual harassment issue, you should take action. Not doing anything about potential problems will allow the harasser to keep going. It will also make the victims lose trust and stop reporting any incident. In return, this can affect your business too.
Therefore, take swift action when issues emerge so employees feel safe in the workplace. This will also make them feel confident that something will be done if they report sexual harassment.
Nobody should experience sexual harassment. If you are the leader of an organization, it’s important to take measures so nobody has to experience such things. Start training your employees and make reporting methods available, allowing everyone to communicate anything they experience or see.
Also, if anything is reported, you should always take action to stop any abuse, protect your workers, and ensure no harasser is working for your company.