Stop Harassment Before It Happens: Protecting Your Employees

This has been a year of harassment in the headlines, with high profile cases of sexual and other employee harassment. People are more aware than ever of these issues in the workplace, and of their frequency.

How do you make sure that harassment will not become an issue at your company? Stop it before it happens. Here are 5 tips to help you protect your employees.

Have firm policies in place

Companies need to make it clear that harassment will not be tolerated. The first step is to have anti-harassment policies in place. If you don’t have these policies currently in written form, they should be developed. If you do have them, revise them to be up-to-date.

The policies need to put in writing your company’s commitment to a fair and equal workplace. It needs to specify what harassment is, what the steps are to report it if it is experienced, and how cases will be dealt with.

If harassment ever does happen, the company needs to follow the policies.

Set the tone from the top

Many recently reported cases of harassment have made it clear that a culture of harassment can develop if harassment takes place or is tolerated at higher levels of the organization.

As a result, be sure to set a tone from the top that harassment will not be tolerated. Set a tone of respect for all employees throughout the company. Set up a culture of compliance with norms that consider harassment intolerable.

Have personnel in place to deal with harassment

It’s a good idea to have human resources staff in place to deal with harassment. It helps to send the message that harassment is a serious issue and that there is a place to go if employees witness or experience harassment.

Train managers effectively

Sexual and other forms of harassment can be difficult and complicated to deal with. Don’t leave your managers on their own to set up measures to protect their team.

Set up training for managers. Training should include clear guidelines on what harassment is, what to do if a manager sees it, and what to do if a complaint is received.

Train employees

Set up a training program for your employees as well. It could be part of onboarding employees or a separate set of trainings. Like managers, employees need to know clear guidelines on what harassment is and what it isn’t. They need to be reassured that treatment of all employees will be respectful.

Let them know the steps to take if they are harassed or see a coworker being harassed.

How a Staffing Firm Can Help Your Business

Need to develop or implement a harassment or other policy? Staffing firms can help. We can also help you with hiring plans, recruitment, and staffing plans. We’re happy to help. Contact us today.