Your Guide to Providing Sexual Harassment Training

Let’s face it – one of the most important things for modern business owners or managers is maintaining a positive image in the eyes of the public.  However, this is more difficult today than it has ever been before.  Why is that?

As you probably already know, the issue is far from cut and dry.  Rather, many factors are at play to make this a reality.  For the most part, though, we can look to social media to get a better understanding of why this is the case.  Think about it.

At all times of the day, many people have access to the internet.  Any time that they want to buy something from a company or brand they are unfamiliar with, they will probably look it up.  Then, they will see reviews.  However, the reviews will not only be from customers, but also employees.  

Together, along with your own marketing campaigns and a few other things, they create what we know as “brand image.”  As you can see from this article, it is definitely something that we need to be aware of.  Cultivating it can be a real challenge, but today I will be covering one method of doing so that can be beneficial.

Harassment Prevention: Why Training Works

Interestingly enough, a lot of studies recently have shown that certain types of training actually do more harm than good in an office style space.  This is partially because of the way that the subject is approached.  If the seriousness is not made clear, or if the technical/legal facets to it are impressed upon the audience too heavily, often the message will not get through.

That is why I am here today, really.  I would like to explain to you how you can adjust the messaging or curriculum to make it effective and impactful.  Many third-party companies and providers of coursework have already figured this out, so if you are not sure how to proceed, you could consider working with one of them.

Otherwise, though, one of the strongest methods in terms of preventing sexual harassment is to offer personal stories that really touch upon the heart strings of your employees.  Note: I am not suggesting that you tell graphic or highly unpleasant or disturbing anecdotes.  Instead, just try to give them an idea of who these issues touch.

At the end of the day, the people being affected and impacted most by office bullying or harassment are just like you and me.  They deserve respect and empathy, and nothing less.  Treating a training session as anything other than important and deserving of attention is not working towards that at all.

 

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Now that we have covered the basics of how it works and what the goals are (those being to help prevent harassment incidents from occurring at your business or workplace), let us move on to some of the mistakes that I often see proctors or providers make.  The first is one that I briefly touched on above, but I want to go more in depth in this section.  

Inherently, this subject involves a lot of legal speech.  I do think that it is important to go over some of that, especially the origins surrounding the laws.  For example, the Civil Rights Act that was passed in 1964 has a rich history that is worthwhile to discuss.  Consider utilizing sources like this one, https://www.dol.gov/agencies/oasam/civil-rights-center/statutes/civil-rights-act-of-1964, when developing that section.

With all of that being said, though, it should absolutely not be the primary focus of the course.  Instead, it can be used as a way to highlight why it is such an important topic right now.  Certainly, this country has come a long way in sixty years.  However, we have much to continue improving as well.

Otherwise, some frequent blunders that you should do your best not to do are based on some of the accepted methods of presenting.  Try not to mumble or stare off into space.  Definitely do not keep your gaze firmly planted on your index cards or power point presentation, when applicable.  

Speak evenly, firmly, and allow emotion into your voice.  Impart the feelings that you wish to get across in it to be most effective.  Basically, you should be trying to evoke empathy, since that is what our goal is in terms of encouraging employees not to do these negative behaviors.  After all, people suffer when they have to go through constant harassment.

So – there you have it!  I hope that this guide has helped you to figure out how you want to host your own sessions.  While it can be hard to do so, especially if you are trying to develop your own curriculum, it will be worth it at the end of the day.  Don’t forget you can get help, too!

 

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