Anti-harassment Training For A Safe Workplace

Companies can create a good and productive workspace with anti-harassment and discrimination training that allows all employees to feel safe and secure, irrespective of their color, religion, opinions, or other characteristics. As a result, individuals will be able to permanently unlock the full potential of your employees and create an atmosphere that will support your success. 

Importance of Anti-harassment Training 

Harassment may take various forms, ranging from intimidation and disagreement that fosters an uneasy and restrictive work atmosphere to treating employees in a biased and unfair manner that stifles their potential to advance professionally. Efforts to combat it are not just an ethical but also a legal obligation for the company. There are certainly many more instances of discrimination and abuse in the workplace that have remained undocumented for everyone recorded.

Anti-harassment courses guarantee that the employees are aware of the sorts of behavior that are inappropriate and unacceptable in a workplace. 

Steps To Ensure No Harassment In The Workplace 

  • Don’t let the training be boring

Make sure the training is engaging and led by a trained instructor. The program will not attain its full capabilities if your staff are passive observers. The training must ideally take place in real-time. If this is not possible due to expense or geographical dispersion of personnel, you might explore an online substitute, but it must have an interactive feature.

  • Include the top management

Anti-harassment is a serious corporate policy. Hence, it must be included in the company objectives. Approximately 17 of the 50 states in the United States have a legal requirement that businesses give sexual harassment training to staff as of 2021.  Verify that the topmost levels of administration are behind the policy. Without the support of top executives, the training would most likely be dismissed as a pointless exercise. Management should attend the program and, preferably, speak at the start or finish.

  • Emphasize the training 

Make it clear that the training is to be taken very seriously. This activity isn’t just meant to make supervisors more aware; it’s also meant to help them maintain their jobs. 33% of males, opposed to only 16% of females, are confident in getting training from a senior executive official. Make it clear that the corporation, like the courts, holds CEOs to a higher morality than regular employees.

  • State the result of defiance clearly 

Highlight the negative consequences of engaging in or condoning harassing behavior in the workplace. Loss of productivity, reduced staff retention, and a ruined employer’s reputation are examples of such hazards. Harassment is bad for business, plain and simple. Instead of making sweeping remarks, give concrete examples of undesirable actions. Customize cases so that they are relevant in a particular industry. Canned exercise is a pointless waste of money for everyone involved.

  • Explain the consequences of harassment 

Emphasize the risk features that make harassment more likely to be tolerated. These include a homogeneous workforce and employees who rely on gratuities from clients and may be hesitant to speak up. Supervisory training should emphasize how well these risk variables might enhance the likelihood of harassment so that supervisors can intervene before issues arise.

  • Differentiate between what is harassment and what is not 

Inform trainees of the difference between what is permissible and what is unlawful. Businesses don’t want to imply that some behaviors are illegal when they aren’t. In most situations, one remark, for instance, is not significant. People also wouldn’t want to imply that illegal activity is okay because it isn’t large or widespread enough to be illegal. For example, when given nine distinct actions that might all be classified as sexual harassment, more than half of the participants correctly recognized all about them as harassment.

Give examples of both harsh and subtle harassment. Bosses might define harassing conduct too broadly if employers do not include the less obvious examples. On the other hand, managers may neglect to address what they cannot envision anybody doing even when it occurs if apparent actions are omitted.

  • Give adequate response training

Provide the supervisor with instructions on how to react in an emergency. For example, if bosses aren’t educated on responding when an employee discloses harassment, they could remark something inappropriate such as, “This does not seem like Bob.” Instead, make things easy for the victim: “Thank you for bringing your issues to my attention,” bosses should remark. It is taken extremely seriously by the company.”

  • There should be no sacred oath of secrecy

Make it clear that administrators cannot guarantee absolute secrecy. All concerns should be reported to HR as a matter of routine by employers. Nevertheless, if they’re not told of this point ahead of time and consent to an employee’s desire to keep a concern secret, they will be unable to alert anybody, despite the legal and commercial dangers associated with knowing while doing nothing.

  • Provide ethical training to upper management 

Supervisors should be prepared to respond to inappropriate behavior comprehensively. Even if there isn’t a report, supervisors who witness, hear, and otherwise become informed of harassing behavior should follow it up. Silence is a form of condonation. Furthermore, 29% of employees have observed sexual harassment and looked the other way.

That’s why the EEOC advises that managerial education initiatives include so-called bystander supervision. This form of training is based on the idea of bystanders. Those who have become aware of harassing behavior play an important role in ending harassment.

  • Encourage speaking up 

Recognize the importance of not retaliating. Employees do not express issues when they really should because they are afraid of repercussions. According to an ABC News study, 54% of women have experienced unwelcome sexual approaches at the workplace. In the same study, 56% of males stated that most professional harassment cases went unreported. Employers must characterize retaliation regarding who is protected and what is banned as extensively as the law allows. Other illegal retaliatory acts include:

  • Reducing the amount of work that individual staff is assigned.
  • Altering the type of assigned duties.
  • Removing employees from important meetings.

Remind everyone that any retribution against someone who reports or sees harassment will be addressed with a swift and appropriate response.

  •  Add civility training to the mix

 Civility training should be provided. While being unpleasant or uncivil is not illegal unless it involves a protected class, rudeness is the doorway to harassing behavior. As a result, the EEOC advises businesses to undergo civility training. Indeed, civility training has the potential to cause issues with the National Labor Relations Board. However, if designed appropriately, such training may be included in anti-harassment education and quality improvement training for bosses that are not regulated by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). 

  • Examine and re-examine

Obtain detailed employee feedback on just what they resonated with and what they’d like to learn more about. Discuss which actions do not constitute harassment, such as a non-discriminatory yet harsh style of management.

Harassment in the workplace is a persistent problem. As a result, many businesses give the training to assist employers in meeting state and local requirements and providing a secure working environment. Unfortunately, few firms publish much data regarding their offers on their websites, so employers frequently have no idea what to anticipate when considering organizations for training.

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Impactly’s online sexual harassment and diversity, equity & inclusion training packages are used by hundreds of organizations across the country. Impactly is powered by Get Inclusive, one of the largest providers of prevention and compliance training for colleges and universities.