A safe workplace is the basic right of any employee. While the Indian law with legislations like the PoSH act 2013, ascertain these rights, the onus of creating that environment is on the employer.
We have curated a list of practices that the management can adopt to create a safe workplace:
- All areas of the office floor should be monitored through a CCTV surveillance system. This includes passages, entrances and exits.
- There must be a requirement of identification documents of employees from all departments.
- In times of off-site visits, client meetings, field work, there must be constant updates regarding the status of the field work, with respect to pick up and drop off details.
- Emergency contact numbers should be communicated to employees going out on office work.
- A ledger of visitors to the workplace should be maintained. This can include name, address, contact number, the purpose of visit, organization, time and date, etc.
- All modes of transport provided to the employees should be through established reputed places to ensure safety.
- There should be communication of zero tolerance to sexual harassment to all the employees.
- The Internal Committee established should work proactively to implement and communicate the policy.
- Regular interaction between the employees and the Internal Committee should be encouraged. This will help in building trust between both the parties.
- Proper procedure on how to file a complaint of sexual harassment should be communicated via email, posters etc.
- Regular trainings on unconscious bias and sexual harassment should be considered for all the employees.
- Leaders should encourage their employees to stand against any form of harassment using an established redressal mechanism.
- Leadership should attend the harassment training with the company’s employees, this will help create an inclusive environment where all employees are subject to the company-wide policies.
- Regular feedback from the employees on auditing the functioning of the harassment policies plays a huge role in effective implementation and access to such policies.
- Develop a handbook for the employees to help them understand what ranges of behaviour will amount to sexual harassment and will not be tolerated.
Adopting such measures will reduce the legal and financial liability for an organisation. If implemented properly, these measures help make employees feel safer and increase their productivity.