Harassment Prevention Training for Managers - Reporting

Category: Harassment
Posted: 05-28-2013 09:07 PM
Views: 5577
Synopsis: Two of the most important aspects of harassment prevention are the avenues of reporting for employees and watching for unreported harassment.

Two of the most important aspects of harassment prevention are the avenues of reporting for employees and watching for unreported harassment.  Both should be taught as part of a comprehensive harassment prevention training program

Reporting Harassment Employees are not always comfortable reporting harassment to their direct supervisor. Either because of a personality conflict, they believe the manager is friends with the accused or that the manager themselves is the harasser. The option of reporting to another manager or the human resources department should be clearly communicated as part of the organization’s policy.

A good harassment policy allows for reporting to:

  • The employee’s direct supervisor
  • Another manager in their direct chain of command
  • A manager outside of the employee’s direct chain of command
  • The Human Resources Department 

It is also imperative that managers watch for the warning signs of unreported harassment. Many employees who are harassed will never report the harassment. As a result, work performance will suffer and in many cases employee turnover will increase. Not only will the morale of the entire office be affected, but workplace efficiency and your bottom line will be negative impacted as well.

Behavior to Watch For

  • Changes in behavior or appearance
  • Increased absences
  • Withdrawal from co-workers
  • Avoidance of particular people
  • Negative changes to work performance. 

When a manager encounters these behaviors, they should counsel the employee and ask questions of co-workers to see if harassment may be causing the behavior. Unfortunately, if it is harassment, the employee may still be unwilling to divulge the problem. If your investigation does not uncover harassment, it still will be worthwhile to remind employees of the organization’s harassment policy.

Reported and unreported harassment can be equally damaging to an organization.  Giving your managers the skill to recognize unreported harassment and giving all employees multiple avenues to report harassment will keep your organization out of legal trouble. 

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