The HR Compass

Don’t Be Caught Off Guard

Apr 26, 2021

Harassment Prevention Practices Are Critical

We see it all too often. Management doesn’t think about the possible consequences of harassment in their organizations. Assuming all is well is risky, and a complacent attitude is especially unwise when it comes to harassment. You have no way of knowing if every employee interaction is professional and appropriate, and it’s impossible to monitor all behavior whether employees are working onsite or remotely.

Many organizations ignore possible harassment in the workplace until after employees make formal complaints. At that point, workplace investigations must be conducted, and negative impacts can be serious and long lasting.

Workplace investigations typically are:

1. Disruptive. Employees are interviewed as part of the investigation process, which interrupts work and productivity. The time employees must take from their jobs equates to another expense.

2. Detrimental to Employee Relations. Whether or not an employee is found to have violated your workplace policies, employee relations with coworkers can be negatively affected by an investigation. Employees may have their own views about the situation, despite all attempts to keep it confidential. And an employer must be on the alert for retaliatory actions against employees who bring a claim forward or who participate in the investigation.

3. Costly. Workplace investigations are rigorous and take time and money to conduct. Costs can be especially high if the claim is not resolved internally and your organization is sued.

The impact of a workplace investigation can be reduced with preemptive measures and a prompt and thorough response to a concern.

Implement Harassment Prevention Policies and Training

Setting up a preventive framework is not complicated. A qualified trainer can explain to both employees and managers how to establish and maintain a proper work culture and appropriate behavior in both onsite and remote work situations. Implementing harassment prevention policies and training can mitigate employer liability. The office culture improves when employees understand that the company takes harassment seriously.

If you need guidance in understanding state-specific requirements for harassment policies and training and in implementing harassment prevention practices, Taylor HR Group offers certified trainers to help you steer clear of troubled waters. While we can help your organization promote an environment that discourages inappropriate behavior, we are also skilled at conducting workplace investigations if needed. Contact us to discuss your needs.