Sexual harassment can happen anywhere. Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company with thousands of employees or a small startup sharing a co-working space, sexual harassment can and does happen. So what do you do when it happens? For small companies, this answer isn’t always clear, which can encourage a culture of staying silent.
A recent Harvard Business Review article on sexual harassment in small firms identified several characteristics that make small businesses more susceptible to sexual harassment. Most importantly, smaller firms often do not have an HR department, meaning that it’s up to CEOs to manage and oversee workplace behavior. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 75% of sexual harassment incidents in the workplace go unreported due to fear of retaliation. That fear is a lot greater when the person you have to report sexual harassment to happens to be your boss.
In addition to being more susceptible to sexual harassment, the consequences for workplace productivity tend to be greater for small firms. If two employees in a small team suddenly can’t work together, it can be extremely disruptive to the team’s work and if the employee who was harassed does not report the incident, it can be hard to address these disruptions. Furthermore, bearing the costs of a sexual harassment lawsuit would be a much greater burden for a small firm than a large company.
These are all good reasons for small firms to take having an effective sexual harassment policy seriously, but hiring a full-time HR employee or a consultant to lead trainings is often cost prohibitive. That’s why the Woices app is a great solution that helps small firms enforce their sexual harassment policies while keeping costs low. The app allows employees to anonymously report sexual harassment, which protects them from potential retaliation while encouraging a culture of speaking out. By using the app, company leaders are able to spot and end patterns of abuse immediately, creating a safer and more productive environment for their teams. Finally, the Woices app helps small firms keep costs low by enabling company leaders to continue fulfilling the role of HR while eliminating the issues that often deter small firm employees from reporting sexual harassment
If your company is interested in using the Woices app, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free trial