Preventing Harassment Within An Organization

 

We recently attended a conference hosted by WSAE in Lake Geneva, WI. One of the educational sessions was a discussion on preventing sexual harassment during the #metoo movement. Below are some quick takeaways to protect your staff, members and volunteers:

1. Reboot Culture. Take note, is your culture negative? Supportive?

2. Lead by example. Leaders should not be behaving in a way that is controversial. If you have an individual who is making others uncomfortable, it’s time to address it.

3. Train to empower the bystander. Make it clear before there is an issue that people who reach out to leadership will be supported. Encourage those who overhear or see inappropriate actions to speak up.

4. Respond promptly and thoroughly. If there is an issue, it needs to be addressed and documented immediately. Including next steps until the issue is resolved.

5. Have a complaint procedure. You’ll be glad you did if a situation turns into a lawsuit. This also ensures all complaints are handled the same.