Avoiding harassment complaints is a major issue these days. Workplaces that have a high level of “Political Correctness” have many managers that get themselves into trouble with what they say and do. From a training standpoint, here are the “5 R’s” for avoiding harassment complaints:
Refrain – Managers have to set an example by refraining from unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation against employees.
Report – Managers must report all complaints to Human Resources even if the employee requests that nothing be done, asks for absolute confidentiality, does not use the legal “buzz” words or even if the manager thinks the complaint has no merit.
Respond – Managers must respond proactively even if there is no formal complaint. Silence suggests that the behavior is OK and there needs to be total intolerance of unacceptable behavior.
Remedy – Managers must take steps to remedy unlawful and unacceptable behavior. Make sure to focus on the inappropriateness, not the illegality.
(Don’t) Retaliate – Managers must ensure that there is no retaliation of any kind or even the appearance of retaliation. This includes, but is not limited to the complainant, witnesses, others associated with the complaint or the complainant’s spouse.
Anger and stress management trainings are both preventive and interventional as they teach copings skills and stratetegies and are tailored to the company’s or individual’s challenges.