What are your thoughts when you start your day at work? Do you think about all the tasks you need to tick off your to-do list? Or maybe you think of all the meetings you have planned for the day and how you will prepare for them? These are entirely normal thoughts to have, right? Especially when you are starting your day at work. And you might reckon that all your colleagues will have the same ideas. But it’s possible that’s not always the case.
Some of your coworkers may begin the workday with a different set of worries. And these concerns are way more severe than just planning for a meeting. These might arise from sexual harassment issues that your fellow employees face daily. Indeed, you might feel disgusted by the thought that someone in your workplace is making you feel so unsafe and also possibly violating you, but there are enough instances today that presents a rather grim picture. No one wants to feel threatened and insecure, especially not sexually harassed in their workplace. And that is why we must understand what sexual harassment in the workplace looks like. So that you can protect yourself and possibly save someone at your workplace from such predatory behaviors. This article will examine what constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace and how you can protect and warn your employees from such crimes.
Understanding sexual harassment in the workplace.
A workplace is a place that an employee visits during their employment. This can be both organized and unorganized. It doesn’t always have to be a physical location like an office. It can also constitute a mode of transportation that the employer offers. Sexual harassment in any of these places can be considered sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment in the workplace can manifest in many ways. And this includes both overtly sexual actions or even subtle remarks made by one employee to another. Some obvious instances of sexual harassment in the workplace can consist of-
- Inappropriate and unwelcome touching or sexual advances (be it verbal or non-verbal)
- Showing pornography
- Passing sexually coloured remarks
- Demanding sexual favours
It is important to keep in mind that not all instances of sexual harassment fall into the categories described above. It can range from mild transgressions to even sexual abuse or sexual assault. Although women are most at risk of such crimes, it doesn’t mean it cannot occur with employees of other genders. An employee might experience sexual harassment once or multiple times during employment. But it is crucial that anytime they bring such a complaint up, they are taken seriously, and swift action is taken against offenders.
Strategies to aid employees with sexual harassment behaviour in the workplace
As a responsible employee or even a manager, it is your legal and moral obligation to report cases of sexual harassment and take the right action against it. Here are some strategies you can implement in your workplace to warn your employees about the dangers of sexual harassment.
Making your company’s policy against sexual harassment clear
During the onboarding process, and even after that, you must explain to each of your employees their rights in case they ever experience sexual harassment at the workplace. In addition, you need to clearly lay down the policies of your company and the legal repercussions of such instances and regularly update your staff in case any changes are made to the policies or laws surrounding the issue.
Make your management accountable.
As management or even as part of the Human Resources department, you must take cases of sexual harassment seriously. You do not want your employees to feel unheard and undervalued. Therefore make it extremely clear to the management that such claims are to be met with the strictest consequences.
Keep training processes positive.
Indeed, the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace is a complex topic to discuss. But that doesn’t mean you must scare your employees with legal terms. Likewise, don’t bog down your staff with scary legal consequences, as it might discourage victims from coming forward. Instead, use a holistic approach to the issue, and create a safe space for your employees.
Create an awareness group
Instead of just making your management responsible for tackling the cases of sexual harassment, try and encourage your employees to form a group. A group where other employees will feel safe to bring up issues surrounding the topic.
Take the right and timely decisions.
It is essential, as an enterprise, to value your employees, which is why timely actions must be taken against offenders in the event a sexual harassment case is brought to the notice by the management. It is also essential that the information about the victim of such a crime is kept confidential to protect them.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is an unfortunate reality of the modern world. It reflects poorly on the company’s reputation, demoralizes employees, and negatively affects the victim’s mental health. Therefore, it is essential that you take strict action in light of such instances as well as warn your employees against such potential dangers. Furthermore, employees will only be able to report such crimes if they are educated on such issues.