Would you say your business has a clear-cut anti-harassment policy? If you’re thinking, “sure, zero-tolerance is baked into our businesses values,” then you might need to dig a little deeper. That’s because this worrying indicator of corporate culture gone wrong doesn’t adhere to a bold mission statement or core values in a hand book—it relies upon real action and daily practices. You can’t prevent workplace harassment through thought alone. Your workplace’s leadership has to live it.
Workplace harassment—whether it comes in the form of bullying, discrimination, or sexual harassment—can hit any business, small or large. The ramifications can extend from distress and loss of productivity through to PR nightmares and law suits. Undoubtedly, prevention is the ideal path. So, lets break down real strategies that you can implement today.
Get Your Workplace Harassment Policy Up To Date
When was the last time your company policy on workplace harassment was reviewed and revitalized? It’s important that, periodically, policies are revisited and updated. They should be clear-cut and comprehensive, as well as complying with local, state, and federal regulations in regards to all forms of harassment and discrimination. If in doubt, consult with an expert to make sure that all aspects have been covered.
Make Sure Anti-Harassment Values Are In All Employees’ Vocabularies
Just as nobody reads the fine-print these days, not all employees will be ready to recite every company policy—even of you provided them with a glossy print copy. That makes it your responsibility to keep company values alive in people’s minds. This can be achieved by sending out periodic memos, and instituting training and awareness programs. Establish clear expectations as to what acceptable and unacceptable workplace behavior looks like, and lead by example.
Pass the Anti-Harassment Torch to Your Trusted Leaders
Providing more intensive training to department heads, HR personnel, and executives can help you forge a culture within which harassment is unwelcome. In this way, positive reinforcement can come from many directions, making it more difficult for toxicity to take hold. Ensure that those carrying the torch know how to spot warning signs of harassment and make all employees aware of how to report workplace harassment. On something so important for the health of employees and the business itself, the door should always open.
Forge A Strong and Healthy Corporate Culture
A healthy corporate culture is always a goal worth striving for, because when employees feel nurtured and empowered, they are ultimately equipped to innovate and achieve. This means tangible value for any business, but more than that—it means a reduced risk of threats ranging from workplace harassment through to corporate theft or white-collar crime. If you are unsure of the current standing of your organization’s corporate culture, a Corporate Culture Audit can give you a comprehensive overview, as well as a clear road-map towards measurable improvements.
Be Ready to Handle Complaints With Respect
While every effort in prevention is worthwhile, it is impossible to eliminate the risk of workplace harassment entirely. If a member of your team files a complaint or one of your torch-bearers sees cause for concern, it’s crucial to be ready to launch a thorough, sensitive, and diligent investigation. In this endeavor, a seasoned external corporate investigator can be a powerful ally—ensuring that your investigation serves impartial justice while being by the book, optimally documented, and airtight against future legal scrutiny.
Why not discover more about Corporate Culture Audits and support for Workplace Harassment Investigations from Lauth Investigations International. Our team are ever-ready to advise and discuss the unique needs of any organization, so get in touch today if you’d like to find out more.