We live in a pluralistic society. This fact is increasingly reflected in the diverse employee teams we see within businesses and organizations. Nonetheless, workplace harassment is still a huge problem across the globe.
While it can’t be denied that civil rights have come a long way in the last century, we must recognize that many people still suffer from discrimination. Looking to the workplace, harassment issues can not only wreak havoc on employee wellness, but they can also threaten the overall wellbeing of an organization. For reasons such as this, anti-harassment and anti-discrimination efforts should be prioritized in your organization.
When you assemble a diverse group of employees, you also assemble a diverse array of identities, beliefs, and worldviews. This intermingling of personalities can sometimes lead to conflict. In worst-case scenarios, some employees can discriminate against others.
At Zoe Training, we recommend that you employ anti-discrimination training to ensure a comfortable and safe place to work for your employees. Also, a functional harassment training platform will help insulate your organization from the risk of potential lawsuits.
Why is Discrimination and Harassment Training Important?
With the rise of the civil rights movement in the mid-20th century, governments and businesses alike began to pay more attention to training diversity in the workplace. In the modern era, we see diversity laws that ensure companies practice unbiased recruiting when hiring. We also see strong protections for anti-harassment in the workplace.
As society grows increasingly integrated, it’s vital that people from different backgrounds can be empathetic towards one another. By promoting empathy for people with different backgrounds in your organization, you will develop a more functional and fruitful work environment.
Looking at contemporary society, discrimination is a major source of contention. Whether it be racism or sexism, discrimination within an organization is a surefire way to gain negative attention. In the worst-case scenarios, cases such as sexual harassment can sink a business through negative press and expensive lawsuits.
Beyond insulating your organization from potential lawsuits, harassment training can also help you develop a more positive work environment. Employee teams that understand one another will be far more productive than those who harbor discriminatory values.
Contact Zoe Training today to learn more about how to adopt discrimination training in your organization.
What Objectives Should a Discrimination and Harassment Training Program Include?
There are strategic steps that should be followed when initiating a discrimination and harassment prevention program at your organization. When employed correctly, these steps should give employees a well-rounded perspective of what actions constitute harassment, as well as an easy path to reporting potential insurrections.
It is important that you provide employees with a clear legal definition of discrimination. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) website: “To ‘discriminate’ against someone means to treat that person differently, or less favorably, for some reason.” This definition can serve as a guide for your discrimination and harassment prevention platform.
Some of the primary categories of discrimination are race, age, disability, sex, religion, and nationality. After you give your employees a “bird’s eye view” of these general concepts, you can drill down on the specifics of each. To illustrate, there are many ways in which sexual harassment could occur at work—including inappropriate language, gestures, and actions.
Once your employees have a clear understanding of what constitutes discrimination and harassment, a good anti-discrimination training will move on to explain the discrimination prevention structure of your organization. Human Resources departments must be well-versed in conducting investigations for harassment and discrimination allegations. You should also make everyone aware of the consequences of engaging in discrimination and harassment at work.
Hiring and firing processes can be potential minefields for organizations. It is recommended that your organization puts careful controls in place during these processes to ensure that discrimination does not occur. These controls include omitting certain personal questions during the interview process. In like fashion, your organization must follow careful steps when firing an employee.
What is Risk Management for Discrimination?
Risk management for discrimination requires taking proactive steps to ensure your organization is up-to-speed on the latest rules and regulations. To accomplish this, you need to implement clear and functional services for team members to follow if sexual harassment and discrimination occur in your operation. Supervisors should clearly offer these services, even without a formal investigation.
By setting up a strict harassment prevention structure, you will help your organization avoid potential legal actions. Even more, this system will help you avoid costly legal investigations and fines on the part of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
According to the National Law Review website, “Employers would be well advised to publish anti-harassment policies, conduct anti-harassment training and to make available bona fide reporting and corrective protocols. Doing so is protective of the workforce and legally can serve as a shield to claims.”
Contact Us About Harassment and Discrimination Training
The team at Zoe understands how difficult it can be to stay up-to-speed on sexual harassment and discrimination rules. We also appreciate how difficult it can be to get people of different backgrounds working together on the same page. That’s why it’s important to bring in experts to help.
Visit our Contact Us page to discuss harassment training and risk management services for your organization.