The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lodges thousands of sexual harassment allegations each year. While cases have been dropping lately, sexual harassment remains a somewhat common workplace issue. Businesses need to confront this problem head-on.
Punishing offenders won’t help as much as proactive efforts. Smart management focuses on preventing the problem rather than punishing it.
Looking for ways to get ahead of the problem? Look at sexual harassment prevention training.
How to Give Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
Some elements of workplace safety training get easier to cover if you tailor them to your workplace. While sexual harassment policies have become common, each workplace’s policy will vary a little. Specific concerns come up in individual workplaces.
As such, a small business owner or human resource manager will have to take point on some elements of training. Going over policy specifics will fall to you if you’re the owner.
You should update your policy on sexual harassment at least once a year and perform training after any such update. Your employees need to know about any changes you’ve made. Even if you don’t change much in the policy, it demonstrates to your employees that you think about it.
Specialized Sexual Harassment Training
Some situations require more detailed training than a general policy check. Supervisors often need greater training. Likewise, some positions come with continuing education requirements on the topic.
For this, you can turn to outside experts. Outside experts will be able to bring in elements far beyond your individual company’s policy. An expert can cover topics like state law on sexual harassment and appropriate ways to address a situation the company will not.
This doesn’t have to lead to a series of meetings and seminars. Many compliance training organizations offer online sexual harrassment training. This can satisfy continuing education requirements at a low cost and without a heavy time investment.
Training as a Long-Term Investment
It’s easy to think of training as an annual chore that you finish and then move on from. The full benefits of any workplace safety initiative take regular effort to realize.
If you perform annual sexual harassment prevention training, try sending out surveys or other metrics six months afterward. This can give you a sense of how valuable the training was and areas in which you ought to improve.
The results of such a survey can also inform future adjustments to your policies. If employees feel harassed or shut out based on their gender or sexuality in ways they don’t feel comfortable reporting, you can use the survey to perform narrower policy adjustments.
Keep Your Employees Safe
Sexual harassment prevention ensures a healthy, productive workplace. People’s performance will suffer if they feel unsafe around their coworkers, so inclusion needs to remain an active process and not just a once-a-year training program. Training programs do play a vital role in that process.
Looking for ways to improve your business’s productivity? Worried about legal compliance? Check out our business or law sections for more information.