August 15, 2016

On June 20, the EEOC issued a new report on sexual harassment training and while most of the suggestions were not startling, a couple of things might surprise you.
1)  First, the report recommends live, in-person classroom trainings, as opposed to on-line sessions. While many organizations have abandoned the time, money and trouble of these events, the report clearly expressed a bias toward in-person sessions, finding them likely to be more lively and engaging, and thus more likely to inspire true learning and behavioral change.
2)  Second, the report suggested a move toward "civility" training, as opposed to merely focusing on legal compliance. The Commission seemed to believe that this move would encourage an improved culture, as opposed to simply a legal issue.
3) Third, the Commission recommended training bystanders to recognize and intervene in harassment situations, so that the burden doesn't rest solely on just recipients of harassment.
What Should You Do?

Make sure that your training efforts are lively and engaging so that true learning results, as opposed to simply "checking the box." If you do use on-line efforts, follow-up with discussions at staff meetings to make sure that people have an opportunity to ask questions and make the learning a part of a cultural change.


Consider assessing whether your culture allows harassment to continue as a part of power differentials among different groups of workers, or different gender or ethnic backgrounds and whether a broader cultural change effort is required, not just the standard kind of harassment training.


Lastly, make sure that everyone understands their responsibility for preventing harassment and increasing civility in the workplace, not just those who are recipients of harassment.

Did You Know?

We've always worked to provide lively and engaging harassment training by using diverse training teams and including humorous trainer role plays, videos, and participant role plays.
Most of all, we stress broader efforts at cultural workplace change, including cultural assessments. We emphasize values, not just legal compliance. In addition, we train all employees as bystanders in how to intervene and stop harassment situations, not just recipients or managers. 
 For more information, call or write us at: 303-216-1020 or [email protected]

Be sure to read Lynne's helpful book on sexual harassment.

Workplaces That Work | (303) 216-1020 | [email protected] 
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