Preston Clark, J.D. | Apr. 06, 2019

Online or In-Person Anti-Harassment Training?

There are many considerations when deciding whether online or in-person anti-harassment training is right for your organization. While not an exhaustive list, here’s our top 7 list of reasons an organization should go with online training v. in-person:

  1. Distributed or remote workforce: If you have employees distributed across the state, and you have an annual or bi-annual training mandate (see which states have harassment training mandates), online training can be an efficient and cost effective approach. While in-person may be your preferred method from an employee engagement perspective, it may be logistically difficult to get all employees together for a single training event. 
  2. Multi-state employer: If you have employees in multiple states with different training requirements, online training through a vendor who has multiple course versions for each jurisdiction is a great way to ensure continuity of messaging and delivery, while also ensuring that you’re compliant in each state or region. Click here for a complete guide to anti-harassment training vendors.  
  3. Temporary or Seasonal Workforce: Click here to review anti-harassment training rules governing temporary or seasonal employees. If your state requires that temporary or seasonal employees need to be trained, then you’ll almost certainly need to make the training a part of your new hire on-boarding process. If that’s the case, online is simply the most efficient and cost effective way to deliver this frequency of anti-harassment training. 
  4. Workforce access to computers/smartphones: Many large organizations have a distributed workforce, and among those, there are industries like manufacturing and shipping where there’s very limited access to computers and even smartphones. These organizations may meet the other criteria for online training, but without a mechanism to receive online training, in-person may be your only option. Click here for a review of in-person anti-harassment training options.   
  5. Hires frequently: Similar to our analysis above for temporary and seasonal employees, if your organization hires with a high frequency, you’ll likely need to make the training a part of your employee on-boarding process. As such, in-person will likely be logistically and cost-prohibitive. For a summary of state and regional training requirements for new hires, check out our FAQ guide on anti-harassment training mandates.  
  6. No training software in place (administration, tracking): Most online training vendors provide a lightweight learning management system (LMS) to help with the administration of anti-harassment training. This includes the functionality to assign specific courses to groups of employees, to schedule auto-reminders, and track and store completion records. If you don’t have an LMS, but meet other criteria for online anti-harassment training, most vendors offer this service at no additional cost. Click here for pricing information for anti-harassment training vendors
  7. Intent to go beyond compliance mandates: More than 300,000 employers are subject to anti-harassment training mandates at the state and regional level. But for many employers, the goal isn’t just to meet the harassment prevention training mandates, but to go beyond them. This can be a tall order for resource constrained organizations. As such, relying on online anti-harassment training can be a great, cost efficient baseline that frees up time and resources for other harassment prevention initiatives like workplace climate surveys, and tailored booster training and workshops.  

Want more information?

Check out our comparison of online anti-harassment training vendors and our quick review of top in-person anti-harassment training vendors.

For deeper analysis into training options, please also read the following:

In-person, virtual, self-paced, off-the-shelf, custom: What’s your best method for delivering harassment prevention training


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