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Why Should Our Company Do Harassment Training?


Our leadership is very resistant to doing Workplace Harassment Training. However as an HR professional, I see and hear about some issues that are very concerning. How do I convince our leadership that we should be doing this training?


This is not an uncommon problem. There are a number of reasons cited by leadership, for not wanting to do Workplace Harassment training:  it opens a can of worms, it will put ideas in the employees’ heads, we’re too busy, we can’t afford to pay our entire staff to sit through the training.

But the best response to those arguments is, “Can we afford not to?” Just look at the headlines in the newspaper or the nightly news and you’ll hear the monetary costs as well as the impact to the company’s reputation when something happens.

In 2016, the EEOC released a comprehensive study of workplace harassment in the United States, which concluded that “anywhere from 25% to 85% of women report having experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.” And since 2010, employers have paid out $698.7 million to employees alleging harassment through the EEOC’s administrative enforcement in the prelitigation process alone.

Making sure you have a policy in place and conducting training are the first steps to avoid being part of those statistics, and being faced with these exorbitant costs. Should a complaint ever be filed, one of the first things asked is: “Where is your policy and have you done training?” This is your first line of defense as a company. Not to mention, it sends a message that your organization is committed to having a positive work environment, and inappropriate, illegal behavior will not be tolerated.

A common mistake in creating a policy and conducting training is to limit the training to sexual harassment. Workplace harassment should address all protected classes – sex, race, age, nationality, religion, disability, color, and depending on your state and local laws, sexual orientation. A comprehensive policy and training program are the first steps to protecting your company.  But there is also value beyond the training.  It’s not just checking a box that you did the workplace harassment training, it is more about the impact it is having on your workplace. And, the best way to do that is a live training that is interactive, engaging and focuses on creating positivity in the workplace.

Check out Cathleen Snyder, strategic HR inc’s Director of Client Relations, on the 12/17/17 edition of Business Watch discussing the essentials of Workplace Harassment training and the importance of promoting a positive workplace environment.


Are you overdue on harassment or other annual training? Do you need assistance from a neutral third party to investigate a harassment claim? strategic HR inc. has the expertise and resources to help. We provide two programs on the Keys to a Positive Work Environment – Workplace Harassment and Bullying.  One program is focused on the employee workforce and the second is just for supervisors to help them understand their personal responsibilities and liabilities. Visit our Training & Development page to learn more.