As the pervasive issue of sexual harassment continues to dominate the news, one of the most frequently asked issues is whether managers and supervisors should receive separate training from employees. Though not everyone agrees, there are certainly compelling arguments for keeping employee and manager/supervisor training distinct. Here are a few reasons why many individuals prefer them to be distinct, as well as a rundown of what both sessions might cover.
Why Should Harassment Training Be Separate?
Previously, organizations with 50 or more employees were required to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to supervisors/managers every two years. However, far smaller enterprises, including those with five or fewer employees, will now be required to provide training for both supervisors and employees. Supervisors and managers will require two hours of training, while employees will need just one hour. And the topic of each session must be unique.
Managers, according to the new rules, require extra training—and information that differs from what ordinary employees receive—because they wield so much power in the company. In reality, they have the capacity to both help establish a healthier culture in the firm and to produce an unhealthy, unsafe work environment. In either case, employees look to them for guidance and advice on how to deal with problems at work.
Managers and supervisors are leaders, and as such, they have more obligations than the rest of the workforce. This is why firms who want to prevent sexual harassment at work should not simply provide them with the same training as the rest of the team. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will offer two harassment prevention courses, one of which is aimed primarily at managers. Organizations should seek additional anti-harassment training courses in order to have the most peace of mind. For organizations of all sizes, Inspired eLearning offers a comprehensive range of anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training.
What Should Management Training Focus On?
So, how should managers/supervisors’ sexual harassment training differ from that of their employees? First and foremost, it should concentrate on how to build a healthy work environment, which should involve improved leadership and communication in the workplace. It should also cover how to recognize and respond to sexual harassment.
This training should also cover how to handle sexual harassment allegations in the workplace. There should be a defined protocol in place so that managers and supervisors know exactly what to do when a problem arises. The training should also cover the risks of ignoring the problem and allowing the harassment to continue.
In addition, sexual harassment training for managers and supervisors must highlight the reality that harassment accusations can expose a corporation to litigation. This should serve as a reminder to managers of the necessity of dealing with complaints as soon as possible rather than ignoring them or delaying reporting them. They may be more likely to take this issue seriously if they know they could be in trouble and the company could be sued.
What Should Employee Harassment Prevention Training Teach?
Employee training, on the other hand, should include how to report sexual harassment in the workplace. Employees must also understand what constitutes harassment in order to recognize it and ensure that they are not the perpetrators. Employees may not recognize that their comments or actions are inappropriate in the workplace in some situations, and training can help solve this problem by educating them on how to behave professionally and respectfully at work.
Some businesses may attempt to save money by simply training managers and supervisors while leaving employees out. However, this is a mistake, because ensuring that employees know how to report harassment in the workplace is an important component of reducing it. When they don’t know what steps to take, they’re less likely to inform management, allowing the problem to persist and possibly worsen.
Finally, the fundamental rationale for separating sexual harassment training for managers/supervisors and employees is that the two groups must approach the subject of harassment from distinct angles. While they must both learn to recognize harassment and avoid being the source of it, their roles in the reporting process are distinct and must be taught accordingly.