Unpacking New York Anti-Sexual Harassment Training Needs

November 5, 2018 Jen Farthing

My new article in SCCE’s November issue of Compliance & Ethics Professional magazine covers the launch of New York’s anti-sexual harassment training initiative and shares advice for effective program implementation that truly sticks:

Harassment prevention training

Here are a few proven components of workplace education on harassment prevention that we’ve found to be effective.

Gray areas.

Exploring gray areas can help employees gain a deeper understanding of the issues being addressed. Show perspectives of different employees with contradictory points of view on various incidences of misconduct. Their ambiguous vantage points paint a realistic portrait of harassment, leaving employees better able to identify and respond to real issues in your organization.


Telling an evocative story in a creative way can convey the importance of this urgent topic, making the material more memorable. One of our courses, for example, depicts a victim of workplace bullying who develops physical injuries as the verbal bullying he’s subjected to becomes more and more hurtful. This brings to life the emotional cost of the subject matter in a way that simple exposition couldn’t.

Speaking up

Bystander training means an end to simply walking away from bad behavior and filing such incidents under “none of my business.” Gone are the days of the innocent bystander. More than ever, reputation and credibility are everything. As an employee, it is everyone’s responsibility to speak up, whether observing an improper remark, an ethically questionable alliance, or an illegal bribe. Reinforce this message alongside your topical trainings. Still, training alone won’t change behavior or prevent misconduct. Your overall goal should be a respectful workplace where difficult conversations can be had and where disrespectful behavior won’t be tolerated. There is no substitute for a culture of trust and respect, where employees feel comfortable speaking up and raising issues.

Read the full article in SCCE's November issue of Compliance & Ethics Professional.

Copyright 2018 Compliance & Ethics Professional, a publication of the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE).

About the Author

Jen Farthing

Chief Learning Officer at LRN

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