Scandals in the news have taken a dark turn in the past few years. With the advent of the Me Too movement, we have seen a lot more attention given to sexual harassment cases on a global scale. In the United States, this seems especially true, considering in the past it was swept under the rug a lot.
Nowadays, that is not the case. Rather, people are much more forthcoming about their experiences while working for certain companies. There are even websites like this one where people rate their employers. Clearly, we need to be a bit more conscious of the experiences that we provide.
How can we do that, though? There are various ways of course, but today I want to focus in on one of them that can be quite valuable. As you may have already guessed, that is the offering of training sessions that cover harassment and the prevention of it. If that is something that you think could benefit your business, continue reading!
What is Harassment Prevention Training, and What Does it Cover?
Starting out with the basics, let us discuss what this type of course covers in the first place. Put simply, the goal is to inform your employees about what constitutes as harassment and why it is not acceptable in a professional setting. Since there are a few different types, it is important to make distinctions between them.
With that being said, all of them are equally significant and impactful on a person’s mental health. That is always something that should be taken into consideration when it comes to this topic. Make sure that you prepare your workers for a potentially triggering presentation, although ideally the contents will not be too graphic.
So – what should be covered, then? This will probably vary depending on which state that you live in at least to some extent. You see, certain legislatures ask employers to teach different things in the courses. Each has a different approach to preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, so it is a good idea to do your research about what is necessary.
With that being said, there are certain standards to meet no matter where you are located. For example, you should always make note of the fact that many of these acts of harassment are prohibited by law. Reference the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and make it very clear that your company does not tolerate such behaviors.
In addition, making note that “not knowing” a behavior constitutes as harassment is not a valid explanation following the session is not a bad idea either. I consider this true even more for things such as discrimination. Microaggressions fall into that category as well – truly, there is no excuse for continuing to do harmful things to coworkers.
Why to Prioritize it
Now, I understand that as bosses or people in management positions, we have a lot on our plates. No one really wants to have to deal with yet another thing on top of it all. However, trust me when I say that this is something that you should prioritize.
You do not even have to administer or proctor it all on your own. Instead, consider utilizing the many services that are available to assist with that. So long as they have approved and appropriate curriculum, there is really no reason not to take advantage of such a service.
In addition to that, there are government websites such as this, https://www.stopbullying.gov/, which offer some further perspectives and information on the topic. While we may think of “bullying” as something that only happens during our school years, the reality is that it is a pervasive societal issue that absolutely permeates modern workplaces.
Therefore, as those who are in positions of power to some extent, it is our duty to help put a stop to that. Implementing anti-harassment training is one way that we can effectively make an impact in our own spaces, which is a great step in the right direction on a larger scale as well! When we can do so, I see no reason not to.
Hopefully, this article has helped you to understand how this works a bit better than you did before. While it can be complicated to say the least (and daunting if we are a bit more honest), at the end of the day it is something that many of us are required to provide by law. In my opinion, we may as well make the best of it then and really do our best to offer a quality educational session!
As I mentioned before, we can certainly utilize external or third-party companies to assist in that goal. There are even online courses that you can enroll the office in, making it convenient to complete.