How to Raise Sexual Harassment Awareness in Your Team (Without Making It Awkward)
Sexual harassment in the workplace is one of the unfortunate realities employers have to deal with. Most companies have a workplace sexual harassment awareness training policy in place which is unfortunately mostly outdated, with training videos filled with unrealistic scenarios followed by a series of questions with obvious answers.
This has led to HR departments wondering what they can do to improve their sexual harassment awareness training programs. Fortunately, new laws provide specific guidance to help employers plan and apply adequate training on sexual harassment awareness and prevention.
Employees should be trained on what sexual harassment is, how they can report incidents, how investigations are handled, and what remedies are available for victims. Effective training should be interactive with meaningful examples, covering scenarios that cover multiple situations.
Sexual harassment awareness training should be part of your onboarding program for new hires and all employees at all levels of your organization. These training programs should provide clear and practical guidelines on handling possible abusive situations, thereby avoiding expensive lawsuits.
An effective way to convey knowledge about sexual harassment awareness in the workplace is by letting your employees take a quiz. It tests their knowledge and understanding of the subject and offers training by providing the correct answers to questions answered incorrectly. A quiz can be set up with questions requiring true or false answers and/or multiple-choice questions.
Here is an example of a typical online sexual harassment awareness quiz. The correct answers have been marked in bold:
Sexual Harassment Awareness Quiz.
TRUE OR FALSE
1. If an individual is at any time uncomfortable with another person’s discussions, approaches, or comments, it can be seen as sexual harassment. It is not just limited to physical contact. True/False.
2. Women in professional occupations (lawyers, engineers, doctors, etc.) are not as likely to be sexually harassed as women in blue-collar jobs (secretaries, factory workers, cleaners, etc.) True/False.
3. Quid Pro Quo harassment is a form of sexual harassment when there is a demand for sexual favors in exchange for employment benefits. True/False
4. Sexual harassment doesn’t necessarily have to occur inside the workplace. Training sessions, retirement parties, or office socials are situations where work-related harassment can take place. True/False
5. An employee witnessing another employee being harassed can also be considered a victim. True/False
6. Sexual harassment complaints are generally unjustified or false. True/False
7. Terms of endearment with co-workers, i.e., “darling” and “honey,” are considered verbal abuse, and charges can be brought up against such a person . True/False
8. Employees who are aware of but fail to take advantage of company policies or resources designed to correct, eliminate or prevent sexual harassment have much weaker cases than those who do. True/False
9. Sexual harassment in the workplace is an issue only women experience. True/False
10. The victim has to be of the opposite sex of the harasser for it to be determined as sexual harassment. True/False
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS
11. Which statement best describes a team leader, manager, or supervisor’s potential personal liability for sexual harassment?
A. It is common in many states for a supervisor to be individually named in a charge and/or a lawsuit claiming sexual harassment.
B. Supervisors may be disciplined by their employer but have no personal liability.
C. Supervisors are immune from personal liability because they are not employers but only agents of their employer.
D. Under the National Indemnification Act, supervisors, managers, and team leaders are protected from individual liability.
E. Before a claim can be made for individual liability against a team leader, manager, or supervisor, sexual harassment must be very extreme.
12. John compliments a newly hired employee assigned to his team on her dress via an e-mail message. Not long after that, she is reprimanded for poor performance. Her response is that this was caused because she did not want to become involved with John. John is stunned and denies saying or doing anything that could be seen as sexual harassment. What advice would you offer John?
A. Take a training course on sexual harassment.
B. Hire a good lawyer.
C. Quit and find another job.
D. Cooperate fully in the investigation. If the only evidence of sexual harassment is an occasional compliment on an employee’s choice of clothing, it is hard to imagine that this would create a hostile work environment.
E. Don’t worry. Everyone knows that this employee is unstable.
Here are additional links links to other questionnaires providing more questions you can have a look at:
Regular and mandatory anti-harassment training is a sure way to protect all your employees from sexual harassment, ensuring that the workplace is safe for everyone. Including a quiz in your sexual harassment awareness training program will help your workers comprehend what sexual harassment is about and how they should react if they encounter such a situation.