Harassment Prevention is more commonly called Respectful Workplace as a more positive view of the desired outcome. In many jurisdictions there is a requirement for organizations to have a Harassment prevention policy in place, AND to ensure employees are aware of the policy, educated to provide an understanding of the policy, AND where compliance is required some evidence that the employee has been tested or signed off on their understanding and agreement to adhere to the policy.
A clear definition of what is harassment; and what is not harassment is the foundation of an effective harassment policy. This sets the expectations of everyone in the organization. When it is clear to people what is considered harassing or disrespectful behaviour the next challenge is to create a clear process of when to do when an incident of harassment occurs.
One way to look at this is with set of steps beginning with working it our among the people involved, to involving a supervisor or manager, member of a Respectful Workplace Committee, to an eventual decision which is binding on the parties in the workplace. There may still be an option to work through external resolution options such as the Human Rights Commissions or legal channels.
You have set the expectations, defined a process and the next step is to implement and enforce the policy. Implementation can take several forms. For some this is a group activity or training activity. For some this is part of an orientation program which all employees complete.
An online Harassment Prevention training program can be created with a combination of materials and can be as simple as creating a PDF document with your definition of harassment and non harassment, procedure for reporting and procedure for resolving and disciplining if necessary. Another option is to create a set of PowerPoint slides with the similar information that would be the content of the PDF and add images, audio narrations so employees can listen to the materials as well as read the bullet points in the PowerPoint slides. You can include video, images, web links to round out your materials.
An effective way of testing for understanding is to create a set of test questions that are a combination of understanding the definitions and process: and the ability to determine whether a scenario is an incident of harassment or not.
As a final measure some form of sign off, which could be a paper sign off sheet for each employee, or an online option for organizations that are looking for an online delivered and managed system. There are many variations of this that can be combined to be effective.
There are many policies that have a significant impact to an organization. Everyone would agree that people are at their best when they are in an environment where they feel respected and valued. And this means that it is in everyone’s best interest to create and foster an environment where people are free from harassing behaviour, and actions that are disrespectful are addressed immediately.
SafeAndCertified.com has a Harassment Prevention policy course available as a customizable template or you can upload your materials and test questions and use the process that has been described above. Contact info@SafeAndCertified.com when you are ready to complete this training online.
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