Nelson Connects: Protecting associates and clients from harassment in the workplace

How one of the largest independent staffing firms in the U.S. met the challenge of harassment prevention training for a distributed workforce.

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    How one of the largest independent staffing firms in the U.S. met the challenge of harassment prevention training for a distributed workforce, while ensuring excellent service for clients  

    Provide innovative workforce solutions to help companies efficiently build and manage their teams by connecting jobs, people, and communities. 

    Protect associates and clients from harassment  

    Harassment Prevention training that is annually refreshed to educate and inform  

    Professional services, staffing  

    Over 4,700 employees in 2022 

    A family-owned company based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Nelson Connects stands as one of the largest independent staffing firms in the U.S. For over 50 years, Nelson Connects has provided innovative workforce solutions to help companies efficiently build and manage their teams by connecting jobs, people, and communities. The company serves organizations of all sizes in nearly all industries throughout California and beyond.   

    Addressing the needs of associates and clients  

    Like other staffing companies, Nelson Connects must stay in compliance with regulations that require staffing firms to provide harassment prevention training for their employees. And Nelson Connects’ training needs are very specific in that they need to protect their employees, whom they call “associates,” while at the same time providing excellent service for clients. 

    That means that their training solution needs to be easily implemented on a large scale, provide effortless tracking, and make it easy for learners to engage with the system. It also must fit with the needs of a diverse and distributed workforce, while at the same time aligning with the varied organizational cultures of their clients.  

    Since 2019, Kantola has continued to serve Nelson Connects—not only helping them to remain compliant, but also helping to support their strategic priorities. Those priorities include ensuring that training aligns with their core values, serves to elevate their culture, and ensures that both the needs of workers and clients are met.  

    The need for swift and easy training implementation  

    Even for a high-performing company like Nelson Connects, tackling the enormous job of ongoing training for a workforce of thousands of workers is no easy task. Kantola supports Nelson Connects by making sure that both the implementation team and the associates have everything they need to quickly and easily complete training. That includes seamless administration, swift automation with no manual work required, a dashboard that can be used by multiple teams and the ability to add new courses related to specific states. In sum, they require a system that is both easy for associates to use and for staff to administer and track on an ongoing basis.   

    Beyond the practical need to quickly provide training for all associates throughout their organization, Nelson Connects also focuses on additional critical factors. Specifically, the company’s leaders want to ensure that their harassment prevention training solution, like all their strategic partnerships, aligns with their core values. Accordingly, they require that training fits with the company’s culture of excellence, integrity, empathy and innovation. Below is an analysis of how Kantola’s training has been instrumental in meeting this threshold. 

    Training that builds on a culture of support for both workers and clients  

    A special challenge for Nelson Connects is to ensure that training, “provides an opportunity for workers to get to know their rights, the type of treatment they should expect in the client’s workplace and the kind of respectful behavior that is expected of every associate,” says Melanie Wise, Vice President of Human Resources.  

    An important aspect of the training dynamic is to ensure that clients understand and appreciate the importance and value of having a workforce that is prepared to identify, address and help prevent harassment in the workplace. That means helping everyone understand that with effective training both the client and the associates are protected against harassment.  

    The storytelling in Kantola’s training aligns with our core value of using empathy and compassion to help build all relationships on a foundation of understanding and mutual respect.


    Annually refreshed courses and ongoing feedback  

    Aside from the ease of implementation, quality of instruction and cultural alignment with core values, “part of the reason for choosing to stay with Kantola,” says Wise, “is the fact that courses are updated yearly” — which means that the course stays fresh and the quality of instruction remains current. That’s particularly significant since associate training happens with each onboarding and is repeated in accordance with requirements.   

    Also, as part of its approach to ensuring excellence, the Nelson Connects team plans to keep a tap on ongoing feedback for three groups:   

    • Associates – Monitoring the learning experience, completion and satisfaction rates  
    • Clients – Satisfaction and understanding that a trained workforce helps to lower risk  
    • Internal team – Ensuring that the training continues to be easy to administer and track  

    This approach helps the Nelson Connects team to fulfill its commitment to excellence and ensure that both associates and clients are satisfied with harassment prevention training results, now and in the future.