High-level corporate jobs that people dream of achieving have a bitter truth. Barely any of them offer a safe workplace environment. Sexual harassment cases are rising, with both men and women facing the issues. The Indian Government has taken active measures to prevent and minimize sexual harassment in workplaces. In 2013, the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act was passed. The law mandates employers to create a safe workspace environment for their employees and prohibit sexual offenses.
PoSH comes with a set of rules and regulations that organizations need to follow. It mandates companies to define their sexual harassment policies and take preventive measures against the activity. The organizational policies include strict actions against sexual offenses and a strong HR team to report sexual misconduct. Employees are also taken through elaborate PoSH workshops. They are educated about sexual codes of conduct and encouraged to act against sexual offenses.
Importance of Sexual Harassment Workshops
Employee PoSH training and sexual harassment workshops are excellent and necessary steps to prevent instances of sexual offenses in the workspace. An educated team will react actively upon witnessing sexual misconduct. Workplace awareness workshops are crucial to understanding employee behavior and distinguishing between sexual and non-sexual behavior. This gives workplace safety the importance it deserves and promotes PoSH.
How often should Sexual Harassment Awareness Workshops be conducted?
The frequency of these workshops is subjective to the organizations. Training sessions can be conducted bi-monthly, half-yearly, or annually. Generally, organizations find it most optimal to implement these workshops once a year. This keeps the employees updated about sexual harassment policies in the workplace. Regular sexual harassment training for employees requires a strategized approach and consistent refreshing. Employees need to be continually informed about the sexual code of conduct and encouraged to report witnesses of sexual offenses.
Organizations and employers must follow proven methodologies for effective and comprehensive sexual harassment workshops. The training sessions should be made interactive and engaging for employees, incentivizing them to take an active interest.
Five tips on conducting effective employee training
There are several ways to make employee training on sexual harassment vibrant and diverse. Your sexual harassment awareness workshops can be made inclusive and informative by following a few actionable tips. These active steps allow your workshops to be refreshing yet educational. They will train your employees effectively on crucial information and practices regarding the sexual code of conduct.
- Induction Training
Organizations should begin with sexual harassment prevention training during the onboarding procedure. The induction training sessions will set the base for the rest of their employment and prepare new employees for a healthy workplace environment. Incoming employees should be sensitized to the work environment.
The induction training is not limited to the employees and should also include contractors and support staff. Using vernacular or local language for the support staff and blue-collar labor force makes the sessions inclusive and supportive.
- Annual Refresher Training
Sexual harassment prevention training should be conducted and refreshed every year. Updating and innovating these sessions after every year with new updates is important to maintain interest in the workshops. New and improved information with every session ensures employees take an active part.
Learning and workshops can be made responsive and attractive with effective e-learning modules. Every year, new approaches can be utilized to conduct the training and inform employees regarding the sexual code of conduct. Creative modes like theatre-based workshops, role plays, and case studies are innovative solutions.
- Small Team Discussions
Conducting these workshops in an intimate setting is an effective diversification option. Discussing sexual harassment awareness topics in smaller teams leads to a closer understanding of your intimate surroundings and colleagues. The ongoing discussions address important employee concerns in the workplace and give a well-rounded update on the condition of the workspace. This intimate workshop acts as a remedial policy to make positive improvements. Smaller teams give women the opportunity to voice their opinions on the topic.
- E-mail or Poster Communication on LCD Displays
To maintain the creative element in PoSH workshops, organizations and employers can utilize designers to craft impactful posters and send out engaging e-mails. Instead of offline workshops in the regular speech format, the new and improved online stays on the employees’ mind for longer. The e-mails should be sent out every month and bi-weekly to keep employees in touch with the sexual code of conduct and PoSH policies in the workplace.
The workshops do not have to be a one-way form of communication. Interactive quizzes and surveys in Google forms make your training sessions vibrant and engaging. Employees are made to be active in the workshop instead of just being listeners.
Sexual harassment awareness workshops are a vital part of organizational operations. Managers and organizations can measure the success of these training programs by making employees answer 3 key questions:
- What is sexual harassment?
- Where to report an instance?
- How to speak up and say “No” to harassment as a victim or as a witness?
A well-articulated answer to these questions is a relevant indicator of your workshop’s success. It shows that your employees have actively understood and implemented the PoSH policies in the workplace.
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