The issue of sexual harassment has slowly made its way into the forefront of social conversations over the past few decades, with the #MeToo movement bringing the realities of this creepy occurrence to life in the forefront of the media.
As states pass new legislation to protect workers and make training mandatory, companies across the country are heavily reevaluating their policy surrounding the issue. Some argue that it isn’t necessary, while others praise the progress America’s businesses are making. So, is sexual harassment training essential in the workplace? The answer is yes, and here’s why.
Culture is Strengthened
Choosing to incorporate training communicates your business’ values to employees, supporting and strengthening your company’s culture. This motivates employees to act ethically, protecting the reputation of your organization.
A report from the EEOC found that active prevention of harassment begins with workplace culture. Creating at least one inclusion that discourages this kind of behavior is paramount to any organization.
Drawing a Line in the Sand
Workplace harassment is nothing new, with recent allegations and court cases showing its continued prevalence. No employer can prevent harassment with a 100% success rate, but your employees can help when your policies clearly define unacceptable behavior.
Sexual harassment training sets your expectations for your workforce by identifying both obvious and subtle forms of harassment. Knowing where boundaries are drawn clarifies any gray areas while encouraging employees to step forward and report any occurrences.
Requiring your employees to undergo training sends a strong message from the top levels of your business. Regular training sessions communicate your stance on the issue, clearly illustrate your commitment to thwarting harassment in the workplace, and show your dedication to creating a respectful work environment.
When employees know that leadership has their backs, they’re more likely to report negative instances they witness. According to California sexual harassment attorneys, bystander intervention training is an essential part of thwarting harassment at the source.
This form of training helps employees know how to diffuse and stop situations when they occur. It also helps them support their co-worker and gives them incentive to come to you with the situation afterward.
Open Lines of Communication
Speaking of reporting, training helps employees come forward about instances that do occur. Allowing them to be open about harassment situations improves morale as well as productivity. Training also helps to explain your company’s process for making formal complaints, eliminating more gray area around the subject.
Doing Your Part
While training is paramount to the operation of your business, it is equally vital that you and your organization become a model for your employees to follow. Training helps you in the same way it does your employees, while also putting you in a position to put your actions a head of your words.
So, is sexual harassment training essential in the workplace? The answer is yes. Before you need a California attorney to fight a pregnancy leave suit or find your business on the wrong end of harassment claim, you can take action now to eliminate these instances altogether.