5 Important Take-Aways for HR Managers About the #metoo Movement

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5 Things Hiring Managers Should Know About #MeToo

  • The World Is Watching
  • Listen To Accusers
  • Have A Detailed Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Implement Employee Training
  • Understand What Constitutes Sexual Harassment

The #metoo Movement is making waves across the globe and should be giving hiring managers pause. The issue of sexual abuse and harassment in the workplace has never been so at the forefront of society as it is now. Hiring managers should be taking away these five things from this revolutionary movement.

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1. The World Is Watching

Sexual harassment issues can simply no longer be avoided or not taken seriously. Thanks to social media and a society that is now taking true action against sexual abusers, HR managers must understand that sexual harassment at their company that is not addressed will become a #MeToo public relations nightmare. A company’s reputation will take a significant hit and HR managers will have a harder time recruiting quality employees. HR managers need to understand this and implement policies to effectively combat sexual harassment in the workplace for both practical reasons and because it’s the right thing to do.

2. Listen To Accusers

HR managers must be very careful to take accusers seriously. Listen to them and do not brush them off. Never, ever tolerate any kind of retaliation against the accuser from anyone in the company, including the accuser’s boss, their co-workers or other HR employees. This can, of course, get tricky when the harassers are executives in the company. However, HR managers have a duty to all employees – not just the boss. Apply all policy fairly and afford allegations the seriousness they deserve.

3. Have A Detailed Sexual Harassment Policy

HR managers must ensure the official employee handbook for their company has a clear policy regarding sexual harassment. This policy needs to outline the proper procedure that should take place when sexual harassment is being experienced at work. It is also very important to outline strong repercussions for sexual harassers as a deterrent for engaging in that sort of behavior. Ensure policies are fair but also will actually address a problem if it occurs.

4. Implement Employee Training

HR managers can be conscious of the metoo Movement by encouraging and organizing employee training programs that raise awareness of what constitutes sexual assault. They should also ensure all HR personnel are trained in handling sexual harassment cases. When awareness of these issues is high at a company, workers will be more likely to report incidents as well as refrain from engaging in harassment. Education can answer many of the questions employees likely have about sexual harassment issues, whether they are a woman worried about what to do if she is harassed or a man unsure of the line between being friendly and being inappropriate.

5. Understand What Constitutes Sexual Harassment

In order to not only draft effective sexual harassment policies but also be able to talk with employees in a knowledgeable, understanding way, HR managers should strive to understand the subject of sexual harassment and #MeToo in detail. This is particularly important if the HR manager is male, because he will simply not have the same life experiences that a female HR manager is likely to have. HR managers should also continuously educate themselves on standard policy and evolving attitudes about this sensitive subject.

HR managers are on the front lines when it comes to changing cultural attitudes about sexual harassment, as noted in an article published in Forbes. This makes it truly critical for hiring managers to learn from the #metoo Movement and take effective action against sexual harassment in the workplace.