Why Is Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Important

Sexual harassment prevention training means reducing the likelihood of incidents of inappropriate behavior in the workplace.

An effective program will inform and educate staff on what constitutes sexual harassment within the workplace and present essential tools for behavior correction if the conduct is deemed inappropriate.

While sexual harassment training is not mandated in all states, the obligation falls with employers to maintain a safe, secure, and harassment-free culture. In order to do this, businesses are “stringently encouraged” to offer training for sexual harassment prevention to their staff.

Acts of sexual harassment violate individual boundaries, dignity, privacy, and an overall sense of security and safety. With adequate training, employees learn to recognize the different forms of harassment, how to avoid being a victim, and the proper channels for making a complaint.

Executive staff, business leaders, and managers are educated on the discretion with reported complaints, handling corrective action, and refraining from retaliating behavior following a harassment report. Sexual harassment training means preserving employees’ right to a non-hostile work environment.

Why Is Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Important

Sexual harassment prevention training programs are designed to define the harassment for staff and align them with necessary tools to modify behavior that is identified as unacceptable.

When deemed inappropriate, conduct will violate a person’s boundaries, privacy, dignity, infringe on their security and safety, and overall sense of wellness.

Adequate training will direct staff in methods for recognizing the varied forms of sexual harassment, how to avoid the behavior, and the channels to follow if a report needs to be made.

Blatant misconduct is readily identifiable, but more subtle approaches are challenging, leaving employees confused if harassment is what’s happening. Some examples can include sexual jokes or off-handed comments. These can ultimately lead to a hostile environment as it continues.

Managers are trained with their prevention programs to identify subtle misconduct along with egregious behaviors.

The training also emphasizes the fact that everyone is at risk of becoming a harassment victim regardless of the industry, gender, or age. Learn methods for preventing sexual harassment at Why are the programs important, and what purpose do they serve? Let’s review.

●       Educating and informing management and employees

Not everyone coming into the workforce understands what sexual harassment involves. Everyone is aware of the terminology but what it encompasses is not always readily recognized. And even for those with a general idea, the channels they need to follow if they experience an incident or witness the behavior are unclear.

Some states mandate employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training programs with specific guidelines on what information needs to be included and how to present the sessions to ensure employees and management participate in adequate training.

Not all states are mandated, but employers must ensure a non-hostile work environment free of harassing conduct. The programs are vital to ensuring that business leaders can provide such cultures.

With education, sexual harassment in its varied forms is defined with examples. Employees are instructed on the proper channels to follow for reporting misconduct and what the investigation process entails. The staff will receive information on the solutions offered by the company for victims of harassment.

●       Mitigating risk

Whether mandatory or voluntary, sexual harassment prevention training is the key to protecting staff within the workplace from inappropriate conduct. The programs put in place by laws or leadership must be instituted as mandatory participation for all employee levels.

Onboarding processes should include mandatory sexual harassment training. Plus, assessments should be performed each year to ensure the programs remain current and relevant, that it is of the highest standards, readily understood, engaging, and a program people will want to participate in.

Increasingly “local jurisdictions” and more states are mandating sexual harassment prevention training within the workplace. In some jurisdictions, these mandates only apply to particular industries, while other regions base their requirement on the organization’s size.

For some, it’s across the board, and in other states, efforts are still being made to mandate the programs. Still, employers in these areas require their staff to participate in the training in an attempt to provide employees at all levels with a non-hostile, harassment-free environment.

Open for details on why you should prioritize prevention training, how to start, and its importance.

Final Thought

Whether mandated in your jurisdiction or not, as a business leader, you must ensure the work environment is non-hostile and harassment-free. No one should have their boundaries crossed, lose their dignity or privacy, have a lapse in their safety or security, or feel their wellness is in jeopardy on your watch.

All staff must grasp a full understanding of sexual harassment in its varied forms with tools provided on behavior modifications when conduct deems unacceptable.

As an adequately informed employee, each will know the proper channels to follow if a report of harassment needs to be made and will understand the solutions available to them if they become a victim of harassment.

And with an employer with a primary focus on presenting a respectful, inclusive, and safe environment, the program will be reassessed each year to ensure it is current, relevant, relatable, and of the highest standard for optimum effectiveness.

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