Skip to main content

How to root out workplace harassment.


We all know it. Employees have a right to work in a workplace free from discrimination and harassment. And as an employer, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that these rights are met. 

So many business try to do the right thing and run frequent workshops that provide up-to-date knowledge regarding legal and duty of care obligations. But based on recent headlines, these training programs might not be working, and employers should perhaps try more innovative approaches. 

Recent research suggest that the best way to prevent sexual harassment, bullying and other toxic workplace behavior is not by proving staff with more knowledge, but to train them in how to stand up for their abused colleagues when they witness incidents. Also know as Bystander Training. 

One reason why encouraging intervention makes good sense is that some 70 percent (!) of employees have observed harassment in the workplace. 
While the concept of encouraging employees to report harassment is not new, bystander training achieves additional goals that may positively shift workplace culture:

  • It provides employees with strategies for intervening in/responding to observed workplace misconduct.
  • It allows employees to practice in simulated scenarios with role play actors to increase confidence and improved communication skills.
  • It reinforces to employees that, if they don't feel comfortable stepping into active situations, they can "intervene" by reporting misbehaviors through different channels.


Additionally, Bystander Training can serve as a powerful deterrent. Potential harassers, even those in high-level posts, will know observing "bystanders" are watching.
Finally, bystander training helps create a culture of shared responsibility and purpose, in addition to boosting workplace morale. 
There is a strong case for incorporating some form of it into existing training programs and there is really no downside to equipping employees with intervention tips to address harassment.

Would you like to know more about our roleplay based Bystander Training Program? Call 0487693349 or visit our website www.interactwa.com.au

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Emotions at work? Yes please!

  "I was biting my tongue the whole time"  "Gosh, he makes my blood boil"  "I wish she would just get off my back"  “There is a knot in my stomach”   These are all common idioms which are related to where emotions can settle in our body. We especially notice it during those tricky conversations.  But weirdly enough, even though our body is telling us exactly what is going on, we hardly listen to it.  A missed opportunity because they are crucial signals that remind you to use your communication skills and our emotional intelligence.  What to do?    -        *  Do you notice tension in your body? Do you feel your heart beat faster? You may find it an exciting conversation. Ask yourself: What do I find exciting or difficult? -        *  State what you see or feel. Such as: "I notice my heart is beating fast and there is a knot in my stomach. I feel uncomfortable.”   -       *   Examine your own judgment of emotions. What do you th

How we help Leaders Learn more Deeply

Much research has been done into effective ways of learning. But we can cautiously say that learning is too complex an activity for conclusive theories. Which is not to say that we are in the dark. An educational thinker who has stood the test of time is David Kolb. In the 1970s and 1980s, this learning psychologist developed an influential and useful concept about learning that can also be found in all of our InterACT WA Communication & Leadership training courses. What is it?  Kolb divided the learning process into four phases. He saw them as cyclical, so he put them in a circle. Whoever wants to learn something, according to Kolb, must go through every phase of the circle. And not once, no, often you have to go through the circle a few times to get to what really matters: to learn more deeply. Learning more deeply means: you can remember what you have learned and apply it in practice. You don't have to be an educationalist to see that as a wonderful outcome of learni

5 reasons role play fails

Role playing is one of the most effective learning methods. Especially when you choose to work with a professional actor. Surprisingly it’s also one of the most misused techniques.  So what goes wrong? Well, pay attention and learn which 5 failures make role play fail miserably: 1. Unsafe practice   environment Most people are not dying of enthusiasm to do a role play simulation. That is why its extremely important to invest time and effort in creating a safe practice environment. Never ever push people intro a role play scenario if they really don't want to. They wont learn a thing and will only be more reluctant to do so in the future. 2. No alignment between learning goals and role play.  The role play has to be completely dedicated to the learning goal of the participant. Unfortunately sometimes people are eager to change the role play into an interesting theatrical scene. Perhaps fun to look at, but not very helpful to the participant. No role play s