Every half-decent manager out there knows the importance of taking all harassment complaints seriously. But many forget to take all necessary steps in handling the complaint — and end up paying for it in the long run.
If a finance staffer comes to you with a harassment claim, be sure to:
1. Let HR know immediately. This is a must for all harassment complaints — regardless of the severity.
2. Stay impartial. It’s not your job to console the accuser. Make sure you’re simply getting the facts in an unbiased manner.
3. Document, document, document. Proper documentation can make or break a harassment investigation, so be sure to record everything from memos and reports to conversations.
4. Follow-up right away. After the investigation is complete, be sure to follow-up with the employee who made the harassment claim. Be sure to find out whether the harassment has stopped, if he or she is satisfied with how everything was handled, etc. (Key: It’s imperative to make sure the employee is satisfied with how the complaint was handled — otherwise your company could end up in court.)