Business leaders don’t necessarily turn a blind eye to sexual harassment in the workplace. It’s more of an “it couldn’t happen under our watch” sort of vibe. Unfortunately, in many situations, it can, and it does to the detriment of the brand in the eyes of the client and the staff member.
With the mindset that the organization is immune to the conduct, some organizations put minimal effort into impactful training for sexual harassment prevention. Thus, the programs they institute, along with the company policies addressing the subject, are ineffective.
If executive teams took a more realistic glance at the prevalence of sexual harassment and its potential to occur on every job site, it could be approached more aggressively.
In that vein, the prevalence could be reduced in individual organizations with the likelihood of employees enjoying a safe environment. How can you produce an effective prevention program for your staff? Consider these tips.
How Can Your Company Training Prevent Sexual Harassment Effectively
Instead of looking at sexual harassment within your company’s culture as an impossibility, approach it as a probability. With that mindset, you’ll be more apt to offer an aggressive prevention training program that will impact the staff. Learn tips on effective training for sexual harassment at https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/23197-sexual-harassment-prevention-3-tips-for-effective-training/.
When employees recognize the seriousness attached to specific conduct, the program can be more effective in reducing incidents within the organization. That will mean a safer environment where team members feel secure when coming to work. What would constitute an effective prevention program? Let’s learn.
● Set the tone
Leave no room for doubt with any employee that the company’s stance on sexual harassment is to prevent it as a top priority. When you, as the business leader, are proactive in your approach, the staff recognizes the severity of the subject.
The program should not only inform and educate but express the company’s intolerance of the behaviors outlined in the training. Refreshing details on the subject outside the annual cycle with executive leaders presenting the context as often as possible will drive the seriousness.
Strong language and periodic reminders create an environment where all staff members, management, and employees, learn to conduct themselves professionally at all times.
● Define the subject
You might believe that the definition of sexual harassment is relatively self-explanatory, with no need to focus the training on that aspect. In fact, defining sexual harassment for staff so each person understands what exactly would constitute inappropriate actions is vital.
An “egregious” inappropriate physical act doesn’t encompass the entirety of sexual harassment.
Vast objectionable behaviors fall into the category, like comments of a sexual nature, sexual content shown online or via a mobile device, and more subtle forms that might make a manager or employee question if they’re genuinely being harassed.
From executives to employees, staff need a thorough understanding, particularly of the incidents that are difficult to detect. These will grow into more egregious behavior when not readily recognized. Read details on the subject of sexual harassment prevention here.
● Prevention programs should be a positive experience
When employees are approached in an almost reprimanding context, they become defensive. The presumption is that the executive team lacks trust in their staff or that everyone is automatically guilty of poor conduct across the board.
In many prevention training sessions, the focus is on what an employee should avoid doing, implying to that individual that they’re helping to create the problem or have the potential to harass their teammates.
Positive reinforcement with training goes much further when educating. Allowing the team to feel as though each can be part of the solution will make staff want to participate
The employees will interact in the session when they feel they’re helping to find productive ways to prevent incidents within the organization and maintain a safe, secure workplace.
The presumption switches from management not trusting them to management having faith in each employee and the organization as a team.
The regulations and laws on sexual harassment need to be covered when holding prevention training programs. Still, that doesn’t mean you need to speak the legal language most won’t be versed in or pay much attention to.
Instead, it’s wise to touch on the subject using layperson’s terms, including designating the illegal actions and comments.
The program’s overall focus should center on defining sexual harassment so everyone understands the actions and behaviors that constitute harassment. There should also be a concentration on professional conduct in the workplace, correctly displaying respectful behavior.
Balance the “legalese” with what your organization expects with their policies and values to ensure a safe, secure culture, only the highest standards.
Implementing these key strategies with your sexual harassment program will drive the seriousness of the subject, impacting the employees and ensuring the system’s overall effectiveness.