How to Combat Sexual Harassment in the Office

Unfortunately, sexual harassment is prevalent in many offices around the world. A study showed that a staggering 81% of women and 43% of men experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime, and these are not numbers to be proud of. Just because it is often experienced doesn’t mean it should be tolerated.

This is why compliance training for employees must cover sexual harassment. But besides that, there are other measures you, as a business owner or leader, must do to combat this issue in your office.

From compliance training by True Office Learning down to setting a great example, here are the crucial tips to follow in combatting sexual harassment in the office.

  1. Understand the Definition

All the staff must understand what sexual harassment means. Here are some of the definitions you must share with your employees:

  • Unwanted jokes, gestures, unwelcome comments, and offensive words
  • Touching and other bodily contact like patting one’s back, grabbing someone by the waist, and the like
  • Repeated requests for dates that were rejected or unwanted flirting
  • Posting pictures or emails of sexual and harassment-related content
  • Displaying sexually suggestive pictures, posters, and items
  • Playing sexually suggestive music or videos
  1. Incorporate Proper Training

Make sure that you start mandating regular and ongoing sexual harassment training for your employees and supervisors if you haven’t yet. Provide refresher training courses annually or as needed, and make sure that all employees and supervisors attend and stay engaged.

  1. Create Policies

An organization must publish policies regarding sexual harassment at work, ensuring all employees and supervisors are familiar with them. Such policies must include procedures on whistleblowing and reporting instances.

  1. Raise Awareness

The most effective way to prevent any issue from arising is through awareness. Everyone aware of behaviors that can be interpreted as sexual harassment will less likely to behave as such and will notice any form of harassment.

  1. Have Reporting Procedures

All employees need to feel comfortable as they report any behavior seen as sexual harassment, such as if they feel uncomfortable or witness any team member being harassed.

Besides that, make sure that you focus on staff welfare during review meetings and appraisals. You shouldn’t only review employee performance and achievements, but allow employees to report people who have made them or other team members feel uncomfortable in the workplace.

  1. Deal with Concerns and Allegations Right Away

If an employee raises a concern about sexual harassment, then you must deal with it immediately. This is why you must set clear procedures so you can allow the concern to be raised efficiently.

It is worth having a dedicated person to review such allegations, which is usually an HR person. That way, everyone is assured that such issues are dealt with promptly and that the organization is dedicated to resolving the issue with zero tolerance for sexual harassment.

Wrapping It Up

Make sure you follow all these tips and make your workplace a safer one for everyone.