7 Reasons Managers Should Put a Priority on Harassment Prevention
Author Name: TrainingABC
Posted: 06-04-2013 09:07 PM
Synopsis: 7 excellent reasons that manager's should prioritize the prevention of harassment in the workplace.
Seven great reasons to include harassment prevention training in your agena immediately!
1. The Organization can be sued.
It happens every day. Employees who are victims of harassment seek redress through the legal system. Not only can this cost organizations money in judgements and legal fees, but it subjects organizations to bad publicity. This type of negative publicity is difficult to recover from. Not only does it damage the organization's public reputation, it damages the organization's reputation with it's own employees. Employees do not want to work for an organization that does not protect them from harassment.
2. The Manager can be sued.
Although it is more likely that a lawyer will go after the organization, rather than an individual manager, it is also possible for a manager to be included in a harassment lawsuit. The manager can be held responsible...even if he or she did not know that the harassment was occurring. Many states allow managers to be personally held responsible in their anti-discrimination laws. Even if a manager does not personally get named in a lawsuit, he or she will certainly be deposed and or called to testify in court. Either way, harassment lawsuits are not a pleasant experience for any manager.
3. Harassment Causes Absenteeism.
Study after study has shown that harassment in the workplace causes absenteeism. Employees who are experiencing harassment simply don't want to go to work. In addition, employees who work in a organization rampant with harassment tend to miss work more than employees in harassment-free workplaces...even if they aren't personally the employee getting harassed. On that note, employees don't need to be directly harassed to experience workplace harassment. The term hostile environment harassment refers to workplaces where employees are subjected to a hostile environment full of behaviors that are offensive. In these workplaces, employees can be harassed just by enduring the environment.
4. Harassment Causes Employee Turnover.
Employee turnover is a logical result of harassment. Most people don't want to work where they are being harassed. If an employee feels that they are not protected by his or her manager or organization, they will leave. The loss high performing employees can be devastating to an organization. Not only are excellent employees hard to find, but the cost of replacing them is astronomical. It's much less expensive to simply stop harassment from occurring in the first place.
5. Harassment Decreases Productivity and Efficiency.
Productivity and efficiency are another natural byproduct of harassment. If employees live in fear of being harassed, they simply cannot be productive in their job. In addition, an efficient and productive workplace relies on teamwork and communication. When a workplace is full of harassment, teamwork and communication are nearly impossible. No one wants to be a teammate of a harasser. If employees can not feel comfortable in their work environment, then productivity will fall. Study after study has proved this correlation.
6. Unchecked Harassment Can Lead to Injury, Illness and Assault.
When employees are exposed to long term, continual harassment the effects are similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. This type of extreme stress leads to physical ailments as well as the potential for workplace injuries. When an employee is experiencing stress they will have difficulty concentrating on his or her job. This will result in mistakes that lead to workplace injuries and even death in dangerous professions. In addition, harassment is a stepping stone towards assault. Allowing harassment to occur in a workplace sets the stage for even worse behaviors including criminal physical and sexual assault.
7. It's Just the Right Thing to Do.
Probably the most simple way to put it is that harassment is just plain wrong. If you can do something to stop it, then you should as part of being a good human being. All the other reasons aside, harassment in all forms comes down to what is simply right and wrong in our society and a manager is in a great position to affect how all his or her employees are treated.