Workplace harassment is not for either big companies or small companies. It exists throughout the world. In other words, employees experience harassment in every type of organization. Moreover, harassment can go from bullying to discrimination. Whatever it is, employees should be aware of all sorts of harassment.
Many workplace harassment cases go unreported. There are many reasons behind it. First of all, many employees are not aware enough about this topic. Chris Chancey (founder of Amplio Recruiting) said that many are unsure of what kind of behavior is harassment. Secondly, many people don’t know what to do about it. Also, some employees are scared to report. Moreover, there can be cases where there was no action. So, people don’t talk about the harassment, thinking nothing is going to change.
Workplace harassment does not only harm the employees. It also affects the organization. Harassment can ruin the work. It does not let employees to focus. Also, the work environment becomes toxic. In other words, it creates a hostile work environment. Therefore, it is a big issue for every company.
TYPES OF WORKPLACE HARASSMENT
In 2018, EEOC received many charges on different types of harassment.
- Racial harassment
Every individual has a different race, skin color, ancestry, and nationality. So, if a person bullies on these aspects, it is racial harassment. Racial jokes, insults, and slurs are also harassment. Moreover, people can make degrading comments on certain features of a person. For instance, if a person insults others based on hair types, accents, dressing styles, customs, and so on.
- Gender harassment
Discriminating people based on their gender is gender harassment. There are many stereotypes about how a man and woman should act or what they should do. For instance, people make fun of male nurses because nursing is considered a woman’s job. Also, people question a woman for being the CEO of a company.
- Religious harassment
Religious harassment is frequent in workplaces. It is bullying or discriminating against a person on their religious beliefs. For instance, some organizations don’t provide holidays for every religious occasion. Also, people make cruel religious jokes. Moreover, employees force others to change their religion.
- Physical harassment
Physical harassment includes physical attacks, assaults, or threats. In other words, it is workplace violence. Physical gestures towards a person can be tricky. It is because the person on the receiving side decides if the action is comfortable or not. Therefore, it is necessary to explain it to the policies of an organization. Many activities can indicate physical harassment. For instance, if a person hits, kicks, or shoves the employee, it is a physical harassment. Also, showing threatening behaviors is wrong. Moreover, a person can also damage the property of others as a sign of harassment.
- Verbal harassment
As the name suggests, verbal harassment is harassing through words. Verbal harassment is not taken as seriously as other forms of harassment. But, it doesn’t mean that employee should not raise their voice against it. If a person threatens, yells, curses, or insults an employee, it is verbal harassment. Verbal harassment degrades the work performance of an employee. It is because the employee feels less confident or ashamed. Also, verbal harassment results in high blood pressure.
- Sexual harassment
Sexual harassment is a frequent workplace harassment. It includes unwanted sexual behavior that makes an employee uncomfortable. In other words, it is harassment that has vulgar features. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a big issue. Courts take this harassment very seriously.
Ipsos works in market research. In 2018, it surveyed on sexual harassment. The report showed the countries where sexual harassment is a big issue. It took four hundred and twenty-seven interviews.
Sexual harassment takes place in many forms. For instance, if a person sends you sexual photos or videos, it is sexual harassment. Also, posting vulgar posters that makes employees uncomfortable is wrong. Moreover, inappropriate sexual touching and gestures in the workplace is harassment. Similarly, there are many other activities like sexual comments, jokes, and questions.
IMPACTS OF WORKPLACE HARASSMENT
There are many disadvantages to workplace harassment. Workplace harassment does not only harm the employees. It also affects the organizations. Some cons of workplace harassment are:
- Loss of job motivation
When employees face workplace harassment, they don’t like working for that company. Hence, they lose job motivation.
- Mental and physical stress
Workplace harassment disturbs employees mentally as well as physically. Therefore, it results in mental and physical stress or trauma.
- Quitting/changing job
Workplace harassment creates a toxic work environment. It repels employees. So, to escape from the negative vibes, employees quit their job. Due to this, an organization loses a potential workforce.
- Frequent conflicts
Workplace harassment degrades the relationship between employees. Therefore, it causes frequent conflicts in the workplace.
- Health issues
Workplace harassment also results in many medical problems. For instance, harassment can result in increased blood pressure and insomnia.
- Extended leave
Workplace harassment makes employees not want to come to the office. It results in increased absenteeism. They demand leaves often. Due to this, the work performance degrades.
The Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) surveyed about three hundred and seventy-five people. The topic was about how workplace harassment affects the organization and employees. The result was as follow:
WAYS TO STOP WORKPLACE HARASSMENT
Workplace harassment is like a virus. It harms and then eventually kills an organization. So, it is necessary to stop it. Some ways to eradicate workplace harassment are:
- Explain and implement the company policies
It is necessary to mention about workplace harassment in the company policies. Employees should be aware of the harassment. It can help them to raise their voice. Also, the policies should mention the consequences properly. When someone is found guilty, he/she should suffer accordingly.
- Train the employees
Employees should have proper knowledge about workplace harassment. They should be able to recognize it. Also, employees should know how to report it.
- Improve the complaint system
The internal complaint system of an organization needs to be effective. It should be in good condition. It helps the employees to complain without any hesitation.