6 Tips To Prevent Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

Today, taking the necessary steps toward sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is not only a crucial decision in the legal sense, it is great business sense. If your company is teaming with this type of offensive behavior, then you are setting yourself up for a multitude of lawsuits, not to mention lower job productivity and negative team spirit among your employees. Sexual harassment can take on many forms but the overall ramifications of it are the same in that it creates an unfavorable and discouraging working atmosphere.

Sexual harassment is the most common type of workplace harassment. Studies report more than half of all workers 54 percent have experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace. Its prevalence and damaging effects on an organization’s productivity, morale and culture, employers must try and actively prevent and eliminate sexual harassment in their organizations.

For example, in California, employers that have at least fifty employees are required to make their supervisors undergo sexual harassment training every two years. Many states do not require it, but strongly encourage employers to provide sexual harassment training.

6 Tips To Prevent Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

By far the most efficient weapon against sexual harassment is prevention. There are numerous ways to reduce the risk of sexual harassment in your workplace, and one of the most important steps is to gather together business managers, human resources managers, and other important representatives to create a clear and precise policy for your employee handbook. Devote a considerable amount of space to get your point across so that there is no room for speculation. Some of the finer points to include in your policy are:

1. Define
Describe in detail what sexual harassment means. Give examples, if necessary, of certain situations and places where the offending action may occur, such as work conferences, in the office, etc.

2. Inform
Make it known that sexual harassment is against the law. Employers should first define what constitutes harassment and violence in the workplace so that they can develop a clear, effective policy and training program to prevent or punish offenses.

3. Implement Training Options
Boldly state that your workplace has a strict zero-tolerance stance. Make your anti-harassment policies and procedures evident. Consider your training options. A learning management system delivers a user experience that is accessible. Give your employees an intuitive interface that will keep them coming back for more training, all wrapped in a professionally designed, custom branded style.

4. Develop A Complaint Process
Define the process for filing a complaint and where employees may seek proper help. Online training makes it easy to meet your state’s compliance requirements. If you work in an office building, do not use examples at a construction site, or vice versa. Use multimedia, such as video and audio, to display examples of sexual harassment. If your training is live, have groups of employees discuss different scenarios.

5. Clearly Communicate Policy
Make it known that all complaints will be investigated. Sexual harassment training can trigger employees, as they might have experienced past workplace harassment or know someone else who did.

6. Encourage A Safe Culture 
Describe the disciplinary action that will be taken against those found guilty. Ensure all employees know their rights, legally and within the company, in this situation. Overall, make sure to find a learning program that informs and engages your workplace.

Illustration of a woman uncomfortable with a man leaning over her shoulder at the computer.

After the establishment of the policy, hold a meeting and present it to your employees and staff members. Start by handing out a copy of the new sexual harassment policy to everyone in the company. Then, in order to ensure an understanding of the policy, require everyone to sign and return it to you. Make copies of the policy and display it on bulletin boards, in the company break room, and other areas of high visibility. Make it a definitive part of new employee inductions and hold annual meetings to reiterate the policy and its significance.

Developing An Effective Sexual Harassment Training

Train your supervisors so they will understand the responsibilities that go along with preventing and managing complaints. Supervisors should possess the ability to identify potential problems immediately. In addition, they must also understand how to intervene if the situation should present itself. They should also learn the proper way to handle a complaint after it becomes reported.

The key to creating a great sexual harassment compliance training is creating a curriculum that’s clear, relevant to your office, and promotes a safe dialogue. Have your training include:

  • Establish Company Policy
  • Use Relevant Examples
  • Create A Safe Space
  • Give Instructions

Many well-known companies specialize in training business officials and employees against sexual harassment. These include law firms and risk management consultants. By taking the proper steps, you can play an active role in reducing legal action within your company. Most importantly, however, you will be creating a workplace that is inviting, reputable, and friendly for all employees.

Next Steps

Sexual Harassment for EmployeesSexual Harassment for Managers, and Sexual Harassment Investigation are safety courses offered by KnowledgeCity that you can access instantly.

Ready to start your compliance training? The KnowledgeCity Learning Library offers more than 14,000 online video courses. Each course features interactive exercises that can be easily customized to include your company’s information. Jump start your program today!

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