More than 50 percent of all employees have already experienced sexual assaults at work. Time to act.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: How Big Is the Problem?
According to a survey from the German federal anti-discrimination office from 2015, more than 50 percent of all employees in Germany have already experienced or witnessed sexual assaults at work. Almost one in five women have been touched by colleagues against their will and twelve percent of the men also reported unwanted physical contact.
Aside from the psychological damage harassment causes to victims, businesses suffer too. Many studies have found that experiencing harassment drives women to leave their jobs, taking their ideas, connections, and potential with them. This leads to a costly need to hire and train new employees. There is also evidence that harassment can hurt the cohesion and functioning of teams. Companies stand to lose valuable employees if they don’t work to eliminate sexual harassment.
5. Don’t wait for employee reports to find out the extent of the problem in your company
Be proactive and add questions in your annual employee engagement survey to find out whether staff have ever been victims of harassment or seen it happening to someone else. If they have, find out if they ever reported it and if not, why not. This allows you to determine the effectiveness of your company’s reporting program.