It is hardly a secret that trying to run a business in the modern day is a difficult challenge that is admirable to attempt.
That is part of why it is so important for us to utilize all of the tools we have available to ensure our operation runs as smoothly as possible. In regard to handling harassment cases in a workspace, having training can be a big help.
If you are looking to learn more about how this works and why it might be a worthwhile investment for you, do be sure to stick around.
One thing to note is that providing at least one training session is required by law in several states, as you can see here: https://hr.dmas.virginia.gov/current-employees/employee-relations/workplace-harassment/.
So, if you are on the fence, it is probably a good idea to go through with it. That being said, there are more reasons besides just a requirement.
What Is Harassment?
I have found that many of us do not have a full concept of what constitutes harassment in a place of work. So, I will start off with that.
There are several different types to keep track of, but I will split them into two categories: physical and emotional. Just keep in mind that many of them can fall under both of these umbrellas.
Perhaps the most serious form is sexual harassment. This is defined as any unwanted advance or commentary that is sexual in nature. Asking for favors in return for a promotion is an example of it, though there are others as well. A lot of the time, these cases are based on gender roles, so that is key to remember.
Physical harassment is approximately what it sounds like. It involves any unwanted or unsolicited touching or interactions. That could be stealing personal items as well. Some common examples are touching a person’s hair or moving items on a desk.
Emotional harassment is where things get a bit more complex. It is often where sexual harassment prevention training comes into play, as a surprising amount of that comes in this form.
It can be a lot harder to spot, making it more difficult to prevent and address as well. However, that does not mean that we should not put forth the same level of effort.
Unfortunately, it is also more common in office spaces than the physical variety because of the difficulty in addressing it. After all, some people often think they are just joking around, or at least would like to claim that. Unfortunately, this can be taken quite wrong.
With that in mind, the complexity of these issues is part of what makes them so hard to tackle. After all, if you are trying to confront people on their inappropriate behavior and they feel they have done nothing wrong, it can become an uncomfortable interaction quickly. It is still important to discuss it with them and address it so that the issue does not become more serious.
Why It Matters
So, if you are wondering why this is all important besides the obvious of caring about the well-being of our employees, I understand. Of course, there is concern about PR and reputation. We do not want our business to undergo a scandal.
Most of the scandals that we have heard about in the past few years have been genuinely devastating to the business involved. Especially when it comes to ones that have sexual harassment in the mix – those tend to be the ones that get the most attention, too, since the beginning of the “Me Too” movement.
You can read some of the details about this on this page if you are wondering. Discrimination cases also tend to get a lot of attention as well. So, it is important that we avoid having these things happen at our businesses, as it can be quite a problem.
Besides that, though, it is also just important to provide a safe work environment for our employees. If we do that and make it a more welcoming space, it is also good to consciously do our best to hire inclusively. After all, any discrimination based on age, sex, or race is against the law and plain immoral.
So, consider employing training regimens to help prevent harassment from occurring in your places of work. It should not just be for employees, either. Attend yourself and make sure that have any supervisors and/or managers take the courses as well.
You do not have to do it all on your own, either. It is possible to seek out online options for the courses or to hire an outside instructor.
In whatever way you decide to present the information, do your best to demonstrate to your workers that it is important information to know.