Sexual harassment refers to any sexual conduct or advance to a person whether a man or a woman that is unwelcome. This form of harassment creates an offensive, hostile and intimidating working environment. It is a wide spread problem which in most cases has the effect of causing low morale among the workers especially those that are frequently sexually harassed. It leads to low productivity and thus low output for unions and employers and also introduces an expense to the management in terms of the law suits filed by the workers who have been sexually harassed.
Therefore less sexual harassment will lead to increased productivity at the work place and in addition reduce the legal costs incurred as a result of the cases that have been filed by the sexually harassed workers (Roberts, & Mann, n. d. ). Effects of sexual harassment at work place Sexual harassment creates a hostile working environment for the workers and especially the ones facing sexual harassment. For any worker to be productive, academic achievements and experience alone are not enough to ensure optimal productivity. The working environment for the worker is a very important factor maximum productivity among the workers.
The workers who are frequently harassed either sexually or through any other form of harassment usually have a negative attitude towards their work in the organization and in fact hate the organization they are working for and will in most cases remain in such organizations simply because they cannot secure another job with another company, otherwise they will quit their work in the organization from which they are being sexually harassed at the earliest opportunity. Sexually harassed workers cannot be as productive as their counter parts in other companies that are not facing such harassment.
Thus it is very important for the management of every company to ensure that all their workers are well protected from any form of harassment and especially sexual harassment, as this will result in increased productivity (Sims, & Drasgow, 2002). In Malaysia a study was performed and it indicated that increased cases of sexual harassment were actually leading to low productivity in various organizations. The ministry of human resources despite advocating for training of the effects of sexual harassment at the work place also made a lot of efforts in preventing sexual harassment by changing attitudes among the workers and the management.
The ministry started a continuous program which combined demonstration, theory, coaching and proactive actions which had a lot of impact in reducing sexual harassment and as a result increased productivity was realized in the country (Roberts, & Mann, n. d. ). Sexually harassed workers will in most cases, are emotionally affected by the intimidating and unwelcome sexual conduct and advance on them, by those perpetrating the vice. Workers who are psychologically disturbed will obviously be less productive as compared to those ones who are emotionally stable.
Studies have shown that persons who have faced sexual harassment for extended periods of time are likely to suffer similar psychological effects as those experienced by victims of rape. Such people will always feel disturbed both at work place and outside their work places. They therefore, perform poorly in their work as they are more likely to concentrate more on the harassment and its effects instead of their assignments (Sims, & Drasgow, 2002). Low morale might be realized from the sexually harassed workers as they are not motivated to perform well.
Such workers will in most cases just work mechanically to only meet the requirements of the management. They are less creative and innovative in their work since they do not see the sense of improving their work in work places they do not enjoy working in. sexually harassed workers with low morale will produce less as compared to those who are working in conducive environments in which they are likely to enjoy their work and thus produce more as well as be more innovative and creative, thus ensuring that their organizations remain competitive (Roberts, & Mann, n.d. ).
Sexually harassed workers usually have increased absenteeism from their work places in an attempt of avoiding the harassment. They will fail to attend work as a result of stress and illnesses arising out of the harassment. Thus there is loss of work days and thus the levels of production drop significantly as cases of sexual harassment increases (Sims, & Drasgow, 2002). Strategic advantages of affirmative action programs to organizations.
When affirmative action programs are well employed in recruiting workers to join an organization, it will ensure that only those who are well qualified for various positions will be hired by the organization and thus the company is better placed to be productive. The principle for affirmative action when hiring employees should be purely based on merit, ability and qualifications. It should as much as possible try to be independent of national origin, race, or sex of the workers and thus such should not be the basis of hiring or promoting workers (Karsten, 2006).
Affirmative action ensures that only the best qualified in terms of qualification, experience and ability are chosen to occupy certain positions. This will help the organization to survive in the long run as such people are more likely to be more innovative and creative and thus ensure that the company remains or becomes more competitive (Kivel, 1995). Employing people on merit also answers the question of equality and thus the company is more likely to improve its image to the society who comprise of their customers and thus the company might realize increased sales.
When the people feel that a certain company is discriminating them in terms of denying them equal employment opportunity, such people are likely to shy away from consuming products and services that are provided by the company. Such people also have the propensity of talking ill about the company, this will destroy the reputation of the company and will lead to decreased sales revenue which might eventually lead to its collapse if it continues with the vice of discrimination and thus companies should come up with affirmative action programs which will ensure that discrimination is avoided at all cost in the organization (Karsten, 2006).
Affirmative actions greatly affect the effectiveness of organizations, this is because the most effective and efficient employees are engaged at various levels of production. Without an affirmative action workers may be hired or promoted due to other reasons other than merit. This would significantly affect the overall effectiveness of the organization as less qualified workers might be engaged to perform certain tasks which could have been performed better by other more qualified personnel had merit been used as a basis of engaging such employees (Kivel, 1995).
Lack of a proper affirmative action might also significantly affect the share prices of an organization, since it will be less attractive to the investors who originate from back grounds that the company is fond of discriminating. This will in the long run affect the capital base of the company and might eventually make it to face serious financial crisis, thus hindering its effective operations (Karsten, 2006). Conclusion Sexual harassment is a vice that should not be tolerated at any cost in an organization as it will lower the levels of productivity among the workers.
Thus the company will face increased costs of operations since it will be remunerating its workers for less production. The sexually harassed workers will be working in an environment that is hostile for them and thus they will have low morale to work effectively. An affirmative action program in an organization is very important as it sets out the rules and regulations to be followed. When used appropriately an affirmative action will ensure that a firm remains competitive and thus its future is guaranteed to some extent.