For any organization, large or small, sexual harassment needs to be considered a significant threat not only to the bottom line but also to organizational culture. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recovered nearly $165 million for employees who made harassment claims in 2015—but consider also that, whether allegations are made or not, a culture of harassment causes low morale, increased turnover, and serious harm to organizational reputation.
It might be comforting if, as a small business owner, you receive few if any formal complaints about harassment or other ethical issues. But as a leader with employees’ best interests and well-being at heart, you might also ask yourself if few or no reports means harassment isn’t happening, or worse—it’s happening, but employees are opting not to come forward.
Employees experiencing harassment at work might opt not to report for various reasons:
· They aren’t sure how to report
· They worry about retaliation/believe nothing will be done
· They want to avoid being retraumatized by the reporting process
· They might not recognize what is happening as harassment
Small business leaders might feel even more challenged by this issue considering the limited resources at their disposal (no HR department, no in-house legal counsel, little funding for training or third-party services).
But there are things that can be done regardless of the limitations of material resources. Leaders of any organization have the power to set the tone for a culture of respect, openness, and unconditional willingness to listen.
Learn more about the tools at your disposal at a new SCORE and Business Ethics Alliance workshop—Responding to Harassment: Steps to Protect the Well-Being of Your Employees and Business.
Responding to Sexual Harassment Workshop
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM
Creighton University Harper Center Room 3048
Presented in partnership with