There are a great many areas in all of our lives that have a commonality, from individual to individual. Hanging out with friends and family on the weekend can connect us in socialized ways. Going to work during the typical week is also something that bounds us together. In regards to the latter, the workplace can sometimes not be as great to be present in.
That is because, in some dire circumstances, the work environment can become toxic to be a part of. If you are an employee suffering from constant harassment, no matter which form it comes in, help is around. Employers should take the time to work with their employees, to eliminate harassment in all of its forms. The following describes how they can do so.
1. Anti-Harassment Policy
For starters, all companies will, in some form, have a company policy that informs workers about harassment. No matter how difficult it may be to speak about, ensuring that everyone is treated equitably is key. However, this perfect ideal may not always be realized. Should your workplace become toxic, enforcement of this policy will be needed.
The penalties for catching someone inciting harassment in the workplace can range depending on its scale. For example, some cases can result in the perpetrator being outright terminated, if harassment comes in the form of racism. Other cases should always be investigated thoroughly, to ensure it doesn’t linger.
2. Communication with Employees
If you are going to speak with your employees about their plights with harassment, you need to communicate. Communication in the workplace can sometimes be extremely difficult to manage, if the right channels aren’t established. Therefore, as an employer, be sure to take these matters into your own hands.
Make sure that it is easy for your workers to come to you regarding claims of harassment. Sometimes, these individuals may feel nervous about discussing potential toxicity within the work environment. Always ask your employees about how they’re doing, to ensure they are doing okay.
3. Employment Lawyer
In some cases, legal representation may be required in the more comprehensive cases. Employment lawyers are the right individuals to contact in this regard. As the name suggests, an employment lawyer works within the confines of workplace matters, and can assist in many ways. From helping out employment cases, to disputing contracts, their services are crucial.
As an employer, you need to understand the nuances of how the working relationship can progress or regress. What may not be seen as harassment to you, can ultimately turn out to be an actual harassment claim. It is incumbent on you to enforce policies at all turns, so that nothing is overlooked. Otherwise, you will need the services of an appropriate lawyer.
4. Support Systems
Support within the workplace goes far and beyond just having the right HR department established. The modern day workplace should always have systems in place that employees can become comfortable with. Since harassment is so broad and wide-ranging, it can be nerve-wracking to seek out help.
Positive support systems can come in the form of easy-to-access mental health services, for example. Counselling can always make an employee feel much more at ease to discuss their thoughts on workplace matters. If some harassment claims turn out to be worse, outside organizations should be contacted.
5. Training Supervisors
In some workplace circumstances, you may not be able to oversee all matters as diligently as you can. In this light, you may need to train other, senior-level workers to ensure the more important obligations are tended to. However, this training is also important, with respect to ensuring they recognize toxicity in the workplace.
These individuals will play a key role, in ensuring that potential harassment claims can be resolved. If not, they will need to be brought to your attention, so that you can make the final decision. Setting an example will always be important, and your supervisors will play a key role in determining that.
6. COVID-19 Matters
The global pandemic has ushered in a new era of how the workplace can operate. Even though working from home roles can now be for the best, harassment can still occur in different ways. Be sure to divulge how this can affect the online work environment, so that your employees are safeguarded from harassment. Online harassment is just as prevalent as other types as well!
7. Due Process
As mentioned previously, some cases of outright harassment are sometimes serious enough to garner termination. However, other areas may need a second review, in order to figure out if the harassment is valid. If you are an employer, you need to always ensure that a fair and due process is given. By doing this, you stop your workplace from becoming toxic in its tracks!