How To Create Harassment Training That Engages And Informs

Sexual harassment Training in the workplace, while condemned, is not something businesses are Federally legally mandated to become educated or train their staff members on.

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Perhaps there are three states that have incorporated legislation to enforce regulations on training in this regard. Still, broadly, the decisions are left up to the varied organizations to implement their own programs as they deem appropriate.

Most companies in all states strive to have an effective training program in place. Check for an example. The primary goal is to eliminate the potential for violations of individual rights. No one should come to work feeling in any way threatened. The issue elevates instances of employee absenteeism, decreases staff productivity, and creates an increase in turnover.

Businesses are making the training a mandatory condition of employment for every employee on staff, including those in leadership positions.

It has become a part of the onboarding with new talent and compliance training annually, plus companies are discussing the topic outside of the formal training sessions to keep employees aware. How can you ensure the program you use benefits your business? Let’s look at a few tips.

How To Create Harassment Training that Engages And Informs

Incorporating training of any sort into a business environment needs to be interactive and engaging, or you will lose the audience’s attention. One of the key elements of sexual harassment training is ensuring the team recognizes the seriousness of the circumstances.

The ideal way to do that is to have the message presented by the highest authority in the company. When employees are sent to speak to this person based on poor performance, they stand up and listen.

It would be the same effect with a training session. Each person would recognize the severity of the problem because this individual took time from their schedule to discuss it. When not having adequate leadership for the program or ensuring employees feel involved, there’s risks for training to backfire. Learn a few tips to avoid this here.

Leadership positions should receive harassment  training workshops first

Before the organization as a whole receive sexual harassment training, those in leadership positions need to go through the workshops initially since their protocol will be entirely different from that of the employees.

The management team will be learning methods for preventing occurrences within the workspace and how to incorporate the training sessions effectively so all employees will be able to take advantage. The leadership will also be trained to be the people employees report the incidents to.

Employees need to clearly understand who they need to reach out to when feeling they’re becoming a harassment target or when witnessing incidents of harassment. Staff members must recognize they can do so without the fear of judgment or repercussions.

Leaders will be guided on how to inform the team what the consequences will be if there is a policy violation and the discipline procedure for the violations. If there are potential criminal charges, a legal defense needs to be prepared.

How To Create Harassment Training

Break the rules down from obvious to what might not be understood

Most staff members will be aware of the varied explicit sexual behaviors that are definitively off base on the job site, including kissing, hugging, and groping. These still need to be addressed in training in case someone is not aware or clear on what constitutes inappropriateness.

But then there are the not-so-apparent behaviors that need to be investigated in much more detail. These are a much more “gray area,” if you will, sort of like telling someone you like what they’re wearing or sharing an inappropriate joke that might make someone uncomfortable. Many employees would find these things unintentional behaviors or “innocent.” 

When someone doesn’t find these to be harmless incidents, you could find yourself looking at criminal charges, not to mention the possibility of civil lawsuits and punishment that can include losing your job. Visit here for why leaders should empower bystanders in order to have an effective sexual harassment platform.

Final Thought

While businesses are not required by Federal law to educate or train their employees on harassment as an organization, many states and cities are taking the opportunity to create guidelines for the businesses in their communities.

An effective program is interactive and engaging, pertinent to the industry the employees work within.

In this way, each employee will be able to see themself in the situation you’re discussing or the videos or handouts you use. It’s vital to bring a semblance of realism to the staff. While the employee will have roughly an hour each year for compliance and leadership will see approximately two hours, it shouldn’t be limited to that.

There should be ongoing opportunities for an open forum and vast awareness so that the whole team acknowledges that protecting rights is not something leaders put on the back burner when the training is over. 

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