Domestic and family violence is a complex and worldwide issue. It affects 1 in 3 women, including 10 million women every year in the USA and 49.5% of women in Australia throughout their lifetime. Despite this, L&D professionals often feel like they can’t make a significant impact on this issue and that they must leave it to HR departments to be able to make a difference.
At Go1, we’ve seen the impact that training and effective education programs can have, largely thanks to our partnership with Australia’s CEO Challenge (ACEOC). Together we’ve trained more than 250,000 people in domestic and family violence prevention, brought cutting edge eLearning to life, and supported programs that give back to more than 45 local charities and women’s shelters. ACEOC have given us hope and educated us on the difference we can make.
We asked Jacque Lachmund, CEO of ACEOC, to talk us through the role that L&D can play in domestic and family violence prevention and strategies for making the workplace safer.
If you’re currently experiencing domestic and family violence or supporting someone who is, please know that there is support available to reach out to. A few services that might be relevant to you:
Jacque, a survivor of domestic violence herself, told us that the most common misconceptions about domestic and family violence are that it is only physical and that it is not a workplace issue. With it affecting so many people at work, Jacque highlighted that we have the opportunity to turn workplaces into a place of safety and support. She is inspired by the wave of change she is currently seeing, with so many workplaces now taking action on this issue.
Jacque highlights that the major points of impact that workplaces can have are:
In particular, she sees a number of positive outcomes from effective L&D programs, especially when paired with workplace policy and procedural improvements, and improved support from HR teams for those affected by domestic and family violence. Jacque recommends that all L&D programs go hand-in-hand with holistic workplace programs. To that end, ACEOC have developed a comprehensive suite of eLearning, face-to-face training, policy and procedural support options for the workplaces they work with.
Despite L&D professionals often feeling like this serious issue is beyond their sphere of influence, we’ve found that learning is the tool that makes the most impact on this issue. Learning is the key lever in long-term change and the driving force behind systemic cultural shifts that make workplaces able to be truly effective.
We asked Jacque and her team for her shortlist of the key areas that L&D can make direct change happen.
The takeaway message…
Through Go1's partnership with ACEOC, we’ve faced all kinds of social, cultural and technical barriers in making change happen on a large scale. We’ve delivered eLearning across 47 different LMS and LXP systems, dealt with countless security settings and certification requirements, and coordinated this with a face-to-face training program for key leaders and change makers. While this is sometimes challenging, we’ve built systems to deal with this and can quickly and easily roll out our programs together.
However, it’s the cultural barriers that we’ve found the most confronting. Many L&D professionals feel unsure of where to start, especially when their workplace or industry is male dominated, such as construction or mining. L&D professionals can feel hesitant to engage with a topic like this, for fear of confronting a large portion of their workplace. They also often feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with compliance requirements, instead of feeling like they can also include an issue like domestic violence in their focus.
At their core, successful learning campaigns are quite simple. They focus on two things:
Successful L&D programs are then always paired with effective policy and procedural change at work. And Australia’s CEO Challenge is an expert organisation in supporting businesses on both fronts.
To do this, ACEOC have built a simple system with Go1 for making change happen: