This is the basic right of everyone to be safe, comfortable and vocal while in the workplace. However, things do not go this way all the time. Unfortunately, incidents like sexual harassment are irritatingly common in the workplaces. Worse still, if these nuisances go unchecked, productivity, retention and morale get affected adversely. Here, it is important that all the victims consult with a competent lawyer like sexual harassment attorney, San Diego to fight for their immediate compensation.
We have worked out a few constructive steps to combat sexual harassment and create a better workplace environment for all.
1. Take a neutral review of your current policy
Unluckily, if your current policy is too strict or too lenient, you must take steps to redefine it. Better you create a new policy from a scratch with a much balanced approach, for it has been observed that both the extremes never bring about positive consequences. The victims start following the ‘silence policy’ out of the fear that sharing the incident will bring no fruit.
2. Spotlight the positive behavior and shun the unacceptable
This is quite justified that all positivity must be praised and encouraged so that others may also follow it. It also boosts the morale of the doer and he tends to carry it on and on. However, this attitude is not often observed all around. What commonly happens is the degradation of a bad gesture or behavior publically or individually. No doubt, it is always good to shun and discourage evil, but at the same time, positivity must be appreciated at all levels. Where sexual harassment needs utter rejection and disapproval, a good moral character needs commendation. Doing both things equally well will create a real positive impact.
3. Respect and encourage the reporting preferences
All the victims of the sexual harassment do not report the sad incident to the higher ups. Some do like to report but others do not. Those failing to do so often feel shy or afraid of sharing the repulsive act with others. As an employer, if you encourage those reporting the heinous sexual harassment, it will create a very healthy impact overall. Here, it is also highly advisable for employers to make it easy for the employees to report sexual harassment promptly. They should be given the option to tell in person, on phone, via e-mail or through a third party if they think it proper.
4. Be inclusive in your approach
Sexual harassment, though mostly confined to women alone, also target men at times. There may also be both the traditional and non-traditional ways of sexual harassment being used. Sometimes, even the severe cases of sexual harassment remain unreported just because of the gender discrimination. It is, therefore, very much important for the employers to be inclusive in their approach towards messaging or dealing the issues by any means. This will inculcate confidence in the employees that everyone can report sexual harassment and that it is never acceptable to the employers regardless of age and gender. They will have the trust that the issue will be handled indiscriminately no matter whosoever the victim is.
5. Manage the training sessions
Employers must manage interactive teaching and training sessions to help bridge the experience gap for employees. These sessions will not only give a clear idea of how serious sexual harassment is but also boost the confidence and trust of the victims to share their feelings and discuss their personal experience openly before their colleagues and higher-ups. The employers may also manage role playing exercises or hire some actors to play act common scenarios as well. This will train the employees about what to do if some similar situation unfolds itself in their workplace. On top of, the strongest message will be conveyed if the employers share some of their experiences of sexual harassment happened to them at some stages of their personal lives, and also how they reported the sad and tragic incident to their employers then.
6. Respond to sexual harassment publically
Keeping what should be made public behind the closed doors always creates a negative impact on those who are already shy of telling or discussing the things openly. Gruesome incidents like sexual harassment do cast a slur upon the good name of a company or office, but it is better to face some short term embarrassment for the sake of a better outcome in the long run. Besides, responding to a negative act publically or openly proves a deterrent to others. It clearly gives a message that you and your company never tolerate sexual harassment.