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Anti-harassment training can greatly improve a working environment

Harassment can be subtle and insidious and hard to prove, but it’s a fact of life, and there are few businesses that can be sure that these practices aren’t taking place. Many people are now very conscious of cyber-bullying by trolls, which has become very prevalent in schools and the workplace, and has led to suicides amongst vulnerable age groups. In the working world the term ‘harassment’ is often substituted for ‘bullying’ but the effect is the same. It occurs fairly frequently, and can often take the form of humiliation.

An example of very subtle and hard to prove harassment would be the singling out of an individual for ‘different’ treatment. If, for example, a manager of a group of people would like a staff member to resign, there are many ways to do it. The manager can give all the worst tasks to that person, hold them to a higher standard so that their work is always criticized, pile additional work on the person, or socially ostracize them from functions that everyone else participates in. These are all things that are happening every day in countless working environments.

Employees at work have a right to be protected against harassment
Harassment is always personal, and campaigns of bullying have caused many good people to leave their place of work. If you consult with professional recruiters, they will attest to how many people approach them looking to find alternative employment because their current environment is toxic with harassment. Too often they don’t know where to turn for help and are worried that, if they make a report to Human Resources (HR) or management, either little will be done or the situation will get even worse. Anti-harassment training can go a long way to solving this problem and to protecting all employees.

What does this training involve?
Most training will begin by explaining that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity in the workplace. Further, harassment is often a violation of human rights, and sexist and racist behavior should never be tolerated. Companies should be taught how to draw up a code of conduct that will cover not only how to recognize unacceptable behavior, but also how to deal with situations that are reported. Staff might be taught what signs to look out for in the workplace.

Those who feel they are being harassed will be given the tools to handle the problem. For example, one aspect of training would be to get a staff member to record every incident as proof. Keeping a written record, and even writing to the harasser to discuss the unacceptable attitude or behavior is another aspect that might be covered in the training.

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