Six Ways to Improve Employers’
Kristen Gallagher, Chair of the Employment & Labor Law Practice Group at McDonald Carano, shared her insights and advice in a Law360 article titled “Six Ways to Improve Employers’ Anti-Harassment Training.” The article also addresses challenges that have been created by moving workplace conduct training programs to the virtual arena due to the remote work environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The six tips covered in the article include:
1. Create “Connections” in the Digital Realm
2. Ask If It’s Interactive Enough
3. Cut Back on Legalese
4. Know One Size Doesn’t Fit All
5. Expand the Program
6. Set the Right Tone from the Top
As Kristen explained, it is important to include real-world examples of inappropriate behavior because it can be less overt than what most people might expect. “Sometimes I think people don’t always understand that there are nuances to conduct that’s not appropriate and there is a fine line between something that may be not acceptable and something that may be illegal,” Kristen said. “So that part of the discussion, too, is important.” While employers obviously prohibit illegal conduct, she said, “a lot of their policies talk about what’s improper in their workplace because they’re trying to create a place where people want to be.”
Kristen also noted that the goal is for participants to take what they learn with them, and that begins before the training even starts when employers not only have anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policies in place, but also show that they will enforce them. “If this is sort of an out-of-the-blue training and no one ever talks about the policy, or maybe there isn’t a policy in writing, that becomes a stand-alone situation where somebody isn’t understanding the importance [of it] to the company,” Kristen said. “I think a supervisor or a manager’s best role in all of this is just the encouragement of participation in the training. Not making it seem like it’s a hassle to have to find somebody to either cover a shift or cover a part of a shift, and just having it come from the top down that this is important … and everyone needs to know that these policies are not just in writing but they are in practice.”
The full article in Law360 can be found here (subscription required).
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