When a new business is launched, there are many issues to deal with. It is all about getting organized and often, the culture aspects of a workplace take a back seat. However, relationships are being built and many employees work very long hours. There are some who might cross that line between work and personal relationships. Having sexual harassment and discrimination policies in place will create clear guidelines to follow. The following are suggestions when starting a business:
Build an impartial committee: The first employees hired in a new business are often very close to the founders. Because they are there from the beginning, these workers might have an air of authority, so those hired later might not want to confide in them if they are harassed. Therefore, there should be a mix of volunteers to build a committee that is seen as impartial.
Creating a respectful tone: It is important to nail down rules about language and interactions among workers. Employees often form close friendships. Clear boundaries need to be established that can regulate what is said or done outside of the office.
Work relationships: When there are many people working together intensely, it is natural that relationships will be formed, and some may be romantic relationships. Clear guidelines regulating relationships must be established. It is also important to establish an equal playing field among genders.
Harassment policy: The committee should create a written policy that is reinforced with continued training. In that policy, physical, verbal, written, and graphic harassment should be defined with examples.