SELF HELP RESOURCE - Work / Workplace Relationships

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The following are ways to create an environment in which sexual harassment will be less likely to occur.

Continually assess the work environment for signs that a problem may exist so that corrective action can be taken. Such signs may include:
Open displays of inappropriate material or behaviors such as pin-up calendars, common use of sexually explicit language, or the telling of lewd jokes
Friction between the sexes as manifested by frequent complaints or grievances pitting women and men against each other
Persistent gossip that includes whispered conversations or sexually oriented rumors
Sudden changes in an employee's job performance
Be conscious of your own behavior and avoid romantic involvement at workplace, specially with someone lower down in the hierarchy, As a Manager you are in a position of influence and such a relationship can give the perception of undeserved privileges for an individual, undermining the integrity of the workplace.

Distribute and post the sexual harassment policy and reporting procedure of your organization.
Educate all employees by providing sexual harassment workshops and information.
Be an example. Show a gender-neutral attitude. Ask for feedback regularly from female and male employees about your own behavior.
Be firm and consistent. Work for changes in others' attitudes. Do not tolerate offensive jokes or comments from men or women. Provide frequent feedback to employees who need to adjust their conduct.
Be personally accessible to employees and listen to their complaints.
Offer employees more than one route for registering complaints, including routes that bypass direct supervisors, who may be the source of harassment.
Respond quickly, fairly, and with as much confidentiality as possible to any complaint of sexual harassment.

If a manager observes sexual harassment or if sexual harassment is reported, then a manager has an obligation to act. If the organization has a written policy, the policy and related procedures should be followed.

Sexual harassment is damaging to the victims and to the workplace in general. It is also against the law. Managers can be held responsible for the sexual harassment of one employee by another if the manager knew and did nothing to stop it.

How behavior or a complaint is handled sends a message about how the organization perceives sexual harassment. It sets a tone that has a lasting impact on future occurrences and complaints of sexual harassment.

The EAP 1to1help offers consultation to manager on this and other behavioural issues in the workplace. You may call on 080-71000121 to know more or if in need of assistance

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