What HR Managers Need to Know About Sexual Harassment

Of the many ethics policies your company supports and safeguards, sexual harassment prevention may be one of the most important. Today’s HR managers are charged with creating positive work environments that extend beyond the traditional workspace. Employee types are different, and collaborations are even more dynamic. And it all makes it more challenging to spot concerns. Here’s what HR managers today need to know about sexual harassment. And learn how an ethics hotline can improve your prevention efforts.

Understanding the Types of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment may present in a variety of ways. HR managers need to know how to identify each before taking steps to investigate, mitigate, or remedy the scenarios. There are two pillar categories of sexual harassment that include quid pro quo harassment and a hostile work environment. Further, there are three core types of sexual harassment, each with its own series of examples.

Verbal Sexual Harassment

· Requesting or demanding sexual favors

· Using sexually explicit language

· Telling inappropriate sexual jokes

· Commenting on someone’s appearance

· Speaking in a sexual tone

· Using sexually suggestive nicknames

Non-Verbal Sexual Harassment

· Exposing oneself

· Blocking a hallway or doorway

· Blowing kisses or winking

· Sharing sexually-toned or explicit videos

· Staring, following, or stalking

Physical Contact

· Any form of unwanted touching

· Patting, grabbing, or rubbing

· Hugging or kissing

Recognizing a Need for Ongoing Training

You’ll want to recognize that sexual harassment prevention has to involve ongoing training initiatives to continuously educate staff about how to spot, handle, and report instances of harassment. Typically, people respond first by ignoring the behavior. They might then try to handle the situation themselves or tell friends and family about it. As a last resort, victims will report incidents to their supervisors or contact an attorney.

Your company should provide staff-wide training about sexual harassment, not only to help everyone understand the definitions but also to outline precise measures and steps to take to respond. The frequency and effectiveness of your training will ensure all team members feel empowered to prevent and report incidents.

Knowing How to Respond

HR managers should have robust and transparent steps in place to follow should there be reported incidents of sexual harassment. Make investigation steps and protocols standard for consistent results. Look for ways to stop unwanted behaviors before they translate into more serious offenses. And train supervisors on how to act and react to any and all reports of sexual harassment. It’s also worth noting that layers of informal and formal responses can all be part of your solutions.

An Ethics Hotline Is Your Added Layer of Prevention

Having a better grasp of sexual harassment concepts will ensure your HR teams are in a better position to manage and prevent these unwanted instances. And as an added layer of prevention, an ethics hotline provides a safe and anonymous channel for reporting unsavory behavior at any level of your organization.

Keep these insights handy as you look to improve your methods of sexual harassment prevention. And let Ethical Advocate be your guide for implementing an ethics hotline as part of your sexual harassment mitigation strategy.