Innovators, mover, and shakers are always looking for ways to make their businesses better. Stagnating is one of the worst things that they can do, after all, so the constant drive for improvement is not a surprise in the slightest. Methods in which they do it, though, are where things tend to differ.
One thing to remember, with all of that being said, is that there is no singular, correct way to go about it. Instead, we can each formulate our own plans to achieve our goals. Most will end up employing similar techniques, though.
This is especially true for training materials and curriculum that we provide our employees with. Some opt to look at guides like this one, while others create their own content. So long as they are providing the necessary materials, though, it tends to work out. How does sexual harassment training play a part in this?
Well, it is a part of that improvement that I have mentioned a few times thus far. If you are not following thus far, or are a bit confused, do not worry. I will be explaining it all in due time!
What is Harassment Training?
As the name of it implies, it is a way to teach our employees about what qualifies as harassment and how to avoid it occurring in a workspace. Primarily, though, it is about the first half of that statement. You see, if we cannot identify it, it is nigh impossible to prevent it.
Of course, this means that today we should cover what it is as well. There are several ways that it can take shape, so remember that it is not only sexual harassment. That type can impact people of any gender, though, so be sure not to consider it only a “women’s” issue. Politicizing it in that manner unnecessarily simply muddies the issue.
We can define harassment by looking at certain pieces of legislature surrounding the topic. In specific, check out the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of that is where we can find most of the information about what qualifies. Basically, any discriminatory actions fall under the umbrella.
Discrimination is if you deny someone an opportunity or treat them differently because of factors that are outside of their control or that should not play a part in their role at an establishment. Age, gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, race, and socio-economic status are just some examples of those factors. Not only is it frowned upon, but it is illegal to discriminate.
Therefore, if you are trying programs that are for preventing sexual harassment, it is important to impress upon your employees what constitutes as that. Sometimes, there are those who do not realize that their behavior classifies as it. However, if you offer training on it, then they have much less of an excuse, and you have an easier time taking action.
How it Helps Morale
It is difficult to deny that if an employee feels uncomfortable or unsafe in their place of work, they will not be as productive as they could be otherwise. Especially for collaborative projects, if they are not comfortable with their coworker, things could go quite slowly. Additionally, it may not be a safe environment for them in the first place.
Providing coursework to define harassment and to then instate a no-tolerance policy is one way to make improvements on that and to inculcate a more positive atmosphere in the office. While it may not be a one-way fix, it can certainly mitigate any issues that are currently happening (if there are any). Be firm in your stance and clearly outline what behaviors are unacceptable in a place of business.
One option could be to provide resources like this, https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/er/civilrights/discrimination/harassment.htm, for anyone who wants a list. Of course, it will depend on where you are located geographically for some of the specifics. However, it never hurts to provide statistics and data alongside your explanations!
As you can see, something as simple as hosting an online course (or having an outside company proctor it for you) can make a huge difference on a company wide level. You may not notice the change immediately, however, the slow and steady shift will eventually be quite meaningful. Do not underestimate the power of education!
In the meantime, though, continue to be strong in your position against harassment. Your office should be a safe space to report such happenings in, and you and/or your managers and supervisors should be trustable with sensitive information.
This is a tough subject. Most people would rather not discuss it. I hope that today I have helped to arm you with tools to do so, as well as assisted you in terms of understanding why we should present it in the first place!