Stopping sexual harassment in the workplace depends on clear policies and a change in an organization’s culture. Workplace harassment training is a critical part of maintaining a harassment-free environment. Stop harassment quickly and completely with these five steps.
5 Steps to Stop Workplace Harassment
- Develop a Thorough and Legal Harassment Policy: Create or revise a section of your employee handbook to cover harassment policy. In today’s workplace, harassment prevention must go beyond sexual harassment, so create a policy that addresses all forms of harassment and discrimination. Make sure this policy is clearly stated to everyone in the organization. Clearly state the definition of harassment, the procedure for filing complaints, and that this type of misbehavior will not be tolerated.
- Ensure Your Policy Includes Protocol for Reporting Complaints: Your policy should include a clear protocol for reporting complaints. This protocol should provide a way for employees to make a complaint that does not require them to include the offending party. This section of your policy is an ideal place to discuss why it is illegal to retaliate against anyone who files a complaint.
- Conduct Policy Training on a Regular Basis: Conduct annual training sessions on your harassment policy as mandated by the laws of your state. Employees should end the training sessions with a clear understanding of your policy and should be comfortable with the procedure for reporting complaints. Supervisors and managers should undergo a separate training session to receive education on how to handle complaints. Video-based training is the most effective way to clarify what is (or is not) illegal behavior, ensuring everyone knows what behaviors to avoid and/or report.
- Supplement Mandated Harassment Prevention Courses with General Training on Respect and Inclusion: Behaviors such as bullying and unconscious bias are unfortunately common in today’s workplace. While not illegal, these types of behaviors are every bit as damaging to employee morale and productivity as harassment. Providing general training on respect and inclusion helps employees and management identify these behaviors and take steps to end them.
- Make a Cultural Change from the Top: Your organization’s leaders are a powerful tool in modeling harassment prevention best-practices. In addition to providing mandatory harassment prevention training for your manager, ask all of your organization’s leaders to commit to creating a respectful workplace.
Recommended Workplace Harassment Training Resources
Harassment Hurts: It’s Personal provides an overview of the different forms harassment can take, including race, sexual orientation, and sexual harassment. Insight is provided on the negative consequences of inappropriate behavior and tactics for speaking up about harassment are discussed.