The damage sexual harassment claims can do to an individual, company and its brand can be drastic. How can managers better manage if they appear?
Once the charge is made an organisation must take actions… decisively. Here are a few suggestions for supervisors to help in handling a complaint efficiently.
- The complaint must be checked against the firm’s sexual harassment policy.
- The claim must be detailed. Are there witnesses? The individual making the charge must be asked how they need this to be solved.
- A fact-finder can be appointed by the company, either from HR or an external supplier.
- Informal mediation may be set up along with a support person from staff.
- The organization must determine whether there is really a case to answer to the balance of probabilities but when the organization finds there isn’t any case to answer, it must follow this up with more training and awareness raising. People have to learn more about the sexual harassment policy.
- There may be scope for an official mediation using a third party, when there is a case to answer.
- The individual making the charge shouldn’t be victimised regardless of the result.
- Sexual harassment policies must be reviewed and updated at least once annually.
Ultimately, supervisors must be great communicators with staff. They’ll fight when allegations appear, if they’re now.