Create Harassment Training in 10 Steps

It can be a daunting task to create harassment training for your workplace. Additionally, updating your company’s harassment program to comply with current laws can be a challenge, especially if you operate in multiple states. Follow the ten steps below to develop and implement, and even improve, a harassment prevention training program.

Step One: Review Current Policies and Procedures

The policy should cover all types of unlawful harassment and give a clear outline for reporting harassment. A firm policy helps to prevent harassment. Reviewing policies and procedures to compare them to the current legislature will help keep it up to date. Also, analyzing current policies to another company with very little harassment within the company can help as well.

Step Two: Assess The Training Needs

Go over what training has been accomplished in the past, and see what still needs to be done. Refresher training and harassment prevention should be done every three years. Supervisors need to be trained on how to handle complaints and recognize harassment. Don’t just base training on legal requirements, but also base it on the culture of the company and the people, which will make it tangible for them rather than just a concept.

the respectful workplace harassment prevention

Step Three: Evaluate Learning Options

How will the content be covered? How will compliance be tracked? And lastly, how will success be defined? Harassment training can be done through eLearning, lectures, role-playing, Q & A, and other methods such as quizzes. Some states require that the training has to be, or has to include role-play. Some states, such as Alabama, Florida, and Oklahoma, don’t require training at all.

Step Four: Perfect Reasoning Behind Training

Essentially, you are asking employees to give up their time and will be spending funds on training. Therefore, you need solid reasoning to present to those in charge before they grant the time and money for the harassment training. There might be those in charge that will believe it is not needed and will still need to be convinced.

Step Five: Gain Support From Those In Charge

Once you have a solid rationale for harassment training, it is time to present it to those who influence the faculty and staff who need to be targeted for training. If there is no support from those in charge, then it will take longer to start the harassment training. Sometimes they need to be reminded that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Step Six: Request Funding And Time for Harassment Prevention Training

Now that you have support for the training, it is now time to request funding and time for it, as well. Harassment training can be expensive, but there are cost-effective training harassment eLearning programs out there.

Step Seven: Train Top To Bottom

Train those at the highest level first as they will set an example for everyone else. Also, if their bosses haven’t received training, employees will claim that they don’t have to either. Once those in higher positions are trained, they can set an example for those who work for them. Once that happens, people are much more likely to take it seriously.

Step Eight: Feedback, Feedback, Feedback

Feedback helps to improve the harassment training program. Improving the program helps to ensure that it meets the needs and concerns of those who take the course. Feedback is a vital tool when it comes to communication as it helps keep people on track, avoid misunderstandings, and helps to improve communication skills.

Step Nine: Expand To All Groups Within The Organization

If the harassment training program is one of higher quality, it’s momentum and popularity will grow, which means everyone will attend the training faster. Depending upon the size of the company, having everyone go through the training could take time, including janitors, security, and even those who deliver supplies if they work for you. Nobody should be exempt from training.

Step Ten: Reminders As You Create Harassment Training

Employees must be reminded at least twice a year about harassment policies and how they can report harassment. This can be relayed by emails, newsletters, or even posters. This way, people will know that the company takes harassment seriously. They will take comfort in knowing information is always available if they need to contact someone if they need to.

Following the steps above, plus the harassment laws of the state where the company is located, as well as taking measures to ensure the company’s harassment policy is not a failure, and training employees to recognize harassment, will create a respectful workplace everyone has been searching for.

About the Author Jennifer Orechwa

With over 25 years in the industry, and now as IRI's Director of Business Development, Jennifer has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to build a culture of engagement. By blending a deep understanding of labor and employee relations with powerful digital marketing knowledge, Jennifer has helped thousands of companies achieve behavioral change at a cultural level.

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