The consequences of sexual harassment in your business include low employee morale and a tainted reputation. The consequences have a far-reaching impact on your organization’s bottom line. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the reported 7,514 sexual harassment cases resulted in direct settlements of $68 million in 2019 alone. You will notice that these figures do not capture other costs, including legal expenses, which could be upwards of hundreds of thousands. It is crucial to fight workplace sexual harassment because of its overall effects on businesses, workers, and employers.
Ethics, policies, and standards of conduct regarding workplace sexual harassment are among the primary considerations in every organization. However, employees do not talk about these directives or discuss them. Furthermore, the leadership does not conduct any awareness or promote a safe and conducive work environment. As a result, sexual harassment in the workplace is still rampant.
Fight against workplace sexual harassment for the following reasons:
1 – Affects General well-being and Employee Engagement
When cases of sexual harassment are witnessed and reported among your employees, they dramatically affect the well-being of every worker. You will notice increased anxiety and stress become part of their routine when coming to work since they have to endure an unsafe environment. Coping with too much stress leads to severe mental health challenges such as depression and low self-esteem.
Sexual harassment takes many forms, including inappropriate touching at work. Employees who have experienced any form of sexual harassment shy away from engagements with the rest of the staff as they shut themselves off to avoid a repeat of the ordeal. Decreased employee engagement leads to poor performance.
2 – Impacts Employee Productivity
Report inappropriate touching at work because it amounts to job dissatisfaction and poor productivity. Sexual harassment cases at work could increase absenteeism, employee distraction, project neglect, and tardiness. Deloitte conducted a study on the productivity loss due to sexual harassment and concluded that $2.62 billion was lost as a result. Human resource managers and employers are encouraged to note a sudden loss in employee productivity because sexual harassment could be the culprit.
3 – Impacts Work Environment
The work environment is contributed to by the conduct of your employees from a general perspective. The work environment will change if the rest of the employees witness inappropriate touching at work or any other form of sexual harassment. Since employees spend time together, sexual harassment cases will affect workers’ moods, leading to overall unhappiness, tension, disagreements, and mutual dissatisfaction.
4 – Eliminating Workplace Sexual Harassment
Eliminating workplace sexual harassment starts with the leadership declaring that such conduct is unacceptable and intolerable. Do not serve your staff with lip service, but accompany your words with actions as a measure of transparency and accountability. All reports should be investigated fully regardless of the position of the accused.
Engage attorneys to educate your staff and help develop new standards and codes of ethics in the workplace. The legal practitioners will classify the main types of sexual harassment, including inappropriate touching at work.