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4 Simple Strategies for Creating a Culture of Respect

17 Jan. 2018 Posted by aadams

Freya Cooper, FEI Account Manager

Lately, the news has been riddled with stories of sexual harassment and misconduct. Some
have been reported immediately; others are just now coming to light after years—even decades—of silence.

Sexual harassment is a serious issue, and employees have a responsibility to create safe working environments. Here are four strategies you can add to your company’s culture and ensure the workplace remains free of unprofessional behavior and unwanted sexual advances:

  1. Adopt (and enforce) a zero-tolerance policy. Use clear, concise language that lets every team member know you will take each allegation seriously, disciplining or dismissing any employee who harasses or intimidates another employee.
  2. Take action on every reported allegation. An open-door policy assures no employee suffers in silence. It also dissuades negative behavior and increases productivity, as team members naturally flourish and thrive when they feel safe and appreciated.
  3. Have a simple, safe, red-tape-free method of reporting abuse. Many times, women and men (yes, men can be victims of sexual harassment too) don’t report inappropriate behavior because they fear embarrassment, not being taken seriously or being dismissed out of hand. Establishing reporting procedures promoting simplicity and confidentiality will go far in building trust with employees.
  4. Monitor your workplace (and encourage others to do the same). Anyone who witnesses an incidence of sexual harassment should feel as safe intervening and reporting as the victim. If an employee believes a co-worker is being harassed or intimidated, they should feel encouraged to take action—an attitude benefitting everyone in the long run.

Sexual harassment does more than create a hostile work environment; it can ruin lives and careers when left unchecked. Make it part of your company culture to have frank, direct conversations when these issues arise.

The only way to get at the truth and find solutions is to have all parties involved, sitting at a table, willing to speak the truth. Every team member deserves respect, and these four strategies can help your organization guarantee they all have it.

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