Five tips for delivering a successful sexual harassment prevention training program

Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
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Research shows that nearly ¾ of companies offer sexual harassment prevention training. Whether you’re implementing a program to meet local state mandates or reduce liability, the primary goal of a sexual harassment prevention program is to change behavior.

Explore five tips that help bring learning beyond simple awareness-building to more permanent culture change.

1. Make training scenario-based and interactive

Sexual harassment is one of the most sensitive and emotive parts of corporate compliance policy. Tap into the emotional mindshare of the topic by bringing the reality of difficult harassment situations forward in a safe environment. Bite-sized episodes that immerse employees in realistic situations create emotional connections that can have a positive influence on behavior. Instead of a static list of dos and don’ts, immersive scenarios can dramatize different types of unwelcome conduct, especially subtler forms, and show how quickly it can escalate into illegal harassment.

2. Broaden the scope of topics covered

While identifying sexual harassment is the centerpiece of most training programs, several peripheral topics influence the employee mindset and get to the root of the behavior. Consider including other elements like unconscious bias, LGBTQ+ discrimination, and gender identity in the workplace. This strengthens the overall cultural dynamic by broadening the way employees are thinking about diversity, equity and inclusion.

3. Consider personalizing the learning journey

A 30-minute generic piece of learning delivered during on-boarding won’t have a permanent impact. Keep it going long-term with periodic refresher learning sessions, informal learning like blogs and articles, and access to discussion groups. Personalize the learning journey by offering employees more than the standard single training course and personalize the experience to remediate any gaps in skill.

4. Check your goals

The ultimate goal is to have a harassment-free workplace. But because incidents are often under-reported, and training should explain how to recognize and report incidents, reducing the number of incidents reported should not be a goal, at least not at rollout. Implement a series of feedback surveys where employees can anonymously share updates on the work environment, which includes the presence of harassing behavior.

5. Measure results

Where are your learners struggling? Where are their gaps and your exposure? Measure the specific skills and identify trouble spots that need more attention. Monitor behavior change continuously by embedding data capture and analytics into the learning process.

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