Workplace harassment can take the form of physical, sexual, or verbal abuse. Building a pleasant workplace requires training managers and employees to recognize and respond to all types of harassment. While every employee has the right to work in a safe environment, every employer should take action to mitigate instances of harassment and provide a friendly and inclusive working environment.

In recent years, the topic of sexual harassment in the workplace has been brought into the national spotlight, bringing with it renewed awareness about the serious and unacceptable nature of these actions and the severe consequences that follow.

The term “sexual harassment” may mean different things to different people, depending on your life experience. Certain conduct may seem acceptable or have seemed acceptable in the past, yet that does not mean it is acceptable in a working environment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a person in authority trades, or tries to trade, job benefits for sexual favors.

Any harassment that occurs in the workplace might result in instant dismissal and, in certain situations, legal action. On the other side, verbal harassment is harder to identify. This is because the precise behaviors associated with this are subjective. In general, verbal harassment is described as discrimination against a person, including verbal abuse against LGBT people.

Here is how you can help prevent and identify harassment in the workplace:

  • Concentrate on enhancing your workplace culture and communication.
  • Improve your understanding of inappropriate behavior.
  • Routinely refresh your training and understanding of the types of harassment typically seen in workplaces.
  • Understand how to report harassment and how best to navigate a situation so those affected don’t feel alienated or alone.
  • Have open discussions with your team members to create a network of understanding.

Harassment can occur anywhere and initially might not “seem like a big deal.” But prolonged harassment can have negative effects on mental health, corporate culture, and overall productivity. Identifying and stopping harassment as soon as possible can guarantee the improved health and safety of all employees.

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