A Manager’s Top Priorities for Fighting Harassment
Posted: 04-02-2013 09:08 PM
Synopsis: One of the most crucial jobs every manager has is to prevent harassment in the workplace. The morale, efficiency and survival of your workplace depend on it.
The job of a manager is a demanding one. Most managers feel like the job is pulling them in a thousand different directions. However, the job of preventing harassment in the workplace is quite possibly the most important one because without a harassment-free workplace the rest of a manager's work probably won't matter. Harassment can destroy an organization from the inside out causing the loss of skilled workers and the demise of morale and productivity among the staff in general.
The following are the top priorities every manager should have when preventing harassment.
- Set the Example! Follow your harassment policies and procedures. If the manager doesn't follow the policies and procedures of the workplace perfectly, how can they expect their staff to?
- Take it Seriously! Employees will key off of you. Never laugh at off-color joke or look the other way when you see behavior that could result in harassment.
- Watch for warning signs! If an employee’s behavior suddenly changes, it could be due to off-work issues but it also could be due to workplace harassment. Not every employee will report their problems to you....as matter of fact a great majority won't. They will suffer in silence, their work productivity might be decreased and then they may leave the organization costing your workplace a trained, skilled worker.
- Ask for Help! Let your employees be your eyes and ears when you are not present. Even if the person being harassment might not want to report it, maybe another employee who witnesses the behavior will be willing to step forward.
- Keep Your Door Open! An open door policy means that you have empowered and encouraged your employees to come to you immediately with problems.
- Train, train, train. You can't do enough harassment prevention training. Training will remind employees of the behaviors that are acceptable in the workplace and lesson the chance that they will occur in the future. In addition, training will help shield your organization in the event of a harassment lawsuit.
- Document, document, document. Document eveything you do that pertains to harassment. Document the type and amount of training, document the progressive discipline you take in regards to harasssment and document any investigation your undertake.
Preventing harassment in the workplace is never easy but the rewards for providing your employees with a harassment workplace make it well worth the effort.