All businesses are required to have an anti-harassment policy. But establishing the rules and making your employees sign on them isn’t enough to actually stop harassment in the workplace. All your employees irrespective of their gender, age, position, color, caste, or qualification, should be respected and treated equally. The sooner you train your employees to inculcate such behavior the better your work culture will be. Anti-harassment training is one of the most important compliance training programs that should be conducted in your organization. Keep reading to learn more about anti-harassment training and how you can conduct it effectively.
What exactly is considered harassment in the workplace?
Suppose an employee makes a major blunder in their work. The manager scolding the employee is not harassment, but if the employee is slapped or hit then you can call it harassment. There is a very thin line between what counts as harassment and what doesn’t. You can also witness bullying in the workplace or some sort of discrimination while assigning tasks and salaries. The rise of the #MeToo movement revealed the higher degree of sexual harassment in offices. Harassment in the workplace can ruin your company’s image and also increase your turnover rate.
With proper training, awareness, and good leadership such actions can be minimized if not stopped.
Some topics you should include in your training
- Company policies for harassment in the workplace
- What behavior is unacceptable?
- What to do if you are being harassed?/ How to handle harassment?
- How to file a complaint?
- How to resolve the complaint?
- Laws related to workplace harassment
- Legal repercussions of harassing co-workers
- How does the company deal with such complaints?
Tips to conduct anti-harassment training that’ll show results.
Hire a qualified instructor only
Make sure you hire a qualified instructor. There are a few reasons to do so. One is that it makes your training program more credible and the second is that a qualified person knows all the details that you or others might miss out on. Moreover, they know how to handle a sensitive discussion like this without offending anybody in the room. You can either hire a qualified instructor or you could help one of your managers to get the required qualifications.
It is not manager-exclusive- make it open to all
The purpose of the training is not only to teach your managers how to behave in a proper manner but also to help all your employees know the rules and the fact that the company will support the victim. Your employees from the highest position to the lowest, all should be a part of this training.
Special training for managers to help resolve complaints
Your training should undoubtedly be an encouragement to the victims to file complaints and not tolerate injustice. However, your managers should also be prepared to solve these issues without offending or favoring anybody. Such things need to be taught, so make sure all the higher authorities know how they are supposed to handle complaints like these and what producers should be followed.
Keep the training engaging and interactive
No matter how crucial a training program is, if it is not interesting, your staff may lose interest in it. Keep it engaging. You won’t be able to effectively convey your point to the audience with monotonous talk. Play games, watch videos, respond to inquiries, and try a range of other activities.
Use different content formats
It’s possible that you like using presentations for training and that organizing activities are not really your thing. No problem. But just remember that there is more to the presentation than just text and pictures. Use animations, infographics, films, and other media types to keep things fresh and interesting. Make use of audio to keep the audience engaged and attentive.
Use blended learning- offline + online
You might find it difficult to set aside a few days solely for training. It is unaffordable to have employees out of the office for a few days, especially if you own a small firm. Use blended learning in this situation. The theory portion of the curriculum can be covered via a learning management system, and face-to-face sessions can be used to ensure retention and make the entire training process more engaging. This saves your employees a lot of time as they can cover a major portion on the go and also refer back to the LMS if needed.
Discuss case studies
Case studies are very effective to explain how certain situations can be tackled or were tackled by your company. You can use case studies to educate the employees on the repercussions of harassment. If there are any case studies from within the organization, you can describe how the company handled the situation. This gives employees confidence in the company’s policy and governance.
Your training should encourage victims to file a complaint
Many cases go unheard because the victim was too scared the file a complaint. They feel scared because they are unsure if the company will stand by their side and help them out. This is your chance to communicate to your employees that you will never let them down and will always be supportive of the victims. However, this should not give an idea that your procedure does not include a part where the accused’s side is being heard. Cases of false accusations aren’t new to us. Make sure your audience understands that you have a procedure that is fair to all.
Convey that your company doesn’t tolerate any wrong actions
Make sure your policies include zero tolerance and no retaliation. Policies like these increase the confidence of your employees in your company. This will also help you instill in your employees a sense of loyalty towards your company.
Make sure your training material is updated
Harassment regulations and laws are always changing. Ensure that all of your training materials are relevant and contain all necessary information. This is another reason why employing an instructor who stays updated with industry news is a preferable method of conducting your training.
There is nothing called a “ perfect training program”. There might be some flaws in your program and your audience can help you understand it. Maybe the program was not very interactive or the information was too difficult to understand. Whatever it is, whether good or bad, welcome any feedback from your employees. Work on the negative feedback to improve your training program.
If the staff members are aware of their power as victims and the negative consequences that await them if they act inappropriately, harassment can be reduced. This training serves as both a leash to restrain those who believe they are free to behave badly and a means of granting your staff the freedom to speak up about injustices done to them. Anti-harassment training is highly important, and it should be delivered in a way that effectively conveys the message. The tips in this article should assist you in setting up a more effective training program for your staff.