Have you suffered workplace harassment?

Let’s talk about workplace harassment, it is an uncomfortable issue but we have to deal with, not only causes morale damages to the person affected, but also sicks the entire organization. In this article we are going to help you identify it and what to do if you are living it. 

In the United States, the RAND EDUCATION AND LABOR portal reports that 6.14% of the female workforce consider they have been victims of workplace harassment at work; while, in the case of males, 4.24% of workers state that they have been victims of these behaviors. 

An article in the American Workers Series confirms that one in five American workers was subjected to some form of verbal abuse, unwanted sexual attention, threats or humiliating behavior at work in the last month, or physical violence, intimidation, harassment, in work in the past year. The most common adverse events were verbal abuse and threats (12.8% experienced it in the past month), intimidation or harassment, including sexual harassment (10.2% in the past year), and behavior humiliating (9% in the last month). 

For this reason, this is the right moment to know what types of behaviors and actions led by people with ranks higher than ours within our work environment are considered harassment and we did not know it. 

It is time to stop people who abuse from their position to shed their personal frustrations and who coerce their subordinates many times in an unfair and inconsiderate way.Let’s start by mentioning that workplace harassment is offensive behavior that many people are subjected to and must endure as a condition to keep their job. 

It also includes all disrespectful conduct that violates human integrity and that any person with common sense would find humiliating, denigrating and malicious. 

The Civility Partners portal refers to the fact that first, harassment can happen to anyone in any organization. While there are generalities about bullies and organizational risk factors that can foster a culture of bullying, bullying and toxic behaviors are not exclusive. If you think your business is too small to have a bullying problem, or that it could never happen here, think again. 

Second, there is a broader organizational problem. When employees fear retaliation, it’s a sign that their work environment is sending that message. Employees will keep quiet and allow the behavior to escalate and grow, or go directly to an attorney for legal advice. 

Harassment is illegal and the United States Department of Labor has specific laws to defend employees on this issue. 

Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 years or older), disability, or genetic information. 

An uncomfortable situation turns into harassment when: 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of maintaining employment, or 2) the conduct creating an intimidating, hostile, or abusive work environment. Anti-discrimination laws also prohibit harassment against individuals in retaliation for filing a charge of discrimination, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit under these laws; or oppose labor practices that they reasonably believe discriminate against people, in violation of these laws. 

Now, if you feel identified with some of the situations described above, it is necessary that you immediately go to the human resources department and that your superiors begin to promote prevention as the best alternative to deal with these types of situations. On the other hand, you can also contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). To locate an EEOC office, call 1-866-408-8075. You can also use the search engine: enter your zip code where it says “ZIP Code” and click “Go”. The next screen will show you the closest office. 

From the bosses to the employees of the different agencies, all are called upon to take the necessary measures to deal with harassment, not only attending and developing training mechanisms, but also reacting quickly and protected not only by law but within a framework of humanism. that protects people who interact in a workplace, not only physically but emotionally. 

This means that company leaders must do great efforts to create an environment where employees feel free to raise their concerns and trust that those concerns will be addressed, without ignoring that there will always be those people willing to keep quiet for fear of losing their jobs or being referred with negative employment references in their new jobs, it is our duty to invite these people to face the situation and report it to the competent authorities such as the local offices known as Civil Rights Center. 

To reflect: What can you do to make your staff feel comfortable talking about this? If you think something of this is happening in your company or you have heard rumors about it, it is time to pay attention to them. Call us and we implement a work plan to make the necessary adjustments and handle the situation in the best way possible. 

Remember that as a leader it is your responsibility to know how the work environment is in your organization, so be sure to hold periodic evaluation meetings so that you find out first-hand. Visit our website where you will find a work climate survey model proposed by Harvard Business Review: 

MODEL WORKPLACE CLIMATE SURVEY 

Complete the following survey about your experience at XYZ Company, without referring to experiences at any prior organizations. The value of this survey depends directly on getting an accurate view of our workplace culture, so please answer all questions as honestly as possible. 

1. Which of the following describes your gender? 
• Male 
• Female 
• Prefer to self-describe (specify) 
• Prefer not to say 

Gender Bias 

2. I feel valued by the organization. 
(1) Strongly disagree 
(2) Disagree 
(3) Slightly disagree 
(4) Neither agree nor disagree, or have no opinion 
(5) Slightly agree 
(6) Agree 
(7) Strongly agree 

3. I believe my opportunities for career success are negatively affected by my gender. 
(1) Strongly disagree 
(2) Disagree 
(3) Slightly disagree 
(4) Neither agree nor disagree, or have no opinion 
(5) Slightly agree 
(6) Agree 
(7) Strongly agree 

4. The people I work with treat me with respect and appreciation. 
(1) Strongly disagree 
(2) Disagree 
(3) Slightly disagree 
(4) Neither agree nor disagree, or have no opinion 
(5) Slightly agree 
(6) Agree 
(7) Strongly agree 

5. My views are encouraged and welcomed by my supervisors and senior leaders without regard to my gender. 
(1) Strongly disagree 
(2) Disagree 
(3) Slightly disagree 
(4) Neither agree nor disagree, or have no opinion 
(5) Slightly agree 
(6) Agree 
(7) Strongly agree 

6. Career-enhancing assignments and opportunities are disproportionately given to men. 
(1) Strongly disagree 
(2) Disagree 
(3) Slightly disagree 
(4) Neither agree nor disagree, or have no opinion 
(5) Slightly agree 
(6) Agree 
(7) Strongly agree 

Civility 

7. My coworkers are courteous and friendly. 
(1) Strongly disagree 
(2) Disagree 
(3) Slightly disagree 
(4) Neither agree nor disagree, or have no opinion 
(5) Slightly agree 
(6) Agree 
(7) Strongly agree 

8. I’m aware of unpleasant and negative gossip in the workplace. 
(1) Strongly disagree 
(2) Disagree 
(3) Slightly disagree 
(4) Neither agree nor disagree, or have no opinion 
(5) Slightly agree 
(6) Agree 
(7) Strongly agree 

9. I’m aware of abusive, disrespectful, or hostile treatment of employees. 
(1) Strongly disagree 
(2) Disagree 
(3) Slightly disagree 
(4) Neither agree nor disagree, or have no opinion 
(5) Slightly agree 
(6) Agree 
(7) Strongly agree 

10. I’m aware of bullying behavior in the workplace. 
(1) Strongly disagree 
(2) Disagree 
(3) Slightly disagree 
(4) Neither agree nor disagree, or have no opinion 
(5) Slightly agree 
(6) Agree 
(7) Strongly agree 

Every day is an opportunity to improve, not only for ourselves but for those around us. If you are convinced that the time has come to initiate impactful changes on a personal level and in your company, count on me as an ally for it. Visit me on my contact page https://rociolifecoach.com/contact/ and give yourself the opportunity to adapt a whole plan for a renewal process in your life. 

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