Why is sexual harassment training in the workplace important? It might seem like a simple answer, but in all reality – there are many reasons why training your employees is important. It’s especially imperative that managers/supervisors get extensive sexual harassment training. They can also be named in harassment based charges, if they knew about harassment occurring.
Sexual harassment training provides awareness of behaviors and actions that are considered professional and acceptable at work. Having a policy should be a non-negotiable. But merely having a policy isn’t enough. Companies need to have regular sexual harassment training to CLEARLY outline the company policy (most employees probably haven’t even read the company policy, let’s be honest) as well as outlining federal and local laws as well. It’s also imperative that companies outline what exactly harassment means. It’s more than just a sexual advance or lewd joke.
Back to the why: not only do businesses face HUGE financial risks and penalties but they also risk huge damage to existing staff feeling insecure, damage to the company brand, sales, customers, bids, vendors, etc…
The common theme I hear working in human resources, is companies don’t feel like it would happen to them, or don’t think that they have employees that would pursue legal action. But, let’s put that thought process into perspective: every year from 2010-2017, over 12,000 sex based harassment have been filed with the EEOC, EACH YEAR, for a grand total of over 100,000 charges filed in 7 years. In addition, over $340 million dollars has been paid out since 2010 for sex based harassment charges. Facts about sexual harassment from the EEOC can be found here. The numbers are staggering and the emotional toll it will take on a company’s workforce could be debilitating.
This is not just happening in Hollywood. It’s happening all across the country. Make sure you are training your employees. Give them examples of what not to say and how not to behave. When I do sexual harassment training for my clients – I know and understand it can be not only uncomfortable but also awkward. I know that it might have already occurred. I don’t assume “if” it will happen, but take the approach of “when” it does – how can our HR team help? I believe, that the more it is discussed, the more open and aware employees will be of identifying it and they will be willing to put a stop to it. It takes an entire management team to be on board with “zero tolerance” and a culture of action if harassment is evident. Don’t let your employees be a part of #metoo. Stop the trend today.
To help you stop the trend, we would like to provide you a free copy of our “#metoo – Essentials of Sexual Harassment Training White Paper” that contains a clear outline of why you should implement the outlined best practices to improve a sexual harassment training program in your workplace. Please contact us via our website and request the white paper. You can also reach out to us if you have any questions that we can help you with regarding your HR concerns.