Why is Sexual Harassment Training Important for HR?

With workplace harassment training now a legal requirement for employers in many states, it is even more important than ever for organizations – and particularly HR departments – to ensure they are complying with regulations.

Even without legal ramifications, it is important for companies to take action to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

Not only is it in the best interests of workers, but taking positive action via sexual harassment prevention training is good for a company’s reputation.

It is easier than ever to organize, whether companies choose a sexual harassment training online course for employees, or whether offline works better for their work environment.

The Importance of Sexual Harassment Training for HR

Sexual harassment is a serious issue, both in and out of the workplace.

While employees are at work, it is the duty of employers to ensure they are safe and free from gender-based harassment and discrimination.

This is why there is now a movement across many areas to legally require organizations to provide an annual sexual harassment prevention training course for all staff.

No matter the state requirements, there are many areas pushing for online training programs, and other forms of compliance training – including New York State, New York City, Illinois, Delaware, California, and Maine.

In addition to sexual harassment prevention being the right thing to do, there are many reasons why training, whether online or offline, is important for HR departments.

1. Protecting Employees

HR departments exist to protect both employees and organizations from harassment and discrimination, through analyzing and enforcing a code of conduct.

Oftentimes, HR managers and officers will receive reports and complaints from staff which can be of a very sensitive nature (and therefore need to be protected via a privacy policy).

Particularly when talking about gender-based discrimination, it is of the utmost importance that HR staff receive a training course on responding appropriately and sensitively to disclosures and reports, whether this occurs in person, via eLearning courses, or even via phone support.

Victims of workplace harassment should be treated with respect – and their complaints should be taken very seriously. HR workers should be aware of how they can act to protect co-workers and take action for harassment prevention.

2. Staying Aware

Each company’s policy should state how reports will be addressed and resolved, and HR teams need to attend an online or offline training course on harassment prevention.

If HR staff receive anti-sexual harassment training, they are able to set an example for their co-workers and communicate the positive benefits of training at all levels. As they tend to interact with a large number of employees across the organization, they are also well-placed to recognize the signs of harassment and respond accordingly.

3. Ensuring Employer Compliance

Many states, such as New York, now legally require organizations to provide anti-sexual harassment training, and this includes the HR staff.

In fact, one could argue that HR workers and managers can benefit significantly from such training, whether in-person or online because their roles involve interacting with and managing the concerns of employees. Offering training to every employee, including HR departments, can help to improve the workplace environment and ensure everyone complies with the company’s harassment policy. HR teams can also help to communicate and action the training requirements through the company, ensuring that employees at all levels are aware of their rights regarding sexual harassment.