Plain and simple – there is no room for harassment in the workplace. Behaviors that constitute harassment can impede the victim’s ability to function at their best and inadvertently affect those around them.
When an employee is harassed by a co-worker or supervisor, he or she can experience negative changes in emotional, physical and mental health (e.g., loss of self-esteem, high anxiety, sleep disturbances, depression, etc.). In addition, there is the financial impact of a hostile work environment in the form of lost productivity from the victim, harasser and even bystanders. And we can’t forget about the massive amount of court fees and penalties (sometimes into the millions) an organization may face should a harassment claim make its way into the courtroom.
As an employer, you have an obligation to provide a harassment-free, positive and encouraging environment for your employees. This starts with taking a “no tolerance” stance on harassment. To promote this, mandating harassment prevention training is a must. Here are a few things to consider when implementing harassment training:
Harassment Prevention Training as Part of New Hire Orientation
Communicate your message of a respectful workplace right from the start. Requiring new hires to complete harassment training within their first 30 days of employment ensures you have made it clear what your stance is on harassment and that you take the issue very seriously.
In-Person Training for Impact
If you have never offered harassment training or if it has been quite a while since your last session, you may want to consider inviting a trainer to come onsite to provide in-person training. This is a great, interactive way to actively engage employees in the conversation of what harassment is, what it looks like, and what to do about it.
Annual Online Training
One of the easiest solutions is to offer annual web-based training on harassment prevention. Providers such as LinkedIn Learning and Grovo offer compliance training courses including harassment training. Be sure to do your research when selecting a provider to ensure you have one in place that best fits your organization’s needs.
Building a work culture where all employees feel respected and able to thrive is of utmost importance. Training employees (and leading by example) on what this culture looks like as well as what actions and behaviors will not be tolerated is how employers can ensure they are offering the best environment possible for everyone – and, in turn, getting the best from their workforce.
Need assistance with compliance training? Contact us or give us a call at 703-587-5615. We help our clients design and promote a respectful work environment. We’d love to do the same for you.