As promised in my last blog and following on our 'Winning Cards' theme, we're now looking at 'Harassed Helen'. Harassment is just one grievance that can affect any business - other common complaints include discrimination and bullying and I'll go into those in more detail next time. For now though, let's be clear about what exactly is classed as harassment.
Harassment is when a person is subject to any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct. That conduct could be an underlying atmosphere of hostility, intimidation, humiliation or degradation or it could be much more visible, such as bullying, banter, direct abuse, name-calling or people making inappropriate jokes in the workplace. Whatever form the harassment takes, it's unwanted and unsolicited behaviour.
Being harassed is potentially a form of discrimination, for various reasons. If Harassed Helen for instance, works in a male-dominated environment, she could be vulnerable to sexual harassment. That could come in all forms, from calendars with topless women hanging on the walls to sexual innuendos. We've even had to deal with instances of inappropriate physical behaviour and women being put under pressure to go for drinks at lunchtime or after work - her boss might be making suggestions as to how she might get her next promotion or she might be put in a compromising position in the office. It sounds like these instances belong in an episode of 'Life of Mars' with DCI Gene Hunt in the starring role but forms of harassment do still occur and they could be occurring in your workplace without you even being aware.
That's why it's particularly important for you to a) make yourself aware of what's going on in your organisation, and b) have very clear policies and procedures in place to protect your staff - both male and female! [Read more]
MOTIVATING WITHOUT MONEY - 2½-hour Practical Seminar - Friday 9 September 2011, 9.30am - 12.00pm.
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