Among the workplace trends for 2020 is an increased focus on workplace culture and creating a respectful, inclusive, harassment-free work environment. As the #MeToo movement continues to raise awareness, it’s clear that workplace harassment isn’t limited to employees and managers who work in close contact. Harassment can go beyond the four walls of an organization, making it all the more important in 2020 to provide sexual harassment training to all employees, wherever they work, and ensure the training is relevant to your industry and culture.
An effective sexual harassment training strategy should include:
- Training remote workers
Remote workers are on the rise and organizations should create policies and practices that include them. Employees who work from home can still be targets of inappropriate comments via email, texting, live chats, team calls and social media. Mobile-optimized harassment training can make it easier for remote and off-site employees to access training anytime and on any device. The training should also explain the organization’s complaint procedures and different online reporting tools available 24/7/365.
- Training part-time and temporary workers
The trend in state and local laws requiring employers to train employees on sexual harassment prevention encompasses part-time, temporary and seasonal employees. Regardless of whether it’s mandated, providing sexual harassment training to everyone sends a strong message that it’s every employee’s responsibility to recognize, report and prevent harassment.
- Making training available in multiple languages
Providing anti-harassment training in multiple languages is important in meeting the needs of a diverse workforce. Employees who can access training in their native language can learn and retain information better, making for a more successful learning experience.
- Training managers on their role
Managers and supervisors should receive additional training on how to handle harassment complaints, prevent retaliation and other actions that may lead to compliance violations and costly claims and lawsuits. Managers (as well as all employees) can benefit from bystander intervention training that teaches techniques for safely disrupting potentially harmful situations and preventing future incidents.
- Training on the organization’s social media policy
In addition to having a written anti-harassment policy, implementing a social media policy is another important step in reducing the risk of cyber harassment, cyberbullying and other online misconduct. The EEOC recently announced a settlement of over $300,000 with a company to resolve charges that an executive posted sexually explicit photos of a co-worker on multiple websites, referencing her name and workplace. The EEOC maintained the company failed to prevent and correct the behavior, even after the employee made numerous complaints. Whether harassment occurs in the workplace, on the internet or off-site, it’s the obligation of employers to prevent and correct it.
For many organizations, getting staff and teams in one place for mission-critical meetings and training is a challenge. Factor in remote, part-time and temporary employees, and it gets more difficult. However, with innovations in online sexual harassment training, employers have more flexibility than ever to provide mobile-optimized training tailored to their industry and accessible 24/7/365 to employees in the language of their choice.