DCI training and harassment prevention training are consistent

Basically, Harassment Prevention Training and Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DCI) training have similar goals: to make the workplace more inclusive and to create an atmosphere where everyone is treated with respect and fairness. , whatever his identity.

If your business already offers harassment prevention as part of compliance or policy, adding DCI as a separate but related training may provide additional benefits, including legal risk mitigation, attraction and employee loyalty and improvement of the corporate culture.

We’ll explore both the business and legal reasons for how harassment prevention and DCI training can support each other, and offer specific recommendations on how you can achieve this transparently for your organization, by creating efficiency gains and better results at the same time.

An essential way to mitigate legal risks

As stated in the EEOC 2016 Special Working Group on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace, having a largely homogeneous workforce is a significant risk factor associated with legal problems arising from discrimination and harassment. Since the publication of this landmark report five years ago, DCI has become a benchmark issue for employees in the United States. Particularly after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubery, and other black Americans, increased social attention to racial equity has spilled over into the workplace, forcing employers across the board economy to take into account their DEI commitments. And as that momentum continues to build, organizations can take this opportunity to redouble their efforts to help prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Here are some of the reasons why an undiversified and homogeneous workforce increases the risk of discrimination and harassment in the workplace:

  • Majority employees can be uncomfortable and even exclude employees they perceive as different from themselves, leaving minority employees to isolate themselves in these environments.

  • Even when their behavior towards minority employees is benign, majority employees may not appreciate how differently minority employees can experience the same workplace.

  • This can prevent minority employees from being able to do their jobs effectively.

  • Organizational processes and rules may serve the majority well, while not supporting the success of minority employees.

  • Default assumptions about what employees need to do their jobs might not meet the needs of minority groups.

DCI and harassment prevention go hand in hand, the former supporting the latter.

The Case for a Complementary Approach to Harassment Prevention and DCI Training

Additionally, there are specific legal and business reasons why harassment prevention and DCI training can complement each other, leading to better organizational results. In one item on the Diversity Best Practices site, Karen J. Watai, president of Welcome Change LLC and author of Lead Your Way — Practical Coaching Tips to Build the Career You Want, put it this way,

Preventing harassment and fostering a more diverse and inclusive environment go hand in hand. If you have a workplace where people feel respected and have the psychological security to speak up, there’s a better chance that problematic behaviors can be addressed before they escalate to the point where someone thinks they are. his only option is to take legal action. Effectively combining these topics in a training program has the added benefit of increasing the sense of relevance and usefulness to the participants.

Let’s take a look at some research that supports this premise and take a look at the main reasons for pursuing this approach.

The principles of DCI and harassment prevention are linked

Both harassment prevention and DCI are about respect, fairness and civility. Since they approach behavioral and thinking changes towards the same end, they maintain having both in a way that creates a powerful combination. Either way, you strive to create an environment in which employees feel safe, comfortable, and engaged.

New policies and training on harassment and diversity have positive effects

According to a 2019 survey conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago, “a majority of employees in workplaces who instituted new cases of harassment and diversity procedures in recent years say they have had positive results. These positive results can include increased employee engagement, collaboration and satisfaction.

A link between the prevalence of bullying and the lack of diversity

According to a report from the EEOC, “Harassment is more likely to occur where there is a lack of diversity in the workplace.” And, marginalized people who are seen as “different” in that they deviate from standard norms are more likely to be the targets of workplace harassment. This links the DCI and harassment prevention as a way to advance both efforts, while at the same time providing complementary legal protections.

The focus on inclusion supports both harassment and diversity

DCI adds an inclusion component to harassment prevention training. Inclusion fosters a sense of openness and trust, which is consistent with this recommendation of the EEOC: “Employers should strive to create an environment in which employees feel free to voice their concerns and are confident that these concerns will be resolved.” By combining harassment prevention and DCI training, an organization is tackling two related issues: reducing harassment and creating a more inclusive workplace.

Combined harassment prevention and DCI training are easier and cheaper

Since harassment prevention is already at stake for most organizations and is mandatory in some states, this learning platform may already be established. Adding an element of diversity is easier than creating a whole new program that requires more resources and time. This combination also offers the possibility of reinforcing the learning points for both harassment prevention and EDI, making the resulting behavior changes more effective and sustainable.

Four steps to support you in the change

Here are the top five steps for effectively combining DCI and harassment prevention efforts.

  1. Raise awareness around the benefits – The first part of any change is to create awareness. Start by setting the stage for management, colleagues and staff on the benefits of combining harassment prevention and DCI training. Use research like the points provided in this article to help you advocate for this cause. Gather the information you need to develop ambitious goals for the future.

  2. Connect legal and cross-functional leadership in your planning – One of the obstacles to continuing to combine these trainings is that the implementation of workplace harassment prevention and DCI training can take place in different parts of the company. Meet this structural challenge by bringing leaders together to understand the reasoning behind integration and make plans to act together moving forward. Be sure to include legal counsel for commentary, support, and backing.

  3. Provide training on harassment prevention and IED in a way that supports both – Identify training that will suit both the objectives of harassment prevention and the objectives of IED. Because each area is distinct, the formations themselves must be separate. However, you can do them consecutively and the learning points of one will strengthen the other. Most importantly, select a training that offers relevant, interactive and nuanced education. You’ll also want to create consistency in the training experience in a way that allows participants to learn in a non-judgmental space, absorb concepts at their own pace, and allow for precious moments of self-reflection.

  4. Comments and rating – Qualitative methods such as focus groups and regular discussions between managers and employees are particularly beneficial ways to obtain feedback from participants. It can also help determine whether the training was successful and met the harassment prevention and DCI goals, as well as the level of progress you have made towards the ambitious goals that were set at the start of the process.

The combination of DCI and harassment prevention, when carried out in a complementary way, provides an opportunity to improve business performance while addressing the legal risks associated with harassment and discrimination. By making this change and applying these concrete steps, organizations are able to leverage the synergies between these two types of training, thereby reducing legal risks and moving towards improving culture and performance.

© 2021 Kantola Training Solutions, LLCRevue nationale de droit, volume XI, number 253