1. When it’s important, write it down: If you personally experience a situation that is borderline or is harassment or witness one, write it down. Writing it down will allow you to express how you felt in the moment and what you expressed. The longer you wait, the higher the chances details will be forgotten. Also, when writing it down, you can remember the exact time the situation occurred. Be clear about the situation and what occurred. Describe the environment and what led up to the incident. Be honest and write as much as you can down. Some incidents start off as a joke and then it crosses the line, others involve alcohol. So be clear and detailed in your information.
2. Act immediately: Act immediately in writing it down or bringing it to the attention of the selected individual. Find out your respond and report procedure and talk to your HR team to figure out the best way to manage these situations. Use your BPHR as coaches or resources. Often people are afraid to talk to HR because of retaliation or severe consequences. This is a false assumption and all it takes is a conversation, coaching, training, or setting better boundaries. If you are not reporting an incident or talking to HR, you might be putting more people in harm or the situation can escalate. Act immediately and know your reporting process. In our training, we explain that if you let something go, it won’t get addressed, and it will happen again.
3. Always adhere to your company’s sexual and workplace harassment policy: Every organization has its own customized sexual and workplace harassment policy that they follow. Ensure that all your employees have read this policy and understand it so if a situation occurs, they know the following steps of reporting. You need to have a 2-hour workplace and sexual harassment training set up to help your employees better understand the policy.
4. Be preventive. Simply knowing the sexual and workplace harassment policy will prevent situations of occurring. Give examples or come up with scenarios to help people visualize what can happen and what they need to do. If employees are aware of repercussions, this may prevent them from creating a situation or encourage them to report it. Also listening to what your employees are saying around the office and intervening if a conversation is inappropriate can prevent situations from occurring.
If you would like to learn more or need training at your workplace please contact us.
Photo credit Unsplash Dane Deaner