Interactive Sexual Harassment Training: Everything You Should Know

Interactive Sexual Harassment Training: Everything You Should Know

The Facts

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Companies can prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, by conducting trainings, especially interactive sexual harassment trainings. Any unwelcome sexual behavior or inappropriate promises for sexual favors is termed as sexual harassment. It is considered to be offensive or intimidating and can be in any form, such as written, verbal or physical, occurring in person or online.

Examples of Sexual Harassment 

  • The act of physical contact such as touching or grabbing without one's consent
  • The act of making sexual comments about a person
  • The act of asking or requesting sexual favors
  • The act of leering or staring in an uncomfortable way
  • The act of displaying rude or offensive materials such as posters and pictures
  • The act of sexual gestures or sexual jokes
  • The act of sexual abuse or assault

Impact of Sexual Harassment

  • Feeling physically and mentally stressed
  • Mixed feelings of anger, fear, humiliation, and helplessness.
  • Unable to concentrate on work and be less productive towards goals
  • Losing self-esteem and confidence
  • Feeling anxious and depressed
  • Having health issues such as headaches, sleeping problems, and varied eating patterns.
  • Withdrawing from social situations

Purpose of Interactive Sexual Harassment Training

  • To provide employees with the appropriate knowledge and tools needed to identify, avoid, and report inappropriate behavior within the workplace.
  • To educate the employers on identifying harassment and meeting legal compliance within the workplace.
  • To rectify a hostile work environment by the collective action of people in managerial or supervisory positions.
  • For the benefit of both employers and employees for reserving the right to feel comfortable at their place of work.

Ways to Approach Sexual Harassment

  • Direct Approach

The victim can directly approach the perpetrator and try to resolve the issue by talking about their unwanted behavior. This is not recommended for people feeling intimidated or uncomfortable.

  • Asking for Help

The victim can let someone else, such as their family members or trusted friends, know about their harassment issue, and they can help out to stop sexual harassment.

  • Informing and Reporting

Harassment of any type in schools, colleges, or workplaces need to be immediately reported to senior-level people. They can help and support the victim in such circumstances.

  • Documentation

The victim can keep a personal diary and note down everything that takes place regarding such incidents if they are uncomfortable speaking about it. Such records can be used to let senior managers and executives know what's going on and decide what steps are needed to be taken.

  • Evidence

If he/she is a victim of online sexual harassment, then they can store such offensive text messages, social media comments, emails, etc. This evidence can serve well to report such incidents and lodge complaints to the human resource department.

Sexual Harassment Training Tips

  • Initiation with a CEO Message

Harassment of any kind needs to be severely dealt with, especially sexual harassment. Every step should be taken by training programs to raise awareness and prevent such happenings. For such a strong message to reach people all around the world, the message has to start from the senior level person, such as the CEO or the organization leader.

An in-person speech or a simple five-minute video can make strong first impressions and raise eyebrows. If this speech comes from the business leader or another influential speaker, it can set the right tone for public interaction. The CEO can start by stating the essence of harassment training, the core values of the company and reinforce the encouragement for reporting harassment. He needs to speak in an open and positive manner and be honest regarding the expectations.

  • Breaking up Long Sessions into Short Segments

Delivering all the details of the training program at one stretch cannot promote the company in any way. It can only prove to be tiresome for people and be less interactive throughout the course. However, breaking up such long sessions into shorter and more impactful segments can stir a great change in society. This strategy can keep the employees engaged in the program and be more comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions.

Repeating the major keywords can impact people's minds and bode well with the public. The key ideas regarding such interactive sessions can be communicated strongly, including topics such as respect, dignity, rights, retaliation, and the undertaking of policies.

  • Blending with the Company

The policies and regulations framed by a company need to be very clear and explicit. The interactive sessions should be very specific on how a victim's approach has to be and what they should do to prevent further happenings. The training session has to be very realistic and blend well with the company's goals and objectives. 

It is difficult to say that a particular place has zero-tolerance without the presence of sexual harassment training. The formulation of policies is not a solitary task, but one that needs to incorporate the suggestions of the management as well as the employees.

Furthermore, the policy should always be open for regular review and changes required on a timely basis. There needs to be the application of assessments and role-playing scenarios to signify the strong stand of the company against harassment.

  • Civility towards Workers

Civility and respect have to be established using interactive training in the workplace. The course needs to bring a lot of attention to defining, policing, and ultimately preventing bad behavior. Training courses need to include certain aspects such as communicating respectfully with one another in-person and through email, discussing diversity and inclusion, praising others, receiving constructive feedback, listening to complaints, and resolving conflicts.

  • Involving Everyone

People are always required to visit a diverse set of venues and locations every day other than their workplace. Harassment may happen anywhere and people need to be prepared to handle it. Harassment training does not necessarily include only the harassers and victims. The corporate world can provide rank-and-file workers with bystander training to learn techniques to stop harassment when they see it.

Organizations can provide a role-based approach to combat disengagement rates and ensure that everyone stays involved and interactive. Higher-level executives need to be trained on receiving complaints of sexual harassment, avoiding retaliation, making official reports, and keeping the workplace safe.

  • Fixing the Reporting Process

Workers and non-workers may face certain situations where they need to put up with sexual harassment from their direct supervisors. Such cases are difficult to report but can be reported comfortably via online platforms such as emails and company-based apps.

Bottom Line

All types of harassment need to be eliminated at the workplace. Along with the psychological and other damage harassment causes to victims, businesses can suffer too. Such experiences, to a certain extent, can even compel employees to leave their jobs, taking their ideas, connections, and potential with them. Interactive training sessions can serve to protect against inappropriate behavior and unwelcome advances by clearly outlining violations and empowering people to report such incidents to foster a sense of safety and belonging at the workplace.

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