What You Need To Do To Prevent Sexual Harassment In Workplaces

Published 10:46 am Wednesday, May 19, 2021

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Workplaces are ever-changing and diverse. Those who work full-time, part-time, and even flexi-time make the workplace the most exciting and diverse it has ever been. Sometimes when people are working closely with others, allegations may be made, and inappropriate behavior may even take place. Of course, inappropriate behavior is not acceptable and should not be tolerated. Dealing with workplace issues and incidents can be a full-time job, even if you have an HR department. So, what can you do to prevent issues occurring within the workplace, and just why should you focus on prevention instead of resolution?

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Preventing Sexual Harassment

Everyone has the right to work freely and without pressure and prejudice within a workplace. No matter what color or creed, employees deserve the right to be safe, happy, and comfortable within the workplace. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is still very much prevalent in companies of all sizes, and the only way forward is to take preventative steps and preventative measures. Over time with careful monitoring and strict procedures in place, sexual harassment will be a thing of the past, but for the moment, it is a work in progress. As it is a work in progress, you will need to make sure that your workplace implements and introduces procedures to combat and prevent sexual harassment in all shapes and forms.

Put Procedures In Place And Focus On Training

One of the top ways to prevent sexual harassment is to implement adequate training in place together with in-depth procedures. When you have correct and approved training in place, you ensure that you are doing the most that you can for your workplace. Looking at CA sexual harassment training requirements sooner rather than later is important, so do not delay in getting the training all employees need. Once your workplace is adequately trained, it is time to put procedures into place. Having procedures in place will ensure that every person is aware of what needs to happen, when, and where.

Encourage A Fair And Open Workplace

If your workplace is not open, then those affected by harassment will feel they cannot talk about what they are experiencing or going through. When you have an open and fair workplace, you give employees opportunities. Opportunities to speak out, to share what they are going through, and of course, opportunities to get problems and issues rectified as soon as possible. A fair and open workplace for all will create a non-toxic environment to work in which it is positive all around.

Raise Awareness

Some employees are not aware of what they should be doing when sexual harassment is happening, and others may not even be aware of what counts as sexual harassment and what does not. When you raise awareness throughout your whole workplace, you ensure that everyone is aware and awake to what may be going on right under their noses. When you raise awareness, everyone within the workplace will become less tolerant of accepting negative behavior, and this is positive for moving forwards.

Have Clear Reporting Procedures And Processes In Place

When you implement procedures and processes, you must have clear reporting in place. Ensure that everyone within your workplace knows who they report to and why. When you ensure there is responsibility and accountability, people will trust the processes and procedures a lot more. Trust is important at all levels when dealing with sexual harassment.

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Make Sure Everyone Is On Board And Cooperative

At all levels, from leadership and right down to the new starters, all employees and people involved within the business must be cooperative and on board with the changes they need to make. If you have uncooperative employees within the workplace, then you will struggle to make real change and development. It only takes one or two people to hold a whole team back, so take doubts and concerns into consideration but ensure that everyone is working towards the same end goal.

Have A Handbook In Place For Reference

Creating and putting together an employee and workplace handbook will ensure that everyone has a place to go for reference and that they have a place to go when they are unsure or require further assistance. When you have a handbook in place, you ensure that everyone in the workplace has access at all times, and this is important, especially if any incidents occur and a member of staff says, “ I didn’t know we had an employee handbook, or, where is the handbook kept?”

Always Lead By Example – Leaders Matter

At all levels, it has to be made clear that sexual harassment is not on and that it is not accepted. When everyone, even the top leaders, leads by example, they send a message to everyone within the workplace. They send a message that says sexual harassment is not acceptable no matter who, when, or in what circumstance. Good strong leadership will ensure that all members of a workplace know how to model their behavior.

Regularly Review The Procedures In Place

Prevention of problems and issues requires regular monitoring and reviewing. Things are always changing. Change happens so quickly that all documents and procedures must be correct, up to date, and relevant to current laws and legislations. If anything is out of date or perhaps has not been updated for a while, then people will question its validity. When people within your workplace start questioning the authenticity and validity of documents, processes, and procedures, then you have to spend extra time reaffirming what it is your business believes in, follows, and adheres to, and why.

It is no good waiting to put preventative processes and procedures in place; you will gain nothing by waiting. Getting documents produced, verified, and into the core of your business as soon as possible is critical. Preventing negative attitudes and a negative culture from stemming and growing is important. You will find it much easier to get a workplace environment correct sooner rather than later, as change is harder to swallow further down the line. Changing negative and responsibility-free cultures is not something you want to endorse or encourage at any level.