Request for funding to complete a business communications course on Sexual Harassment.
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To prevent the possibility of sexual harassment at the workplace, it is necessary to provide employees with an appropriate business communication course that will directly target sexual harassment, identify factors that can lead to its development, and provide employees with theoretical and practical approaches that can be applied to prevent it. I believe that to avoid potential sexual harassment in the organization or practices related to it, it is necessary to establish a business communication course that will openly and address this problem and help employees evaluate its importance and potential influence on the working environment and the organization. Employees’ awareness of the issue will result in an improvement in the workplace environment and a reduction in the risk of sexual harassment.
McLaughlin, Uggen, and Blackstone (2012) point out that gender, race, and class positions can imbue harassers with informal power; it is suggested that more vulnerable workers (e.g., women, employees with little workplace authority, minorities) can become subjects to greater harassment. At the same time, individuals who threaten the power and dominance of others can also become targets of workplace sexual harassment.
It is critical to draw employees’ attention to the influence of perceived power on organizational relationships and climate. The organization needs to acknowledge the problem and address it accordingly, as the lack of acknowledgment will lead to decreased satisfaction of victims with organizational support. The lack of organizational support and its inability to address the issue can negatively affect employees’ commitment and job performance (Dionisi, Barling, & Dupré, 2012).
It is necessary to introduce the employees to such concepts as gender harassment (e.g., sexual taunts, slurs, gestures, distribution of pornographic materials), unwanted sexual attention (unwelcome behaviors aimed at sexual cooperation), and sexual coercion (unwanted sexual advances combined with bribes) to ensure they can distinguish, address, and prevent different types of sexual harassment that can potentially arise (Dionisi et al., 2012).
To prevent the incidents of sexual harassment in the organization, it is necessary to outline policies and procedures for making a complaint, promptly investigate allegations, and initiate action if it is proven that the incident took place (Buchanan, Settles, Hall, & O’Connor, 2014). The purpose of a business course will be the following: to increase employees’ awareness of and knowledge about sexual harassment, to increase the likelihood of complaint failing if sexual harassment takes place, to reduce the negative impact of sexual harassment on targets, and to ensure that bystanders can intervene (Buchanan et al., 2014). Group training provided by a professional can be considered as a valid intervention.
A positive response to this request will show employees that the organization is ready and able to support them during such an incident, which can positively influence the company’s image and job satisfaction. A six-week-long business communications course (two days per week) that will start in February and end in March appears to be sufficient. During the course, specific attention should be paid to sexual harassment in social media, as not all employees might be aware of what behaviors are acceptable inside and outside the organization (Mainiero & Jones, 2013). The course can take place in the organizational conference room to avoid additional expenses. Services of an outside professional will require approximately $1800 ($150 per hour x twelve sessions, each 60 min. long).
To prevent sexual harassment in the organization, training courses are necessary as they increase employees’ awareness of the issue and teach them how to respond to it. It is essential to start a business communication course that will open and address the problem of sexual harassment and help employees understand its significance.
Thank you for your attention and consideration.
Buchanan, N. T., Settles, I. H., Hall, A. T., & O’Connor, R. C. (2014). A review of organizational strategies for reducing sexual harassment: Insights from the US military. Journal of Social Issues, 70(4), 687-702.
Dionisi, A. M., Barling, J., & Dupré, K. E. (2012). Revisiting the comparative outcomes of workplace aggression and sexual harassment. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 17(4), 398-408.
Mainiero, L. A., & Jones, K. J. (2013). Workplace romance 2.0: Developing a communication ethics model to address potential sexual harassment from inappropriate social media contacts between coworkers. Journal of Business Ethics, 114(2), 367-379.
McLaughlin, H., Uggen, C., & Blackstone, A. (2012). Sexual harassment, workplace authority, and the paradox of power. American Sociological Review, 77(4), 625-647.