Combat Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is an issue that many companies still face and take seriously. Here’s what organizations like yours need to know about creating a safe and harassment-free work environment for employees to thrive.

Clear Policies and Procedures

Sexual harassment aversion starts with information. The ethics policies you create should be very clear about your zero tolerance for the unethical behavior. And employees have to first understand the definition of sexual harassment, so they know how to identify it. Then, they need to be instructed and reminded of how to report it. Consider providing written and oral guidelines to foster a secure culture in which all employees feel comfortable.

Empowering Employees to Speak Up

In many instances of sexual harassment, the victim is reluctant to reveal any details to management for fear of retaliation or job loss. Having a variety of reporting options available frees the employee from any reluctance to report. Offering an ethics hotline, for example, encourages the employee to feel safe in reporting sexual harassment.

Training and Education

Knowledge is power, and educating employees is a great first step to putting a stop to sexual harassment once and for all. Regular training sessions, written ethics policies the employees can have at their fingertips for quick reference, and a viable method of communication are all excellent resources. Consider implementing sexual harassment courses and be sure all new hires are included, as well.

Support and Resources

Even with support mechanisms in place, in some cases, it may be difficult to know if the sexual harassment situation has been handled correctly. An unbiased party can be a tremendous source of reassurance and information that staff are headed in the right direction and following policies and procedures. Consider the ethics hotline and third-party reporting support to bring an added layer of resources to your teams.

Accountability and Consequences

Despite best practices, management may still find themselves facing a sexual harassment case. The consequences should already be clearly illustrated in the company policy manual, and those consequences must be executed promptly. The employee in question must be held accountable for their actions, and there is accountability on management’s side as well. Failure to enforce accountability will result in employees losing faith in the reporting system and company management.

Collaboration and Advocacy

Collaboration with external entities, such as an ethics training company, enables management to be proactive within their company in addressing sexual harassment. Advocacy like counseling services, training, or legal advice can empower management and employees to foster inclusivity. And it’s the best way to convey your zero-tolerance policy of sexual harassment on the job.

Launch an Ethics Hotline with Ethical Advocate

Taking steps to implement solid policies and protocols to stop sexual harassment gives employees a sense of belonging and investment in your company. And today’s companies are taking a stand against sexual harassment with an ethics hotline. If your business needs another layer of ethics reinforcements, let Ethical Advocate help you launch an ethics hotline. Contact us today to discuss your current efforts and concerns. And we’ll help you develop a robust ethics policy and hotline initiative everyone in your company can support!