Harassment is an issue that can have serious consequences for your employees and your organization. Not only can targeted harassment have a significant impact on employees’ mental health, morale, well-being, productivity, and trust, but it can harm your business’s reputation.
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Harassment Training

What is harassment in the workplace?

Harassment in the workplace constitutes any type of behavior that is offensive or unwelcome. While bullying and unwanted sexual advances are obvious and extreme types of harassment, it can take many forms. Often, harassment may be disguised as a joke, but what is a joke to one person may be offensive or hurtful to another, which means it could be classed as harassment.

If an employee has been made to feel ashamed, embarrassed, degraded, intimidated, afraid, offended, or anything similar, then it’s potentially harassment. This may relate to age, race, religion, sexuality, gender, beliefs, disability, or any other personal areas.

Harassment usually falls under the following five areas:

  1. Physical
  2. Verbal
  3. Psychological
  4. Digital
  5. Sexual

The harasser may be one person or a group of people. Harassment could be a one-off incident or an ongoing campaign. It’s important that harassment, regardless of severity or longevity, is identified and dealt with quickly.

For example, harassment in the workplace could be:

  • Jokes made in poor taste
  • Name-calling or offensive nicknames
  • Slurs
  • Threats
  • Sexual suggestions or innuendos
  • Intimidation
  • Insults
  • Mockery
  • Offensive objects or images
  • Epithets
  • Asking one employee over others to perform unwanted tasks
  • Purposefully downgrading performance reviews

Often, harassment comes from a position of power or perceived power. For example, a harasser is more likely to be the same seniority level or higher than the employee being harassed. The harassment may also come from someone outside of the organization, such as a client or supplier.

While it’s also vital that all employees take workplace harassment training courses, your HR team should constantly look to develop in this area. This will ensure they have all the skills and knowledge needed to make your organization safe and welcoming for everyone, and that harassment of any kind won’t be tolerated.

What can your organization do to prevent harassment?

There are a number of steps your organization can take to not only prevent harassment, but also deal with it swiftly should it happen. These steps include:

  • Frequent harassment training for HR staff
  • A comprehensive HR policy on sexual harassment and all other forms of harassment
  • In-depth training to deliver to employees, which can be supported by eLearning courses
  • Communicating a clear and simple reporting process
  • Ensuring your HR team is available to listen to and support victims of harassment
  • Ensuring harassers are dealt with to an appropriate level

Why it's vital that your HR team receives harassment training

Preventing harassment starts at the top of your organization, and your HR team is a key part of creating a code of conduct your entire workforce must abide by. Preventing harassment isn’t a one-off event, it’s a process that requires regular input.

Your employees want to work in an environment that is safe and inclusive. If not, and harassment occurs, it can have a devastating effect on not just the victim, but those around them. These include:

  • A loss of productivity
  • Damage to employee mental health
  • Damaged relationships
  • Low morale
  • High employee turnover
  • A loss of respect
  • A higher level of absenteeism
  • Damage to reputation
  • Legal action

It’s not just your employees that suffer when harassment occurs, but your entire organization. There have been many cases of harassment at well-known organizations and brands that have seriously damaged their reputation. But, it’s something that can be prevented with the correct procedures and training programs in place.

The benefits of HR harassment training

Aside from the obvious benefit that harassment training courses help to prevent harassment, there are plenty of other benefits to training your HR team, as well as your entire workforce.

  • Creates a workplace culture built around safety and trust
  • Establishes your organization’s policies on harassment
  • Provides employees with resources and guidance
  • Ensures your business complies with laws and regulations
  • Reduces turnover 

Can you take HR harassment training online?

Yes, HR harassment training can be taken online. eLearning courses cover a wide range of harassment-related topics, from the fundamentals to specific areas. Each will provide your HR staff with the relevant knowledge they need to build a safer and more inclusive workplace for your employees.

Online training courses are self-directed, meaning they can be picked up whenever employees have the time. This means learning doesn’t have to interfere with day-to-day operations, and doesn’t add unnecessary stress or pressure.

Because eLearning materials have already been produced, they’re also affordable and can be scaled easily when you want to roll training out to your entire workforce. If your organization uses a learning management system (LMS) you can also use this to ensure mandatory training is completed on time.

What are the best online courses for harassment?

eLearning is a great way to access engaging harassment training, as courses use a variety of teaching methods to ensure information is retained. Below are just some of the best online courses for harassment prevention.

Train your staff today

Ensuring your organization has a culture focused on safety, diversity and inclusion is vital, and HR harassment training is the first step toward making that happen. Here at Go1, we have a wide range of eLearning courses for training your HR staff and your wider workforce in harassment. For more info on how Go1 can support your organization’s learning and development program, book a demo with a member of our team today.

Book a demoReach out to the friendly Go1 team to learn why over 3000 organizations choose Go1. We would love to hear from you, and start your Go1 journey together. Go1 offers the world's largest digital learning hub of +100,000 resources and growing, delivered by the biggest names in eLearning, across a vast range of topics and industries. Whether it’s personal development, compliance or onboarding, Go1 is with you as you grow.
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