Harassment cannot be tolerated in any organization, so it is vital to show people how certain behaviors can lead to big problems. This is done best through workplace harassment training. Every employee – from top to bottom – should be taught to recognize (and avoid) harassing behaviors and to stay on the “right side of the line” between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
Workplace harassment training should cover harassment in ALL its forms, including teasing, gossip, joking, sabotage and sexual harassment, and should differentiate between behaviors that are simply unprofessional or inappropriate, and behaviors that are illegal. Employees should also learn the definitions of both Quid Pro Quo Harassment (“I’ll do this for you if you do that for me”) and Hostile Work Environment Harassment, which the EEOC defines as “conduct severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.”
Bringing awareness to what behaviors are inappropriate and illegal is the first step towards preventing harassment in the workplace. The next step is educating people on what to do if they observe, or are a victim of, workplace harassment. If the behavior is merely inappropriate or unprofessional, a person may wish to address the perpetrator directly. Perhaps the perpetrator is not aware of the offensiveness or harm of their words or actions and may change their behavior with a polite but firm “talking to.” Addressing the perpetrator directly (if one feels they can do so competently) can often keep a situation from escalating.
When harassing behavior occurs and the recipient and/or observer don’t want to address it directly with the harasser, harassment training provides steps for knowing where and how to report the incident. Sexual harassment can be particularly difficult and uncomfortable to address directly with the harasser. In these cases, a sexual harassment training video can help the victim know his or her rights, and may help them feel more comfortable reporting the harassment through the proper organizational channels.
CRM Learning offers many workplace harassment training programs covering various topics, including harassment training for managers, policy statements on harassment, and sexual harassment. It’s Up to You is a sexual harassment video that uses real-life scenarios to depict the various faces of sexual harassment and how to stop sexual harassment in the workplace.