The world of work promotes interpersonal relationships linked to sexuality, due to proximity, generalized diversity in the workplace, and attempts at seduction are very frequent, to the point that almost a third of couples are formed on workplaces. However, it is crucial to maintain a professional environment and actively promote a culture of respect and consent, ensuring that sexual harassment prevention measures are in place and clearly communicated to all employees, thereby safeguarding the integrity and well-being of every individual in the workplace.
Aberrations in behavior, particularly because hierarchical power allows the exercise of constraints, can lead to sexual harassment: this abuse of authority, materialized by threats to working conditions, acts of blackmail for promotion or dismissal, to obtain sexual favors, is clearly harassment; but more discreet unsolicited attitudes also fall under it.
However, it is difficult to know how to distinguish from blatant sexual harassment what is a simple attempt at seduction that is poorly appreciated and not explicitly discouraged, a stormy deterioration of previously agreed intimate relationships, a paranoid interpretation, a manipulation malicious. Especially since the other employees are reluctant to testify and to interfere in the maze of the shifting intentions of the company’s employees, except in rare cases of manifest perversity. Nevertheless, the heads of companies have a legal obligation to take steps to prevent sexual harassment and to stop it quickly if it occurs.
Read some tips to avoid sexual harassment
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Set up anonymous questionnaires carried out by an external audit
To detect sexual harassment in the workplace as early as possible, setting up anonymous questionnaires is useful. In the event that the employees are unable to express themselves on the subject, the anonymity achieved by an external audit can make it possible to confide. The practice of questionnaires is difficult to set up in small structures. This technique still gives the harassed person the possibility of giving himself up without constraints.
Obtain information through the employer’s right of inspection
Within the company in case of harassment, the employer can be accused before the law. He remains responsible for his employees and their actions under the roof of the company. In case of doubt, you can exercise your right to inspect correspondence from your employees (emails, action plan, annual interview, etc.). This solution can be drastic, but it helps to detect unusual behaviors between your employees if this is the case.
Do not participate
The important thing in cases of proven harassment remains to support the victim or at least to appear relatively neutral as a mediator. If one of your colleagues indulges in questionable thoughts or strange approaches, be inflexible. You must be exemplary and above all avoid that the victim feels you are somehow complicit. As a leader, taking responsibility for harassment means knowing how to say no to inappropriate behavior. Indifference is the door open to harassment.
Try to understand the harasser
Harassment in his company is always difficult to live with, the employer must take care of it to avoid recurrences. One of the important points is also to be concerned with the harasser and his intentions. Understanding their behavior helps stop bullying and prevent it. Once the facts are established, the stalker must be confronted with the problem so you can convince him not to do it again. Thereafter, do not hesitate to put surveillance in place to avoid recurrences. Do not hesitate to have recourse to occupational medicine which can help you but also to organizations such as suffering at work which has allowed companies to find themselves in an impasse. Join sexual harassment training course by clicking on this highlighted link.
Take necessary action In the event of proven harassment within your company, taking the necessary measures is a legal obligation. The principle is never to take the slightest noise, the slightest rumor lightly. In the event of proven harassment, an internal procedure is required as well as the filing of a complaint with the police, if the victim so wishes. Do not hesitate to support the people concerned and to make it a personal matter to show your dedication and your interest in maintaining good relations within the team.