Is It Harassment? 3 Warning Signs
Harassment in the workplace can come in many forms. Most often, when we think of workplace harassment, we think of sexual harassment. Although sexual harassment is a serious problem, it is certainly not the only type of harassment that can be present in the workplace.
Identifying harassment is one of the most important steps to stopping it. If there is behavior at work that makes you uncomfortable, but you are not sure if it qualifies as harassment, you can use the following three guidelines to help you figure it out.
Violates Company Policies
Companies spend a great deal of time and money developing their policies to create a healthy work environment. These policies were created and are enforced to protect the employees, but also to protect the company from possible legal action. If a company has a policy against a certain behavior, it is a good indication that that behavior is serious and deserves attention. It is a good idea to review your company's handbook and policies to help you identify harassing behaviors.
Distracts From Productivity
If someone's behavior at work is distracting from productivity, the behavior needs to be addressed. Harassment will often take employees' attention off of the work they need to accomplish and place attention rather on the individual harassing others. Bringing this to the attention of managers and supervisors is a good way to direct attention to the behavior early on. When managers and supervisors start to pay attention, in many cases, harassing behavior will stop.
If another employee's behavior is causing you anxiety, there is a good chance that it is unhealthy behavior that has no place at work. Work is a place to focus on tasks and be productive. Anything that distracts from this is unhealthy. Although not all distracting behaviors will be considered harassment, the behavior of other co-workers should not cause anxiety for team members.
If you suspect that harassment is a problem in your workplace, use these three guidelines to help you start to identify what type of behavior you are dealing with so that you reach out to leadership.