Harassment training exists for all types of harassment, including sexual harassment, ethnic harassment and bullying. Common places for harassment to occur include the workplace and the classroom. It is important to be proactive and provide training aimed at eliminating harassment, as it has a negative impact on the people involved and the overall image of the company or school.
Sexual harassment training educates attendees that sexual harassment is about power and gender discrimination. It includes unwanted touching, remarks with sexual undertones and sexually explicit email or photographs. Typically, this type of harassment training asks the group to try to explain why it happens and how it can affect the victim. The training facilitator will also discuss the potential economic impact of sexual harassment, as can occur if the victim files a civil suit against the school or company. In addition, a victim may lose time from work to avoid the harasser, which also can cost the company money while it pays for replacement workers.
The training for sexual harassment awareness should encourage participants to report harassment incidents whether they are victims or merely observers of its occurrence. It also encourages employers and educators to establish a no-harassment policy. Supporting victims of sexual harassment through counseling and terminating the perpetrator's employment often are mandated across the board.
Harassment because of one's color, gender or culture can be painful. Harassment training aimed at reducing such issues should encourage being conscious of words used. Referring to females as women is better than calling them gals, ladies or girls, for instance. Harassment training with respect to cultures should include a component about the value of cultural diversity. Educating participants about such benefits as the ability to do business across the globe can help reduce negative cultural bias in the workplace.
Bullying includes physical altercations, verbal abuse and efforts to ostracize others. Harassment training designed to eliminate bullying should include the potential legal ramifications of such acts. Many regions have criminal laws pertaining to bullying and perpetrators can be incarcerated. In training about bullying, verbal intimidation should also be part of the curriculum. This type of training can be particularly useful in schools — for students, teacher and parents. It typically should include instruction on how to handle a bullying situation as well, from all perspectives.
In all types of harassment training, company or faculty representatives should be given a set of guidelines to use when they return to work. Posting the policy also may be a good idea. A plan of action giving victims steps to follow when filing a complaint should be clearly displayed at the job or school site as well. The chain of command also should be detailed before the problem occurs. Members of management or faculty should attend harassment training so they can learn the different types of harassment and gain the skills needed to accurately convey information to their employees or students.