The world is not perfect. But we don't expect it to be sad and harsh. Sadly, it is the reality when it comes to harassment at workplace.
I was going through the newspaper the other day to get a quick glance at the ups and downs in the world. Much to my shock, I came across the news about a harassment case which involves a famous Youtube channel.
It prompted me to write on this much debated issue and provide the steps that an HR manager needs to take.
You are able to deal with such issues better when there is no restricted boundary around you. And what I mean by restricted boundary is something that is not totally in your control. For an example, harassment in a workplace.
More often than not, you find yourself get caught in the act of harassment of varying levels. Sadly, some of us don’t even get the slightest idea about the activities that come under the deadly sphere of harassment.
This brings me to introduce different types of harassments that can be present in the workplace.
We have already strongly pointed out that the diversity in a workplace is very important. And, cultural diversity is the most common one. So far so good.
But there is a catch here. You surely need teammates that clearly understand the significance of it. Otherwise, the sole motive of having a diverse team would be lost. And, the onus is on the HR manager to make sure the successful implementation of it.
So, what are the possible activities that considered as a caste harassment? If you are being repeatedly referred with reference to your caste and being negatively characterised for the same, then it is the clear sign of caste harassment.
Harassment on the basis of looks
This is unfortunate that many people don’t take it as a sign of harassment. In fact, it is very common in the department where you have to represent your company. For example; you are being rejected to drive a sales call over Skype just because of your poor looks.
Harassment with a threat
This is the severe kind of harassment. Let me give you an example to illustrate the picture. “She was subject to harassment when her team member asked her out for a dinner, and threatened her with dire consequences if she wouldn’t go with him.”
It is both morally and ethically incorrect to forcefully ask for a favor. Which is why HR managers must be open to listen to these complaints and should quickly act on it.
There are many other kinds of severe harassments which include sexual molestation, physical abuse etc. All of these complaints should be addressed immediately and HR managers should perform these careful measures to resolve such immediate issues.
Talk with the concerned employee
You should position yourself as the attorney of the individual. Give all the help that he or she needs from you and provide a strong statement that the appropriate action would be taken by the company.
Be aware of every detail of acquisition
Ask the employee to give all information regarding the harassment. You would be able to think this through better if you are well equipped with the required information. Make sure to take a note of each piece of facts and information such as date, place, witnesses, etc.
Assure the employee of a fair judgement
Make sure to calm down the employee first and assure him/her that a strong and a quick investigation will be performed to validate the acquisitions. It is equally important to tell the employee to have patience and co-operate with you for an unbiased decision.
Set a neutral tone with an accused
It is crucial in an investigation that there shouldn’t be any preconceived notion against the accused. Hence, repeat the above steps for the accused as well. You should carefully listen to his/her statement and pay equal attention to it.
HR managers should then analyse the present information and come to a valid conclusion backed by data and witnesses.