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Using Technology to Fight Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Posted by Ben Olson at 25 Oct 2018

I don’t know of a hotter topic right now in our country than the discussion around sexual harassment. Movements like the #metoo movement, along with others, have rocked the foundations of our nation, exposing some of our most recognizable people, along with organizations and businesses, and rightly so.


 

Businesses today must stand at the forefront of the sexual harassment battle, and not just to protect the company, but to protect their people, both women and men. An online survey administered in January 2018 by a nonprofit called Stop Street Harassment, found that 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men had experienced some form of sexual harassment during their lifetime. Those are truly astonishing and heartbreaking numbers.

 

The culture has certainly shifted, and for the better. There was a time where how men treated women was just “boys being boys.” As we’ve seen, some of that culture still exists, and is, in large part, much of what has been revealed over the last couple of years. But there are plenty of men who don’t subscribe to that mentality, and they, along with powerful and courageous women, are bringing needed change.

 

The unwanted sexual advances by both men and women on their co-workers (anybody) are uncalled for and unneeded in our businesses and society. Yet the reality is that we will always have people who try to take advantage of others, and that is why we need to make sure that we educate and train our employees on the prevalence of sexual harassment.

 

It helps that we have laws that aim to protect people from sexual harassment, with punishments for perpetrators. The challenge though, is that not everyone who engages in sexual harassment is an outright criminal. The lines can get blurry with office flirting and joking, and it’s imperative for companies to clearly define what is considered sexual harassment according to the law.

 

The biggest challenges for companies is making sure that every employee receives sexual harassment training, as well as the undisputed acknowledgement of that training. This is where technology is being leveraged to remove the risk of non-compliance.

 

Quickly passing are the days in which HR gets groups of people into an office to watch a video on sexual harassment followed by discussion. Upon finishing the “class”, employees sign and date a document that shows they attended the class. This method of tracking sexual harassment training has gaps that make companies vulnerable to compliance risks. These risks could lead to costly fines, and more importantly, to the furthering of sexual harassment on employees. Signed documents can be lost or misplaced, and acknowledgement of certain training points can be questioned at a later date.

 

Through technology, like our PRYDE platform, we can train employees on sexual harassment, AND assure that they have viewed and even understood the training, providing compliance-assuring acknowledgement. The employee can train on a computer or mobile device, watching the necessary information, and the platform will record the timestamp of their viewing. Additionally, a “test” can be scheduled to follow the training to assure that the employee has watched and understood the content. Then there is the important step of the employee (and employer) acknowledging that the training has been completed. All of the process and required documentation is maintained online (saved in the cloud), so it can’t be lost or modified. It gives your company complete confidence that compliance has been met, and can be PROVEN!

 

By using technology, we can fight the good fight against sexual harassment in the workplace, guaranteeing that every employee goes through training, and understands what is expected of him or her.

 

Let us help you Work. Compliant. by leveraging our technology in the effort to remove sexual harassment from the workplace! To find out why we were named one of 2018’s “Most Innovative Technology Tools to Reshape Your Staffing Business” by American Staffing Association, check out this video by our CTO, Ben Olson, as he discusses the power of PRYDE  for sexual harassment training and acknowledgement at this year’s Staffing World Conference.

 

 

David LaMontagne is the Manager of Core Technology at Essium, a premiere software company that has developed a revolutionary, customizable, onboarding compliance platform named PRYDE that leverages the power of intelligent bots. With the use of intelligent forms and AI automation, PRYDE can increase onboarding consistency and remove compliance risks, helping HR professionals DISCOVER COMPLIANCE.