What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is something we have heard a lot about in the news lately. What is it and why do we need sexual harassment training? According to the Oxford Dictionary, sexual harassment is when someone behaves in a manner that is characterized by making inappropriate and unwelcome sexual remarks. It can also be physical movements that are inappropriate and unwelcome. This can happen in social situations, the workplace, or other professional situations.
Sexual harassment training is necessary because there are too many people who do not clearly understand what it is and the ramifications of acting that way. If the training is done in the workplace, employees cannot say they did not understand what it was and did not know they were acting inappropriately. You can do the training on your own or get professional sexual harassment trainings from businesses that train others. Either way, you must be thorough in the training, because people who are sexually harassed can come back and sue your company if it happens at your workplace.
This article will address more about sexual harassment and why training is needed in the workplace. You want to protect your employees and you want there to be consequences when sexual harassment happens to one of them. You want your employees to feel safe in their work environment.
Why is Sexual Harassment Training Important
As mentioned here, you want your employees to feel safe in their work environment. This includes not feeling uncomfortable because of unwanted sexual advances, either verbally or physically. A workplace that allows this to happen is just begging for a lawsuit against them and the offending employee. By providing the training, all employees will know what sexual harassment is and how to avoid it. Some employees may feel that the advances they are making are innocent and playful, not realizing that it could make other employees feel uncomfortable and unsafe. If there is training provided, all employees will know how these sexual advances can make others feel.
Let’s show an example: Let’s say that Sharon thinks that Stan is good-looking. Sharon is always hanging out around Stan’s desk at work, sitting on his desk and occasionally rubbing his arm or back. Stan is uncomfortable in this situation and tells Sharon that. Sharon ramps up her attempts by saying sexually provocative things to Stan. Stan again tells Sharon that he is uncomfortable, which she continues to ignore. Stan feels so uncomfortable that he avoids coming to work and is fired because of his many absences.
Stan failed to mention to his manager that Sharon was making him feel uncomfortable with her sexual advances. Sharon feels that she did nothing wrong because she feels that she was just letting Stan know how she feels. Because of this, nothing was done, and Stan has no job.
If there had been sexual harassment training done, Stan would have known that he could have reported Sharon. Sharon would know that her actions were inappropriate and that she should have stopped when Stan said that he was uncomfortable. Both could have known that Stan could start legal actions against the company and Sharon if he was ignored. The situation could have been avoided altogether if there had been sexual harassment training done.
How Should Company Leadership Be Involved
Company leadership should establish a sexual harassment policy and provide training to all their employees. They should also be good examples of how employees should act and show that there are consequences when employees do not follow the policy: https://www.powerdms.com/policy-learning-center/3-keys-to-an-effective-sexual-harassment-policy#:. The leadership should know what sexual harassment looks like and sounds like so that they can help to protect their employees. They should know how to respond appropriately when they see or hear sexual harassment happening.
Successful Sexual Harassment Policy
A successful sexual harassment policy should first and foremost present a zero-tolerance statement at the beginning of the training. This lets employees know that you will not tolerate sexual harassment in any form and that you will protect your employees from this happening. You will let them know the repercussions up front and show that you will follow up on the consequences.
A successful policy will detail what sexual harassment looks like and what it sounds like so that all employees will know it when the see it. It will also allow those who may be the sexual harassers that this is the behavior that will not be tolerated. That way no one will have an excuse when the are confronted with their behavior. Everyone needs to be on the same page, and they can be if there is sexual harassment training for all employees.
Sexual harassment training is important for all employers and employees. You want your employees to feel safe in the workplace, and you want to make sure that you can provide them with that. Sexual harassment training can do that for you and your employees.