Is Your Harassment Prevention Training Working?
April 18, 2019
The Rise of the Workplace Climate SurveyThe question is: How do you measure the efficacy of your harassment prevention initiatives? An article published in Harvard Business Review in January 2018 introduced a very simple and approachable way to answer that question: Ask your employees. Referred to by the EEOC as climate surveys, these questionnaires can help employers measure the efficacy of existing prevention programs as well identify blind spots relating to harassment and discrimination. In its 2016 study of harassment in the workplace, the EEOC made the following recommendation: “Employers should conduct climate surveys to assess the extent to which harassment is a problem in their organization.”
5 Key Benefits to Conducting a Workplace Climate Survey
- Better understand your training investment: Mandatory sexual harassment prevention training may be one of your only, if not the only, companywide training initiatives. As such, defending your annual training strategy and budget will be an ongoing challenge. Need to upgrade training vendors? Need approval for booster training? Climate survey data will help demonstrate ROI and get buy-in with key executives.
- Identify gaps in knowledge: What constitutes harassment? Where do you report? How do you report? Ensure that employees are retaining key information in your training and identify gaps where booster training or other educational programs can be implemented.
- Identify risks and opportunities: Invariably there will be areas for improvement revealed in your workplace climate survey — and in some instances, there will be clear risk areas. Uncover those before they become front page news.
- Demonstrate commitment: Sexual harassment and discrimination training is often viewed as a check-the-box initiative. Irrespective of the quality of your training, by implementing a workplace climate survey, you’re signaling to your employees that you want to identify opportunities to improve and go beyond “check the box.”
- Benchmark: Measuring your year-over-year improvement is important. But to really understand what “good” looks like, it’s important to compare your workplace climate survey against industry peers. This will also help in getting executive and board level support for future prevention initiatives.