Eliminating Harassment and Other Dysfunctional Behavior
Freedom from Harassment And Beyond
When employees work together day after day, minor irritations and differences can become magnified. Employees can overlook common guidelines for being "civil" with one another. How often have you heard complaints such as,
"Nobody respects me around here!"
"I'm sick of being harassed by everyone."
Sometimes these complaints emanate from actual harassment. In all cases, organizations must investigate. But often complaints like these are rooted in a lack of civility toward others. And even though incivility may not always constitute harassment, it can cause problems like low morale, reduced productivity, and stressful work environments.
Every organization ought to be conducting antiharassment training. This is the lesson learned from more than thirty years of case law in discrimination and harassment. Custom designed workshops can take antiharassment training to a new level. The workshops are interactive, featuring multi-media styles, and include written materials designed to stimulate discussion and establish guidelines. The training covers basic training in antiharassment laws, defines inappropriate behaviors, and teaches appropriate civil behavior. In addition, employees learn skills and practice behaviors that convey respect toward coworkers. Employees learn that behaving respectfully is an important part of their jobs.
Management and Employee Training
Workshops are designed for leaders and managers, or for employees. Management workshops emphasize leadership duties, and in employee workshops, employee responsibilities to maintain a work environment that is free from harassment. The workshops can be used as first-stage training if the organization has not conducted training in antiharassment matters, or as second-stage training if the organization has completed a basic workshop in antiharassment.
These workshops may meet requirements for training in antiharassment matters placed on the organization by insurance companies or by governmental agencies. There is a sign-in sheet for each workshop and a statement of attendance for each employee's file. These workshops can also serve as a foundation for future counseling. They can draw the "line in the sand" about what behavior is appropriate in the workplace. If employees step over that line in the future, the standards discussed in the workshop may provide good grounding on which to issue corrective action.
Workshop Modules Can Include:
- Respect and Civility
- Your Policies
- Straight Talk
- Communication Styles
- Management Responsibilities
- Employee Responsibilities
Antiharassment training works better when paired with civility training. Civility can transcend the nastiness of daily living, the contradictions of legal decisions, the politics of personal identity, and the twisted ... sense of tipping points between appropriate and inappropriate behavior that we see everyday especially at work.From "Civility: The Antidote to Harassment", by Diane E. Millett, 2010.