Unfortunately, sexual harassment occurs in workplace environments in all industries all across the country. Fortunately, business owners can take steps to minimize such occurrences:
1. Get informed
The first step to making your business a safe space is to learn about what constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace. Not all sexual harassment is intentional. For example, an employee may think they are casually joking with another employee about their personal life, but the employee feels very uncomfortable about the intimate nature of the topic. Is this considered sexual harassment? Researching and participating in sexual harassment training and seminars to better understand the conduct that falls under this category and what you can do to be more mindful is a good first step.
2. Educate your employees
Educating your employees about sexual harassment, how to spot it and ways to avoid it can also help protect your business. Teaching your employees about harassment is crucial, but it’s also important to clearly communicate that your workplace culture will not tolerate the behavior.
3. Create an open reporting channel
Despite your best efforts, sexual harassment may still happen. However, creating an uncomplicated channel for reporting incidents can prevent such incidents from flying under your radar. Encouraging your employees to report sexual harassment when it occurs can make them more comfortable sharing their experiences and help you address issues before they escalate.