Leveraging Technology to Reduce Sexual Harassment: Possible Solution?

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Leveraging workplace harassment with HR SoftwareWith the recent spate of news on sexual harassment,in the workplace such as those involving the entertainment industry and art scene, do you know what to do as an individual or HR professional if you are confronted with it. It took the power of social media (#MeToo on Twitter) to expose a few of high profile people in the entertainment industry overseas such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and even an executive in our local news media through a Facebook posting. This raises the questions of where there any processes that HR management or C-suite executive can put in place to reduce and manage these incidents more effectively?

 

Firstly, it is key to note that workplace harassment includes more than just sexual harassment. Ministry of Manpower (MOM) provides guidelines and suggestions to both individual and companies in handling these issues. These issues must be managed as they create stress and negative effect on the well being of the employees whether they are directly involved or not.

 

In addition to the guidelines and standard processes, the following points may be useful:

 

  • Visible and clear top management support of the prevention and HR management policy.The employees should be made to feel confident and secure that they are working in a just, fair and protected environment.
  • A clear and independent process to take action on each of the reported incident seriously. This includes timely and comprehensive reporting and response procedures.
  • Social media has become the main tool used in reporting such incidents, some of which happened 30-40 years ago. Nevertheless, it should ideally be reported timely in order to manage the issues more effectively. Yet, it is still a form of public media and employees are likely shy away from using them. Hence, the company should look at some of the latest software tools that can be openly used by employees as a company private communication tool. These tools should be easy to use and confidential whereby employees can use them to report incidents which the HR department can then take action on.
  • Training for your HR professionals in handling these cases: HR professionals that are tasked to investigate and take action on any reported case, should have training to gain the competency to perform the job.
  • Acquiring a HRMS software that provides modules with an employee survey or feedback function. The tool can be an alternative channel to allow reporting or detecting of any harassment case. Furthermore, HRMS software should provide facilities to keep track of any reported incident and action taken. These are critical in formulating any action plan.

 

In summary, HR department should be pro-active in implementing the appropriate policy to manage these issues. Using company private messaging tools and HRMS software survey will enhance the ability to manage any workplace harassment more effectively.

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