How to prevent sexual harassment in your work place
Recent data has revealed a spike in the rate of sexual harassment cases across Australia’s workplaces. A recent survey conducted by Young Workers Centre found that 50 percent of the respondents were experiencing some form of bullying and harassment on the job. Disturbingly, the general consensus amongst the respondents was that sexual harassment in the workplace to be commonplace, unaddressed and preventable.
This is not just workplace discomfort; it is a serious obstruction to fairness in the workplace, and it is illegal.
What can employers do?
The most effective weapon against sexual harassment is prevention.
Managers need provide clear policy guidelines, training, unwavering enforcement and most importantly, lead by example.
Yes, that’s right, if senior management can demonstrate commitment and genuinely promote a zero tolerance to harassment and bullying, the rest of the team will too. There are countless examples of how this one, single factor can largely effect the success OR failure of keeping a workplace safe and legally compliant.
Within your anti-harassment policy, map out a clear protocol for responding to harassment. Make the steps for reporting sexual harassment clear and ensure that your policy encourages your workers to report this kind of behaviour. There should be several options to report harassment. Nominate several ‘go-to’ persons of both genders.
Monitor and Manage
Check for signs of harassment at all levels of your company. Stamp out any discriminatory jokes or conversations signs that you hear of. Confront and discipline people who are engaging in inappropriate behaviour. If you think a person may be harassed, encourage them to speak about it. When a complaint arises, immediately investigate and deal with the situation. Make it clear that no level of management is exempt from complying with the policy.
As a leader in your organisation, you’re probably already aware of the benefits a thorough induction process can bring. But the reality is that one incident or claim could ruin your business if you do not take the appropriate steps to educate, train and engage your staff about safe work practises and behaviour at work.
Make sure that your new employee on-boarding program includes a thorough explanation of your policy and procedures. Giving people a copy of the policy and ask them to sign is not enough. Make them understand that any form of unwelcome behaviour could get them fired. Include examples of harassment your employees might not recognise. Let them know, for instance that even compliments can feel like harassment if they are given the wrong way.
A well designed and interactive online induction removes the variables associated with face-to-face training and cumbersome paper-trails. Information is kept up-to-date and compliant and record keeping is done automatically.
This is to minimise risk of liability, along with other unpleasant outcomes from legal claims: significant costs, reputational damage, management time and so on.
Now available for smALL sized businesses
Up to now, online induction training has been something only larger corporations could afford with high setup costs and nasty lock-in contracts.
However, with the launch of TANDI, small sized Australian businesses now have access to an online training platform with no setup fees, no lock-in contracts and instant access to training and record keeping tools, regardless of how many employees you are inducting.
For more information regarding 100% compliant induction training, feel free to contact us.
To see how TANDI can help reduce risk in your organisation, read more here.