A safe, amicable, and inclusive work environment can prove to be highly effective in improving employee productivity and enhancing organizational efficiency. A culture of inclusion and safety reduces workplace stress and lowers staff absenteeism and also ensures that the overall business environment remains goal-oriented and professional. However, being safe does not merely mean staying protected against workplace injuries or occupational hazards. In modern-day, the concept of safety is associated with prevention and curtailment of all forms of physical, emotional and sexual harassment. This is where POSH training comes into the picture.
According to a Gallup poll conducted in 2019, over 62% of American citizens believe that sexual harassment at the workplace is a problem that needs to be dealt with on an immediate, relentless, and sensitive basis.
The poll reveals that while both, men and women, often experience sexual harassment on a personal level; women are four times more likely to become the subject of unwanted attention, as compared to their male counterparts.
In the face of such crippling data, the importance of making employees well-versed with the intricacies of sexual harassment, its reportage, and prevention, cannot be emphasized enough.
Listed here are a few major tactics, using which, organizations can easily create and deliver Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) training to all their working personnel in an innovative, credible, and effectual way.
How to create & deliver POSH training effectively?
1. Conduct a Pre-Test
To begin with, conduct a pre-test either in-person or via a learning management system. This will help you find out how much your employees really know about the prevention of sexual harassment and its overarching legalities. Here’s How to Select the Right Vendor for your Goals
Frame questions that touch upon the causes and consequences of different types of sexual misconduct. Based on the results of this test, you will be able to determine the specific areas that your POSH training efforts need to be focused on.
2. Create Virtual Modules
There is no better way to educate your workforce about sexual harassment than getting them to register for a virtual training module. A virtual training program, being digitized, can be easily accessed by your employees at a time & place of their convenience.
Moreover, imparting POSH training on virtual devices can also empower you to take a detailed stock of your employees’ understanding potential, while providing them with constructive and instant feedback.
3. Break Up the Length
POSH, being an extensive subject can often lose relevance under the weight of a lengthy training schedule. This is why it is essential to break the training program into small, manageable chunks.
Small learning sessions don’t just enable you to administer different POSH approaches effectively, but they also give your employees the flexibility of learning and remembering. What’s more, micro-lessons tend to be retained 22% more than their longer versions!
4. Involve the Senior Management
Every time a new training module is to begin, the HR department usually sends a message, explaining why this training is necessary. However, when it comes to POSH, you will need to follow a different process i.e. you will need to involve the senior management directly.
A message from the CEO, for instance, that details why such training is necessary can help employees understand the value, sensitivity & seriousness attached to the subject.
5. Brush Up the Definitions
One of the most crucial tasks that you need to indulge in while devising a POSH training course is – definitions. What exactly constitutes sexual harassment? Does it actually have to involve a physical attack, or can a suggestive joke/verbal comment be classified as inappropriate too?
By defining each aspect of intimidating behavior that might amount to sexual harassment, you will be able to facilitate better comprehension while nipping any unintentional instances in the bud.
6. Use Animation, Quizzes and Infographics
Employees can sometimes get bored if the textual content of the training module is extremely overwhelming. Consequently, they skip some parts of the session and directly jump towards the end.
As a result, their ability to gain complete and absolute understanding is compromised. To rectify this problem, you can start including animation, quizzes and infographics within your training network. This will help keep the employees responsive and engaged at all times.
7. Customize the Content
With almost 71% of organizations already giving out POSH training, it becomes essential to ensure that your company does not pick up factory-designed, standardized courses. An off-the-shelf training module might trigger your employees to dismiss the course content as irrelevant, impractical and unrealistic.
On the other hand, if the course is customized to suit the specific scenarios of your organization, its receptivity and connection would certainly be higher.
What are the best practices in creating and delivering POSH training?
For the effective creation and delivery of POSH training, you need to have a good sense of diligence and a grave eye for detail. Many companies, throughout the world, have used just these for developing some uniform, best practices.
A few practices which reinforce the ideas of mutual respect and equal opportunity at the workplace include:
- Use of local, regional or other intelligible languages for delivering POSH content.
- Scripting role-plays based on real-life scenarios, enacted by employees themselves.
- Organizing competitions, games, quizzes and panel discussions on POSH.
- Giving out books and showing films that grapple with the realities of sexual harassment.
- Teaching people in positions of authority to check casual sexism and unconscious bias.
- Setting up redressal forums with the aim to receive complaints and address grievances.
The Way Forward
Since the advent of the ‘Me Too’ movement, the knowledge and awareness about sexual harassment in the workplace have increased by leaps and bounds. organizations, irrespective of their size, resources and capacities, have realized that trying to brush genuine cases of harassment under the carpet does not just question their ethical authority, but it also damages their reputation irrevocably.
As a result, they have started to progressively focus their energies on imparting competent, effective and proactive POSH training on a regular basis.
In future, the need for keeping the work environment free of stress, discrimination, and hostilities will continue to retain great precedence. Businesses would be required to comply with laws that safeguard the interest of their employees, especially with regard to sexual harassment directed towards any gender.
In such a scenario, well-designed POSH training techniques would remain the sole way of providing strength, security and protection to workforces across the board.
After all, sexual harassment is an unwarranted evil, the roots of which can only be struck down by targeted, specialized and powerful prevention activities.
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