When did canned web-based presentations become the norm for harassment, discrimination and other inappropriate workplace conduct training? Companies who rely on pre-prepared, generic materials often find those trainings for HR, management, supervisors and employees to be ineffective, particularly now that #MeToo is a part of our vocabulary. For the employer who has the goal of efficient and effective HR trainings, it is helpful to look to best teaching practices. Educators know that teaching a lesson in a memorable and engaging way will help student retention…algebra or workplace harassment alike. Simply put, face-to-face, interactive training is the most effective way to communicate key concepts and reduce complaints related to workplace behavior.
True engagement requires connection
We all have a favorite teacher. Perhaps it was your third-grade teacher, who smiled as they asked how you were doing each day. Maybe it was a college professor whose lectures were so engaging that you couldn’t help but absorb their every word. My favorite was one I had in high school, who used storytelling in his teaching. He was an expert at weaving in vivid details of his life into his lessons; memories of being a young boy in South Africa, or the experience of the first time he held his newborn son into his lessons. I will always remember these lessons in vivid detail because true engagement requires connection. In order to affect learning and ultimately change behavior, one has to make a genuine connection with another person to bring about new understanding. My high school teacher did this, and undeniably your favorite teacher did too.
Building a culture of transparency in the age of #MeToo
Discrimination manifests in many shapes and sizes, through workplace harassment, sexual harassment or retaliation (to name a few). In the age of #MeToo, employers are seeking efficient and effective HR trainings for their workers that will resonate with their employees, and will produce more than just a printed certificate of completion. Trainings that push past the discomfort of the topic, engage their audience, generate thought and encourage open discussion will ultimately have the greatest impact on employee behavior. The more we engage our employees in these trainings, the more likely our workplaces will develop a culture of transparency. This will aid in helping your employees feel comfortable coming forward with situations they feel the need to discuss.
Efficient and effective HR training as risk management
It’s far more pleasant to educate your staff than to prepare for a deposition. Training is an essential part of the defense to harassment, discrimination, or retaliation charges and lawsuits. Further, the EEOC strongly recommends these trainings, and are required by law in some states. In short, harassment and other improper workplace conduct is not just a legal risk; it is a day-to-day damage that can effect employee morale, retention, attendance and more. Effective training is your best chance to actually change employee behavior.