Workplace sexual harassment has been in the national spotlight for the past few years, and for a reason. It’s a serious problem that affects millions of workers every year and one that can have long-lasting effects on both an individual’s career and overall mental health. Learn more about the effects when you click this site here.

While awareness of workplace bullying and misconduct has increased, there is still more work to be done to prevent them from happening in the first place. One of the best options out there for companies is training that will prevent any misconduct from happening in the first place.

Businesses have been conducting programs on how to avoid sexual harassment, bullying, and discrimination in the workplace for decades. Everything has just gotten more attention with the #MeToo movement in recent years. 

What to Know about Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that includes unwanted advances, indecent proposals, groping, and many others. It is important to note that some instances can occur between people of the same or different genders. 

Know that this is not only about sex; it’s also about power. The person who is being harassed often feels helpless to stop the behavior. Harassment can happen in the workplace, school, businesses, or any other environment, and this is something that companies should pay more attention to.

Strategies that Can Address the Problems

1. Make it Clear that Harassment is Not Allowed in the Company

The growing awareness of employees on the things that are actually happening at work is the reason why the #MeToo movement was started. It’s very important for businesses to conduct online harassment training and educate their employees on what to do and the signs to look for to prevent this from happening to them. The training should be a regular refresher course instead of being a part of an onboarding program, so the principles and consequences are more emphasized.

Research shows that businesses should not have a tolerant or tepid tone when it comes to the prevention of sexual harassment. It’s best if they have a strong stand on the issue, and the perpetrators will be held accountable if they are proven guilty. Employees, managers, and the human resource department should take this very seriously.

2. Everyone Should Understand Sexual Harassment

It might be obvious to some what constitutes sexual harassment. However, employers should ensure that their members understand the type of actions and behaviors considered inappropriate and illegal.

Generally, this is about physical contact and inappropriate displays of affection, words, or offensive content. These are all acceptable, and everyone should understand the subtle forms of bullying in the workplace. If this is left alone, then the company culture might be unsafe, and the performance of everyone might get affected.

What are the Consequences to Know About?

Sexual harassment in the workplace can have several negative consequences for both the victim and the company. The victim may experience a wide range of emotions, from anger and frustration to anxiety and fear. They may also suffer from physical symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, and gastrointestinal problems. In addition, most victims may have difficulty concentrating at work, miss work days, or quit their job altogether.

The company may also suffer consequences as a result of lawsuits that are related to harassment. These can include decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, legal liability, and damage to the company’s reputation. In some cases, sexual harassment can even lead to violence in the workplace.

Effective Prevention in the Workplace

Any form of harassment in the workplace is a serious issue that can lead to negative consequences for both employees and employers. Although the laws vary from state to state, some general tips are found in this link to help prevent these behaviors in the first place. Here are the other ones:

For Employers:

  • Develop a clear and concise policy against inappropriate behaviors and ensure all employees are aware of them.
  • Encourage everyone to report any incidents of harassment immediately.
  • Investigate all reports that are sexual in nature thoroughly and take appropriate disciplinary action if warranted.
  • Provide ongoing training for all employees on what constitutes sexual harassment and how to prevent it from happening.

For Employees:

  • Be familiar with your company’s policies
  • Speak up if you witness or experience sexual harassment from co-workers or managers
  • Cooperate fully with any investigation regarding a reported incident.

About the Training Programs

Training programs are a critical part of prevention efforts. By providing employees with the knowledge and tools to identify and report indecent behaviors, these programs can help create a more positive and productive workplace.

When developing or choosing a training program, there are several key elements to consider. The program should be tailored to your workplace and include information on what constitutes sexual harassment, the company’s policies and procedures for reporting and investigating complaints, and the consequences for violators. Additionally, the program should be interactive and engaging, with opportunities for employees to ask questions and discuss real-world scenarios so they could avoid these from happening in the first place.