Every day, people are harassed at work. It is important to recognize that harassment has a significant impact on the safety and morale of an organization. Leaders can take steps to create a harassment-free workplace by establishing clear rules for acceptable behavior, providing training about what constitutes sexual harassment and how to report it, ensuring that complaints are handled promptly and fairly, taking appropriate corrective action when necessary, and creating a culture where employees feel safe from abuse or retaliation in the workplace. Here are 6 ways leaders can create a harassment-free workplace:
Establishing clear rules for acceptable behavior: Leaders need to set clear expectations for behavior in the workplace. In addition, they need to be sure that their employees are aware of these rules and understand what is considered appropriate or inappropriate.
Providing training about what constitutes sexual harassment and how to report it: Leaders need to understand the law and communicate that information so employees can easily digest it. They also need access to resources for reporting incidents of harassment, such as an internal hotline or website with links to external resources.
Ensuring that complaints are handled promptly and fairly: Leaders need to be sure there is a process for reporting incidents of harassment or discrimination. They also need to ensure employees know what the policy says about reporting these incidents, such as whether an incident needs to be reported immediately after it happens.
Taking appropriate corrective action when necessary: Leaders need to be aware of the organizational culture and create an environment where employees feel safe. Leaders also need to make sure their organization takes corrective action when necessary, such as providing training about what constitutes sexual harassment if incidents occur or disciplining/terminating employees who engage in inappropriate behavior.
Creating a culture where employees feel safe from abuse or retaliation in the workplace: Leaders need to ensure that their employees know they are valued and respected. They also need to create an atmosphere of trust by fostering open dialogue and maintaining transparency about handling issues.
Creating a harassment-free work environment is everyone’s responsibility. Leaders are responsible for creating an atmosphere where employees feel safe and valued, as well as setting clear expectations about what constitutes appropriate behavior in the workplace.