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(Editor’s Note: Today’s article is brought to you by our friends at HRdirect, a trusted source for employee-related compliance, administration, and motivation tools. They serve as a one-stop shop to make employee management easier. Enjoy the read!)
Organizations must create safe work environments for their employees. I know we’ve spent a lot of time talking about workplace safety in terms of COVID and the pandemic, but I want to address another equally important subject – sexual harassment.
According to a survey from Stop Street Harassment, 81% of women and 43% of men report experiencing some form of sexual harassment. Of those women, 38% say they were harassed at work. In addition, a 2020 report by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) shows that 55.8% of retaliation complaints occur after reporting a sexual harassment claim. I don’t have to explain that this doesn’t contribute to the goal of creating a safe work environment for employees.
The question becomes what we can do to change it. And it starts with education. But before I get into some specifics about harassment prevention training, there are three things I want to address about building a good foundation for harassment prevention training.
- The management team needs to be onboard with the program. And when I say the management team, I mean the entire management team. There should be zero tolerance for harassment and zero tolerance for retaliation. Period.
- While harassment prevention training is part of the organization’s compliance strategy, it could be helpful not to treat it like a “watch this and check off a box” activity. This is about truly understanding the information.
- Yes, harassment is a legal matter. But that doesn’t mean the goal for harassment prevention training is to teach people the law. Be strategic in citing the law so it has the proper impact.
Okay, now that we’ve talked about how to build a good foundation for harassment prevention training, let me tell you about a program that can help your organization achieve these goals.
Our friends at HRdirect offer several different harassment prevention programs to suit your operational needs. Here’s an overview of what they provide:
Federal, State, and Local: Some employers erroneously believe they only need to provide harassment prevention training to employees in states and local jurisdictions that have statues requiring it. Just as a reminder, there are currently several geographic areas that have specific training requirements (i.e., CA, CT, DE, IL, ME, NY, Chicago, and NYC).
While these states and cities have statues requiring harassment prevention training, other federal, state, and local laws, along with court decisions have made it clear that employers should provide harassment prevention training to all employees (in all states). Organizations will want to keep in mind if they have a remote workforce, that they want to make sure employees receive the right training.
Manager and Employee: Many organizations offer harassment prevention training for employees plus an additional session for managers, who might have an employee express concern to them.
Organizations will want to make sure that all employees know what to do. An organization with a small management team, might not have the resources to design and deliver their own training programs. Purchasing a program could be a great option.
In-person, Online, and Self-paced: It only makes sense to have the ability to deliver training in multiple formats. Especially with today’s technology and flexible workforce options. Employees who are working remotely do not have to wait to be scheduled for an in-person training session. Organizations can offer options and continue to make workplace safety a priority.
Knowledge Transfer: HRdirect’s harassment prevention training programs include quiz questions to confirm the transfer of learning. This allows the organization to hold employees accountable for the content.
What I really like about HRdirect’s harassment prevention training is the level of personalization it brings to the organization. We can make sure we’re delivering the right content. To everyone in the organization. In multiple formats so it stays engaging. With quiz questions to reinforce learning. This keeps the organization from falling behind on compliance because they “don’t have enough people for an in-person training class”.
Harassment prevention is an important topic for organizations and individuals. Give it the respect and attention it deserves. If you want to learn more about HRdirect’s harassment prevention training options, check out their website. Also download this eGuide on “Recognizing and Preventing Harassment: 5 Scenarios to Test Your Awareness”. I thought this might be a great conversation starter within the organization about what harassment is and the risk it could pose to the organization.32