If you don't know where to start in tackling harassment in the workplace, these four items are a great place to start.
- Dust off your anti-harassment policy. If you have an employee handbook, you probably have a anti-harassment policy. Has it been reviewed recently? If not, it's time for an update. If you don't have an anti-harassment policy, it's time to get one in place. Take a look at the EEOC's checklist for what every good policy should include.
- Conduct a workplace survey on harassment. Is harassment a problem in your workplace? A survey is a good way to find out. Harvard Business Review recently published a survey that can be adapted for different businesses. Check out the survey and the accompanying article.
- Check your procedures for reporting harassment. If employees don't know what the procedures are for making a complaint, or if the procedures are uncomfortable for them, you may miss the opportunity to hear about a problem while it's still minor and easy to correct. Creating procedures that make it easy for employees to report unwelcome or offensive conduct is an ounce of prevention that costs far less than a pound of cure. Project Include has recommendations on that process, included here.
- Update your training procedures. When was the last time your business provided training on workplace harassment? How was it received? In-person compliance training workshops are crucial for all employees, and especially managers, to understand organizational policies, reporting procedures, rights and responsibilities. The EEOC provides a checklist for what a training should include, available here.