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4 Steps Toward Training Your Workforce on Sexual Harassment Prevention

Allegations of sexual harassment dominated the news at the end of 2017 and has continued into 2018; has your business made taken necessary steps to mitigate exposure and create a safe environment? You can do so by properly training your employees. Start by following these four steps.

1. Build awareness and communication

A problem can’t be solved – or potentially avoided – if there is no understanding of what the real problem is. Clearly define sexual harassment to employees: what it is, what it is not and how to handle it. Communicate it through in-person training and online learning, or a mixture of both.

According to Google data, online searches of “sexual harassment” are up by more than 566%. In other words, your people are curious. When you build awareness and communication within your organization, your employees should walk away from training able to recognize harassment, and prepared to take action if they encounter it.

2. Establish policies

Just because you are not in the office does not mean you’re harassment-free. Per the Pew Research Center, 21% of women ages 18-29 report online harassment by a co-worker. This is why your anti-harassment training should communicate a written policy, a social media policy, a code of conduct and a complaint policy. Regardless of title, these items are must-haves for all employees.

3. Gain support from management

Once you have implemented your policies, have management back them up. From the C-suite to the front line, they play the most important part in establishing a culture of awareness and safety for your organization, and their reinforcement of support is vital. Your CEO can affect change by addressing the organization as a whole, whereas a front-line manager’s responsibility requires direct interaction.

In its Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment publication, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lays out what to do, including such actions as following up with all sides, remaining neutral and documenting everything. The right technology can help with that, which leads us to our last step.

4. Utilize HR technology

In the digital age, there are new ways to harass via technology such as social media, off-site email and text messaging. Instead of allowing technology to be a tool of harassment (see step 2), utilize it as a form of protective armor. Training your employees consistently and efficiently through the proper technology, such as a learning management system (LMS), can simplify complex processes that training often involves: creating, scheduling, booking, delivering and reporting.

Effective anti-harassment training will pair useful information with hands-on material so that your employees are not merely being trained, but are learning. Technology like an LMS is more than just covering all bases for your business; it can integrate your training processes to adapt to the needs of all generations in today’s workforce.

If you invest in the right HR and learning technology to help mitigate exposure, your organization can reap the benefits of seamless communication and better training, not to mention potentially saving millions in claims that other organizations have to pay in settlements and fines.

Want more than four steps? Register to attend our free March 15 webinar about preventing sexual harassment.