Human resources departments handle far more tasks than many assume. HR does a lot more than look over resumes all day. HR professionals delve into numerous responsibilities associated with risk management. Associating risk management with the operations and facilities management division of a company is common. Workplace hazards do create risks. Slip and fall accidents, however, aren’t always the most costly threat to a business’ stability. Sexual harassment in the workplace can completely upend a company. HR specialists realize this. So, HR offices spend significant time attempting to address sexual harassment prevention.
Sexual harassment does create havoc in an office. Employees won’t tolerate the behaviour Victims of harassment might even take legal action against employers who allow sexual harassment to occur. “Allowing” doesn’t necessarily mean management tacitly approved such behavior. Management liability could extend to poor internal policies or lax supervision that contributed to a hostile work environment.
Until recently, the general public assumed sexual harassment occurred only rarely. Sweeping laws passed years ago apparently dissuaded such behavior. The explosive news about sexual harassment in the movie and television world changed perceptions. People now realize sexual harassment’s pervasiveness indicates predatory behavior hasn’t faded away. Even with the newfound social consciousness of the “Me Too” movement, sexual harassment hasn’t completely disappeared from the workplace. So, human resource departments must take action to cut down on risks.
One way to cut down on risks involves taking preventive steps. A social media analysis alone could raise red flags with potential new hires. An HR department reserves the option to hire companies such as FAMA to screen social media sites. FAMA’s background check abilities provide insights about prospective employees that HR managers can review. A thorough review may avert the hiring of a disastrous employee. In today’s workplace environment, not taking steps to reduce instances of sexual harassment is inexcusable.
Experience reveals numerous ways to reduce instances of sexual harassment. Companies with more women in executive management positions may be less likely to develop a harassment-pervasive environment. In any company in which the workplace culture promotes harassment, HR should take deliberate action. Educational seminars and punitive measures would help change the troubling culture.
Doing nothing is not an option. The rising awareness of sexual harassment means employees and others do expect companies to take action. A passive or tolerant attitude towards improper behavior isn’t acceptable anymore. Likely, not taking action to deal with harassment adds to liability. No excuses exist for employers anymore.
Troubling workplace cultures need to change. The culture in specific industries turned a proverbial blind eye for decades. Sexual harassment was the norm. Things changed thanks to the issue becoming a centerpiece of media reports. Executives cannot solely hope that predators will self-discover their inappropriateness and change. Only direct action by HR specialists might effectively put a stop to any unprofessional behavior.
Human resources departments not prepared to institute anti-sexual harassment policies must become prepared. Contacting consultants to train HR staff or bring knowledgeable professionals into the HR fold represent two options. Exploring all steps capable of curtailing sexual harassment is now a top priority in all businesses.