Harassment claims are very damaging for businesses and those involved. They not only affect productivity and confidence of employees but also make employee retention a very hard task. To curb this vice, anti-harassment training is very crucial to any company. Below is a beginner’s guide to anti-harassment training
A guide to anti-harassment training at work
Should be facilitated by a qualified trainer
If employees are passive participants, training won’t achieve its goal. The training ought to be live. If that’s not possible due to cost reasons or geographical difference of employees, consider an online alternative but let it have an interactive component.
Support should come from the top
Without the backing of senior leaders, the training won’t be taken seriously. Executives should participate in the event and provide the opening or closing comments. They must make it obvious that everyone will be held responsible for adhering to the conditions covered in training.
Training should be taken seriously
The purpose of the exercise is not to sensitize supervisors but also to assist them in keeping their jobs. It should be clear that the employer holds the supervisors to a much higher standard than regular employees. Business risks of participating in or tolerating harassment behavior should be emphasized. Such risks may include the employer’s tarnished reputation, lower employee retention and lost productivity.
Accurate illustrations of unacceptable behaviors should be provided rather than giving general statements. When employers fail to include less obvious examples, the supervisors may end up defining harassment behavior too narrowly. Alternatively, when blatant harassment actions are excluded, the managers can fail to address the issues.
Harassment risk factors
Risk factors that could increase the likelihood of harassment being tolerated should be focused on. One such example is workers who may be dependent on tips by customers and may be afraid to talk about it. The training should focus on how the risk factors can raise the potential for harassment the problems can be addressed by the managers before they occur.
The concern with retaliation is the main reason employees do not speak up when they need to. Employers should define retaliation regarding what is prohibited and who is protected. Examples of discouraged retaliatory actions are excluding employees from important meetings, changing the nature of tasks assigned to an employee or altering the amount of work given to employees. Those who report harassment cases should not be punished for it, but investigations should be carried out to ascertain the allegations.