I recently took the mandatory on-line training on sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention at the university where I teach courses in public management and human resources. Imagine my surprise when I missed a number of questions. The training approached the problem in a very active way: what should you do to prevent assault and harassment? This training emphasized your obligations to ensure that students and employees are in a safe environment. When the subject is approached this way, it is not just another training employees have to take. You are a member of a community of people who work together. It made me remember that I have been a beneficiary of colleagues reaching out. I was pressured by a male employee and began to feel demeaned and harassed. They talked to my fellow employee, informed him of his behavior and ensured me that they supported me. He apologized to me. We continued to work together because the problem was stopped.
Most of the nonprofits and local governments I work with and volunteer with are small and do not have a sophisticated packaged on-line program, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a supportive environment. Beyond providing your employees with your policies and state laws, how do you inform employees? Have you experienced harassment and had a fellow employee reach out to help you?