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Why Does Sexual Harassment Training Matter?

Posted on 01/25/22 By Lorman Team


Sexual harassment is a traumatizing experience that damages its victims' overall wellbeing.

It is also a far-too-common occurrence in the workplace. Research shows that about 43% of men and more than 80% of women have been victims of sexual harassment at work.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment refers to "unwanted sexual advances." The most common ways to classify sexual harassment are;

  • Quid Pro Quo: This is where a sexual favor is asked in exchange for a job benefit. For example, if a boss makes sexual advances towards an employee in exchange for a promotion.
  • Hostile environment: This occurs when graphic acts and remarks (verbal and non-verbal) are made towards one or more employees based on their sex.

It is quite unfortunate that many sexual harassment cases involve bosses and senior employees, who may hold power over the victim. Research has shown that about 70% of victims experienced harassment by someone more senior than them.

Why Does Anti-Harassment Training Matter?

More than 50% of organizations conduct mandatory anti-harassment training. This is a positive step towards eliminating sexual harassment cases in the workplace. Training can also help employees identify sexual harassment and learn how to report such incidents.

The cost of harassment to businesses

Cases of sexual harassment in the office can cost the organization millions, if not billions of dollars in various ways, including;

  • Lawsuits: The legal costs of fighting sexual harassment cases are very high, and they can even cost more than settling the case.
  • High employee turnover: According to statistics, about 55% of victims of sexual harassment will choose to leave their jobs.
  • Decreased productivity: A study has shown that being a victim of sexual harassment can cause employees to experience a loss of focus and concentration. As a result, it leads to lower productivity rates.
  • Tarnished reputation: A company's reputation can be greatly tarnished due to sexual harassment cases, which is even more likely if the case becomes public.

Ways to Prevent Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is never an acceptable form of behavior. By putting measures to prevent sexual harassment, organizations can save themselves from costly lawsuits and damaged reputations.

Leadership 

All leaders in an organization need to be committed to stopping behaviors that lead to sexual harassment. This will, in turn, encourage employees to come forth when they are the victims of such cases.

Accountability 

All members of an organization should be held responsible for reporting cases of sexual harassment, regardless of what position they hold.

Policies

Having a policy against sexual harassment can help protect the organization from liability over such cases. The policy should include what type of behavior is considered sexual harassment and how victims can report such incidents.

Training

It is through mandatory anti-harassment training that both employers and employees can learn about sexual harassment, what it entails, its effects, and penalties. Note that the training should be done on all levels of the organization, including top managers.

Take Away

Mandatory anti-harassment training is an important step forward to help organizations reduce costly lawsuits and damaged reputations. At Lorman, we offer several anti-harassment training online courses, including;

Browse through our website to explore and discover various training courses for anti-harassment in the workplace. You can also contact us now to inquire more about our training solutions in your organization.

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