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Sexual Harassment Training Mistakes You Should Avoid

August 9, 2019
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In the modern workplace, harassment prevention training is an absolute necessity. Sexual harassment prevention training for employees isn’t just about complying with the law and preventing your business from incurring liability in the event of sexual harassment. It’s also an excellent way to build a stronger workplace and create an atmosphere of inclusiveness that will allow everyone to thrive. Creating a professional, comfortable workplace in which sexual harassment isn’t tolerated is key to enjoying success and productivity.

However, required harassment prevention training in New York is too important a subject to be treated lightly, and it’s critical that your business avoids some of the common mistakes made during sexual harassment training. It’s a function that is best left in the hands of professionals who specialize in sexual harassment prevention methods. Modern training can be simple and flexible thanks to online training programs, but you still must make sure to avoid mistakes that can undermine the work you do with your staff to prevent instances of sexual harassment. Keep reading to learn more about a few pitfalls that you should avoid when conducting sexual harassment prevention training.

Inappropriate Content

Make sure that the content you use, especially in a video format, is appropriate for the audience that you’re training. Realize that sexual harassment is a serious matter, and any content that diverts into inappopriate langauge, intentional or otherwise, will undermine the desired tone of your training. Avoid pop culture references to sexual harassment and screen all video content. If the acting and theme seems more appropriate for high school students than adult professionals, scrap it and find something updated.

Not Including Training on Subtle Harassment

Many employees understand the extreme boundaries of sexual harassment, such as grabbing or inappropriately touching another employee at work. While it may be tempting to simply go over the obvious instances of sexual harassment, it’s more beneficial to employees for you to provide more subtle examples of actions that constitute sexual harassment. For example, some employees may not think it’s obvious that commenting on the way a coworker is dressed could be considered sexual harassment. Make sure that you spend more time on defining the grey areas of harassment than the more obvious instances.

Lack of Bystander Training

Sexual harassment training shouldn’t just be about recognizing instances of sexual harassment and avoiding them. Employers should also make sure that training is provided regarding the procedures for responding to sexual harassment. It makes little sense to train employees to recognize sexual harassment if they don’t know what to do when they see or experience it. Comprehensive training is necessary to ensure that employees know how to report sexual harassment claims when they occur.

Report harassment

Dry Presentation

People tend to retain lessons longer when they are presented in an emotional context that resonates with them. Because of the nature of the subject matter, in many cases sexual harassment training is presented in a dry matter that fails to connect the trainees with the emotional aspects involved in sexual harassment. Don’t be afraid to engage the emotional range of your employees when presenting sexual harassment training. Doing so can help them fully respect the human consequences of harassment while retaining the lessons learned for longer.

Failure to Create a Culture

Sexual harassment training isn’t just about the rules and regulations pertaining to harassment. While that’s valuable information, you want employees to engage with a culture of inclusiveness that doesn’t require the policing of rules to achieve the desired result. Instead, you want to create a system of behaviors in your employees that will reduce instances of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment won’t be tolerated among a group of peers, which can help establish behavioral expectations that weed out aberrant actions that result in sexual harassment claims. Training isn’t just presenting employees with a list of rules to follow. It’s about elevating the standards for mutual respect and professionalism through creation of an inclusive culture.

Sexual harassment training is a critical component in the ongoing education of each employee in your company. By avoiding these mistakes, you can create an effective training program that will reduce instances of sexual harassment. The dividends will be a less hostile workplace, a culture of respectful cooperation, protection from liability, and compliance with state and local law. Contact Impact Compliance Training for sexual harassment training for your employees.

If you would like to learn more about ICT's interactive online compliance training, check out our free course trial.