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Ending Harassment Through Training, Cultural Change

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a widespread problem, and many of its victims are afraid of the repercussions that reporting incidents could bring, such as losing their jobs or being ostracized by their co-workers. Often these fears are enough to keep victims in silence, and the problems are never brought to light. Understanding there are complicated issues surrounding this problem, companies should be more proactive in preventing negative behaviors in the first place. Most companies take the first wrong step by failing to communicate their sexual harassment policy. Simply having a policy is not enough. “Here is where many companies go wrong—it’s easy enough to write a strict policy,” said Steve Paskoff, CEO of an Atlanta-based training company. “Many have the policies drafted and in place, but except for building a legal defense, they are not really preventing the misconduct.” Managers who truly want to end sexual harassment in the workplace need to improve the behavior of employees through cultural change, training, and leadership improvements. Lawsuits and terminations can resolve specific instances of harassment, but without training and a cultural shift, the problem will never go away.

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