The Human Resource: Harassment prevention training

If you have watched or heard any of the attest news highlights in recent weeks, the topic of sexual harassment is popping up all over the country and across industries.  Increased education and awareness of the behaviors and conduct that lead to violations of employee’s rights in the workplace have and will continue to lead to an increase in complaints and litigation.  Ignorance in this arena is not bliss, and your failure as a manager, supervisor or business owner in what your obligations are to protect your workforce will not excuse you in court.

You must take proactive steps to educate your leadership on the laws and regulations they must adhere to and follow to protect your employment practices.  Employers need to take steps to prohibit, prevent, and protect employees from all forms of harassment.  Let us also not forget the critical training needed to ensure no one in the organization is retaliated against for raising their concerns to management.

When you think about harassment, do not limit yourself to sexual quid pro quo harassment.  Instead recognize there can be workplace bullying that could fall into the category of harassment, sexual harassment by peers, vendors, customers, etc., and there is the recognized topic of a hostile work environment that reveals itself as harassment based on a protected characteristic.

Building a culture and workplace environment that is harassment free should be not only a goal of the business, but a strategy to attract and retain the best employees.  Regular and periodic training is important to support the goals of your harassment prevention programs, and appropriate open-door policies and two-way communication empower the success of these initiatives.

Take this topic seriously regardless of how small or large your business is.  The financial risk and exposure to the community and the customers and clients you serve can be destroyed overnight if you fail to manage your employment practices effectively.

** The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of Chadds Ford Live. We welcome opposing viewpoints. Readers may comment in the comments section or they may submit a Letter to the Editor to



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About Warren Cook

Warren S. Cook is a co-founder of SymbianceHR and leads all client-consulting engagements. He is a human capital strategy management subject matter expert with more than 20 years of experience as a strategic business partner, project manager, and people leader across private and public sectors organizations. Warren is responsible for all client-consulting engagements from initial needs assessment and compliance review through delivery of customized complex human capital strategy solutions that meet the client's business goals. He has a proven track record of providing executive coaching and guidance to business leaders and human resource professionals at all levels including the C-Suite of Fortune 100 companies. Warren combines his human capital, project management, and business management experience with a philosophy of solving business challenges through the strategic implementation of policies, processes, and procedures to deliver sustainable solutions that demonstrate ROI, mitigate and manage risk, and empower organizational success. Warren is the author of “Applicant Interview Preparation – Practical Coaching for Today” and holds a bachelor of science degree in human resource management, a master’s of business administration in project management, and a master’s of science degree in industrial and organizational psychology. He is also a SHRM Certified Professional.



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