Prevent Sexual Harassment by Policies and a Positive Workplace Culture. Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman, Matt Lauer, Katy Perry. All are names that have come into the spotlight as society rethinks and reexamines sexual harassment. It’s easy to find villains these days. Nearly every week, new survivor voices come forward and are given the space to finally be heard and taken seriously. Their abusers’ faces fill our newsfeeds and dismantle the thrones of esteem they once held. For many, this is a moment of triumph—at last, sincere recognition for what millions have endured and still live through. But there is another side, the side that shouts:
“Not all men!”
“Is everything a person says harassment?”
“It’s like no one can take a joke.”
“I don’t even want to work with women anymore, someone will say I did something inappropriate.”
“I miss the good old days when people weren’t so sensitive.”
Whenever I talk about social equity, there is something I always highlight: “Equity feels like inequality when you have been in a position of privilege.” What that means is when something doesn’t negatively affect you—much less when it directly benefits you—a typical reaction is to either dismiss it or decide that it must be a lie. How do you reach your employees, managers, and stakeholders when they are already on edge? Here are four things you can do TODAY.
Stop Making It Scary/Boring
Sexual Harassment Prevention training. No three words incite more gasps, sighs, and eye-rolls in an office than hearing that there will be an online or HR-facilitated yearly training on the topic. The reason for this is usually twofold.
1. The sexual harassment training program is going to be scary. Everyone will hear about how much trouble they will get in, dark and frightening images will be shown, and a stern instructor will bark commanding warnings.
2. It’s boring. Sexual harassment prevention training online has been shown to have ZERO effectiveness on this topic. If the live training isn’t scary, it is often dull and employees, who really don’t want to talk in-depth about interpersonal dynamics and sexual scripts, are forced to address this most sensitive of topics. Instead, work with leaders in the industry, make sure your training is in-person and infused into other professional development (more on this in a minute).
Talk About Common Myths
From myths about false reporting, victim blaming, and common responses to trauma, there are many strongly held misconceptions that are still widely prevalent in the workforce today. Many people who already feel defensive about sexual harassment as a topic will throw out these accusations in an attempt to discredit the urgency of reform. Instead of getting angry or dismissive, address these common myths upfront in your education. Speak openly and from research-based perspectives about why false reporting is extremely rare, why victim blaming only protects those who do harm, and what kind of responses are common when someone is being harassed or bullied. Remember to conclude with what each person in his/her/their role can do to support victims, extinguish negative work culture, and become more mindful in their interactions.
Make It Part of Larger Conversations
I strongly suggest NEVER calling your sexual harassment training online course for employees anything like Sexual Harassment XYZ. Survivors can have a strong emotional reaction to these terms and many others will put up a defensive wall and will be less open to listening. Infusing the topic of sexual harassment prevention into a larger discussion on leadership, inclusion, workplace safety, and employee wellness is strongly advised.
Making this topic something that is both approachable and a piece of a bigger picture will increase discussion and personal efficacy. When employees understand how sexual harassment decreases the business’ wellbeing (as well as their own), they are more likely to want to pick up the mantle of prevention and become part of the solution.
Offer Executive Coaching
Even with the best education and company policies, there will always be employees that fall through the cracks. This can be primarily due to cultural and generational differences. Whether it is because someone is from a culture where greeting with close physical contact is appropriate, or a person who doesn’t understand why in 2018 calling a coworker “honey” is deemed inappropriate when it was fine in 1980, there are numerous factors that lead into misconduct issues.
An explanation is not an excuse, and no business should continue to employ someone who is dangerous—however, in many cases, coaching and guidance can help a circumstance go from a termination to a transformation.
At The Smart HR Learn & National Center for Equity and Agency we do just this—we help companies transform. Whether it’s redesigning policy or coaching executives and employees, we are here to make sexual harassment course online both a thing of the past and increase productivity and cohesiveness. Scheduling a call could mean the difference between liability and growth and retention. What are you waiting for? Call Smart HR Learn and discuss your sexual harassment training for your employees . David Jones Training Specialist at Smart HR Learn . Phone : 844-267-7299
Upcoming Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
Sexual Harassment Prevention 2 Day Certificate Program on Oct 15-16 , 2020 at 10:00am to 3:00pm EST . Credit awarded HR Certification with 8 PHR / SPHR Re-Certification Credits and 8 SHRM PDCs .