Sexual harassment is not a new topic amongst businesses, but it’s an incredibly important one. All men and women deserve to work in an environment that they feel safe and secure in, and that starts with cracking down on sexual harassment in the workplace.
No matter what industry you work in, if you’re a business leader, then you have the responsibility to create a safe workplace for your employees. To start addressing this worldwide problem in your business and set the tone for responsible business practices, there are a number of things that you should prioritize.
Here are five of the most important priorities for establishing a workplace that is safe for every single employee:
Priority One: Treating Claims Seriously
Suffering from sexual harassment in the workplace and having the courage to report it, only to be turned away by business leaders and HR representatives, is a trust-destroying experience. Individuals who have the courage to report harassment, should be treated to the respect of having the claims taken seriously.
All business leaders should strive to build a workplace that supports employees and shows that mutual respect is a guarantee. This means taking all claims, big and small, seriously, with investigations carried out to get to the bottom of the accusations.
Priority Two: Get Support from the Top
Support for sexual harassment claims should come from the top of a company and filter down to the bottom. New plans for sexual harassment prevention and all forms of support should come from the management team, setting a firm tone for the rest of the company to follow.
By taking control from the top, a business shows that they’re serious about sexual harassment crackdown and that they are willing to do whatever it takes to put a stop to the issue.
Priority Three: Full Organizational Support
Support from the top shouldn’t start and end with giving direction to another department. Leaving the problem of sexual harassment solely to one department to work out is demonstrating a lack of commitment from the rest of the organization, and the business leaders in particular.
Leaders need to make sure that the full organization is informed of the rules for sexual harassment and are fully on board. Every single employee and leader needs to feel comfortable speaking up and dealing with the issue head on.
Priority Four: Making Everyone Accountable
One rule for one person and another rule for someone else is never going to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace. Just as the employees need to be accountable for their actions, so do the leadership and management team of any sized organization.
It should be made clear that the leaders are as accountable for sexual harassment laws, policies, and standards, as every other member of the workforce. A singular rule for everyone must be enforced.
Priority Five: Zero Tolerance Rules
There are few quicker ways to break the trust and lose the respect of a workforce than by going back on rules for something as important as sexual harassment. The only way to end sexual harassment once and for all is through zero tolerance that applies to everyone.
Zero tolerance sets the rules and tells every member of an organization what will happen if they’re broken. By setting a zero-tolerance rule, a leader can begin changing the company culture for the better, telling everyone exactly where they stand with sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is something that is slowly but surely being tackled in workplaces around the world. As more and more business leaders get their priorities straight for eliminating sexual harassment, workplaces are starting to become safer, more secure, and much more positive places.
Need advice on insurance cover for sexual harassment claims and disputes? Concerned about your insurance coverage from reputation damage and settlement costs? Whether you’re an employee or employer, you can call us today to get the answers you need about insurance and sexual harassment in the workplace.