You have to have been in a coma over the past weeks not to realize sexual harassment continues to be an issue in the workplace. A number of high profile individuals have had sexual harassment claims asserted against them. Some individuals have lost high paying jobs. This tells us sexual harassment claims are alive and well despite well intended policies and training.
Studies suggest the most important thing you can do to avoid sexual harassment at your workplace is establish a culture wherein sexual harassment will not be tolerated. Employees have to believe you mean it. Once you establish the culture, implement appropriate policies and train employees on what is expected of them. This should lead to a workplace free of sexual harassment claims.
How do you create a harassment-free workplace?
1. Write an anti-harassment policy. Define the harassment broadly and prohibit it.
2. Make it easy to report harassment. Include the reporting process in your anti-harassment policy.
3. Train your employees on what is expected of them. Provide the training frequently.
4. Enforce the policy.
5. Carefully monitor your workplace at all levels for possible harassment.
Creating a culture of not tolerating sexual harassment in the workplace should lead to a harassment-free work environment.