We’ve all had to do it. Sit through, maybe even sleep through those boring, pre-recorded training videos, only to forget the material presented before we even made it out the door. Some of those trainings have been so laughable that they’ve had spoofs made about them. While harassment prevention trainings have improved considerably, there are organizations that continue to subject their employees to those two-thumbs-down performances.
What message does that send to the employees? That the subject matter isn’t important or being taken seriously – that ‘training’ is just a box that needs to be checked as part of the onboarding process? It’s kind of like having an employee of the month award but never awarding anyone.
How about we take a different approach. Let’s look at why harassment prevention is so important and how effective training can make all the difference.
You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’. Surprisingly, there are many who don’t consider their comments or actions as harassment. Employees that are provided with the knowledge of what constitutes harassing behaviors are less likely to cross the line of inappropriate behavior. Similarly, organizations that place a high level of importance on harassment prevention training, are less likely to end up in the headlines for another sexual harassment report.
According to psychologist Abraham Maslow, safety is one of our Hierarchy of Needs. If employees don’t feel this need is being met in the workplace, it can lead to health issues, missed deadlines, and poor performance, which ultimately affects the organizations' reputation and bottom line. Training employees on identifying harassment in the workplace and how to report it, ensuring they feel safe in doing so, will help get your organization on the Best Places to Work list (if you aren’t already).
This is a biggie when it comes to training. Yes, employees learn in different ways. But having an interactive and engaging training experience is going to be much more effective than having a room full of employees staring at an outdated video. Give them an opportunity to ask questions or talk through scenarios. We get it – this is a sensitive topic, and some employees might not feel comfortable speaking up or interacting with the group. But they are still taking in and retaining the information at a higher rate than with a video or no training at all.
Turnover isn’t cheap! Having a culture that weaves its values throughout the organization, including the trainings, shows its employees that they matter, that they are seen and heard, and that you’re not going to just push play and leave the room. In turn, the chances that they don’t leave the organization then are pretty high.
Donate that VCR to the Smithsonian and seek out a better method of harassment prevention training for your employees that incorporates knowledge, safety, communication, and retention. And now for a small, shameless plug, because after all, harassment prevention training is what we do. We are currently scheduling trainings for 2022 and would love to talk with you to see how we can support you.