Good business requires positive and professional relationships between employees. Offending colleagues, even by mistake, can destroy a work relationship forever. It’s important for employers to ensure that such problems are averted before they happen.
Offensive behavior can cause high levels of stress and lower employee morale. Even if the employee doesn’t report the incident, the resentment could still continue to build up. Such resentment can create issues that are difficult to resolve.
In our previous article, we discussed how costly workplace harassment can be. We discussed the cost of harassment to a business and its reputation. We also discussed the harm it can cause to a victim or an employee who observes such an incident.
In this article, let us explore the benefits of a harassment free workplace.
Here are five benefits of a harassment free workplace.
- Employees’ focus on their work is higher in a harassment free workplace than in a workplace that’s riddled with harassment issues. Moreover, cooperation among employees is better in a harmonious work environment. Such workplaces also enjoy good employee-client relationships.
- In a harassment free workplace, employees trust their employers more. They prefer to use internal channels for addressing their grievances. Rather than filing a complaint with the authorities directly, they would approach the employer first.
- Costs of dealing with harassment complaints internally are much lower than following the legal route. Consider the following costs –
- The cost of litigation,
- Resources diverted for handling the lawsuit, and
- Time spent addressing the lawsuit.
A harassment free work culture can eliminate such expenses.
- A harassment free place also benefits from lower absenteeism. As employees feel secure and are more inclined to report for work. The rate of employee turnover is also lower for such businesses.
- Businesses known for their harassment-free work culture enjoy high market reputation. Such businesses are known for having better customer and client satisfaction ratings than their competitors.
Employee loyalty, cooperation among employees, and higher employee engagement are three important markers of a successful business. A harassment free workplace benefits from all three.
Everyone has a role to play in ensuring a harassment free workplace. A workplace that’s free from harassment is based upon mutual trust and understanding. Your harassment prevention training should focus on building cultural and racial sensitivity among employees. Developing such an understanding is necessary for avoiding incidents of harassment.
Respecting individuals’ personal values and beliefs is the key for developing trust among employees. Such an approach would help ensure that employees don’t feel intimidated by others behavior. Your training should also concentrate upon developing empathy among employees.
Empathy is probably the most important factor that leads to team members interfering with an ongoing incident of harassment.
It’s in the employer’s best interest to create a work environment that discourages harassment and encourages employees to treat each other with respect. You can achieve this by having
- A clear policy towards harassment,
- A receptive attitude towards complaints, and
- Regular harassment prevention training.
Remember, employers are responsible for ensuring that their work environment is free from harassment. Employers can be held liable for an incident, even if they had no prior knowledge of the incident. You must take action promptly upon receiving reports of harassment. Ignoring such reports, can cause low employee morale, increase absenteeism, damage your reputation, and increase dissatisfaction in your workforce.
And, if the employee chooses to file an official complaint with the EEOC, else sues you under anti-harassment laws, you will have to divert valuable resources from your business plan. You may even end up paying huge sums to the employee as monetary compensation.
Do you have queries about workplace harassment? Whether you are an employee or an employer, you can approach us with your queries. Our team would get back to you with an answer as soon as possible. You can also post your query in the comment section below.