Sexual Harassment training is one of this year’s most talked about topics, with the media, training experts, HR professionals and employers weighing in on what organizations need to do to reduce the pervasive problem of workplace sexual harassment.
Andrew Rawson, Traliant’s co-founder and Chief Learning Officer, is an active voice in the national conversation on sexual harassment training and recently spoke to NPR, The Wall Street Journal and Training Magazine. Here are some excerpts:
For her latest Work & Family column titled, Sexual Harassment Training Gets a Revamp, Sue Shellenbarger spoke with Andrew about the heightened interest among organizations to replace or revise their sexual harassment training programs, following the flood of high-profile scandals. She notes that Traliant has added 95 of its 255 clients in the months since multiple women accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct.
The column also highlights Traliant’s leaderboard and point system, which promote healthy competition among employees, says Traliant customer, MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions.
The Traliant program awards points to employees for their performance, and participants can compare their scores on a leaderboard, says Andrew Rawson, co-founder of the Manhattan Beach, Calif., company. Garrett Townsend, a 25-year-old engineer at MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions, a Seattle mechanical contractor that uses Traliant’s anti-harassment program, says it sparked a friendly rivalry among his colleagues, and a discussion about whether it’s ever OK for a supervisor to ask a subordinate out on a date.
In a segment on Virginia Public Radio examining whether mandatory training is effective in stopping sexual harassment, Andrew talked with reporter Michael Pope about a better approach to training.
He (Rawson) says that many of the early sexual harassment training courses were poorly designed. “The main reason was not necessarily to prevent sexual harassment from taking place. It was mainly to provide a good defense when sexual harassment did take place.”
Rawson says a better way to approach the training is small and ongoing messages rather than huge chunks of time every two years. “A steady drip campaign of positive messages and ones that reinforce that the organization has got your back and has got a zero tolerance policy we think has a much better chance than the traditional let me teach you what the law is, because that obviously doesn’t work.”
In a recent article in TrainingIndustry that posed the question, Sexual Harassment Compliance Training That Actually Works: Does It Exist?, Andrew emphasized the importance of training managers and supervisors and holding them accountable.
“The managers are the first line of defense,” Rawson says. They need to know how to handle situations when someone reports harassment to them, what they should be looking for in the workplace and what to do if they’re ever wrongfully accused of sexual harassment.”
The spotlight on workplace sexual harassment and the need for behavior-changing, anti-harassment training will not let up in 2018. Organizations in every sector and industry are looking for – and even demanding – compliance training that focuses on motivating employees to recognize and prevent harassment and discrimination and make the right decisions, rather than memorize rules and laws.