Sexual harassment is a form of bullying. This is why most, if not all, major companies include this subject as an integral part of their corporate training.
Do you know what appropriate and inappropriate behavior is? You may be surprised and even shocked to learn how many people do not.
One study found that 22% of those surveyed realized that they had been victims of sexual harassment only after they learned that certain behavior was illegal. In other words, they changed their answer from “no” to “yes” that they had been sexually harassed in the past. The study said nothing about the number of people who had been perpetrators and suddenly realized that what they had done was wrong.
The problem has more to do with power than gender relations. The perpetrator feels free to do as they please, frequently viewing their own actions as perfectly acceptable. The victim, on the other hand, feels trapped and powerless to do anything about their painful predicament. This is why training is essential:
1. Not everyone knows. You may instinctively know that some kinds of behavior are wrong, but where do you draw the line? Everyone needs to know.
2. Bullies tend to draw their own lines. Through intimidation and other tactics, a bully can sway workplace opinion making it seem to many that what they do is normal and okay.
3. Sexual harassment creates a hostile environment. The victims and many witnesses are left with a feeling of unease.
4. Productivity suffers. Any distraction can disrupt workflow. Strong emotional trauma can cripple output and decrease quality of any work that is complete.
5. Employees dread coming to work. Increased sick days taken and employees quitting at the earliest opportunity are only two of the effects driven by sexual harassment. Loss of trained personnel is one of the most costly problems in the modern workplace.
6. Lawsuits. Because sexual harassment is against the law, a suit brought against the company can be costly not only monetarily but also as a distraction from business as usual and as a public relations black eye.
Whether you are the perpetrator, the victim or a witness, you are responsible for what goes on in your workspace. Yes, even if you are the janitor. Doing nothing about an abuse is bad. Not knowing what is and is not abuse is even worse.
The obvious solution is sexual harassment training. And the most cost-effective and painless method for acquiring this education is through online training courses. The OpenSesame marketplace features many great, convenient and informative courses on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. Many employers make such training a mandatory condition of continued employment, and employee compliance is easily documented as an integral part of the elearning process.
If you’re looking for the right sexual harassment prevention course for your workplace, let us know! We’ll help you find the perfect course.