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How To Develop And Implement An Effective Sexual Harassment Policy

Typically, sexual harassment has been one of the common issues in the workplace. It refers to sexual actions or words that tend to violate a person’s feelings and privacy Thus, it makes them feel uncomfortable, disrespected, and threatened. Some common examples of sexual harassment can include staring inappropriately at someone’s body parts, making sexually suggestive sounds or noises, giving offensive sexual remarks about someone, and other similar actions.  
As an employer, sexual harassment can affect your business and your people. It creates a workplace that makes it difficult for your employees to work productively due to its emotional and psychological effects. To minimize the negative impact of sexual harassment on their morale and your operations as a whole, you need to have a policy in place.  If you want more information about sexual harassment for your organization, you can click here. 
Moreover, keep reading to learn how to develop and implement an effective sexual harassment policy.  
Create A Written Policy Prohibiting Harassment  
It’s essential to draft a written policy prohibiting all forms of sexual harassment in your workplace. With a policy in place, you can make sure all your employees can perform their jobs without feeling pressured or threatened by anyone in the office. To develop a written sexual harassment policy, specific provisions should be included, such as the following: 
Statements that harassment is prohibited and shouldn’t be tolerated. 
Examples of sexual harassment and other prohibited conduct.
Procedures in reporting and making complaints.
Avenues for the employees to report sexual harassment in the office. 
Confidentiality of the complaints filed by the victim of harassment.
Disciplinary measures for those who engage in offensive and unwelcome conduct. 
Assurance that the employees complaining about harassment will not deal with the negative consequences of the complaint.  
Once you finalize the policy, make sure to add it to your employee handbook and regularly communicate it to all employees. This way, everyone in your organization will know how to deal with sexual harassment situations.  

Conduct Training  
Implementing an effective sexual harassment policy won’t be complete without training. With training, you can educate your employees about different matters. Some concerns could include the investigative processes, listening skills, methods of encouraging reporting, legal rights and safeguards for the victims of harassment, and other similar issues.  
For instance, your managers and supervisors should be trained to implement the policy more effectively by actively participating in the communication process. They can encourage other employees to prevent and eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. Moreover, the rest of your team members should also be trained in recognizing and confronting sexual harassment. They should also be educated about the proper actions to take to remedy improper misconduct.  

Build An Investigation Team  
You can effectively implement a sexual harassment policy by establishing an investigation team to take the reports and conduct investigations. It should be composed of fair and well-trained investigators to ensure the victim will feel more comfortable sharing about the conduct of someone.  
Generally, your investigation team will be responsible for evaluating the circumstances surrounding your case. They can help streamline the investigation process and resolve the matter as quickly as possible.  
By having an investigation team at your side, your employees will see how serious you are in condemning all acts of sexual harassment. As a result, you can avoid and eliminate this problem in your work environment.  

Put An Effective Complaint Procedure 
Another best way to develop and implement an excellent sexual harassment policy is to have a simplified complaint procedure. With this process in place, you can encourage your employees to come forward and report any allegations of harassment in your workplace. Sometimes, victims of this improper sexual conduct are scared about bringing a complaint due to the adverse job consequences of doing so.  
To ensure an effective complaint procedure in your policy, you may consider the following steps: 
Report the complaint right away to the human resources department or other company representatives in charge of handling harassment cases.  
Assure the victims that their complaints should be investigated immediately.  
Make sure they’ll never become victims of retaliation because of the complaint and that workers’ safety is upheld at all times. 
Ensure the investigation will be taken care of with strict confidentiality.  
Guarantee that the employees found guilty of sexual harassment will be disciplined accordingly.  
Bottom Line   
Dealing with sexual harassment issues can be a huge problem for your organization. It can affect the efficiency and productivity of your business operations by lowering the morale of your employees. Because of this, keep the information discussed above in mind to help you develop and implement an effective sexual harassment policy. This way, you can keep your business harassment-free.  

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