Compliance training is a useful tool for an organization since it educates employees on the laws that apply to their day-to-day job responsibilities and the regulations that are in effect and might have a direct/ indirect impact on organizational performance.
Did your colleague sabotage and acclaim your work? Did your boss threaten you for no reason? Does your peer leave offensive messages on e-mail or gossip behind your back? Do your seniors put you down in front of customers, management or other workers due to poor communication skills? Does your boss talk rudely to you?
What constitutes workplace harassment? All the situations mentioned above and more add up to workplace harassment. Harassment covers behavior ranging from restrained pressure to forceful tactics in any form of verbal, written or physical conduct that belittles or demonstrates aggression or loathing towards a person on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, status, political affiliation and/or disability.
Various reasons for harassment of peers and subordinates include creating a hostile or unpleasant work environment, interference with employee’s work performance or that which affects the ability of an employee to carry out his or her duties, future employment opportunities or compensation. It is important to recognize harassment signs early to avoid major conflict at a later stage. The victim of harassment should strongly voice his or her objection to offensive behavior, allowing the offending individual(s) to take corrective measures.
Organizations should have a strict workplace harassment prevention policy in place. The policy should outline the organization and its employees’ commitment towards harassment and a proper code of conduct at work.
The first thing an employee can do to avoid workplace harassment is to simply avoid the person(s). The victim can reason with the offender(s) for finding out the root cause of the inappropriate behavior. In case the problem persists, the victim should get in touch with his or her manager or HR department.
If the manager or HR department does not help resolve the problem, the victim should consider taking legal action against the Company for creating a hostile workplace environment and against the offender for harassment.
Organizations should have a complaint handling system for reporting, investigating and resolving workplace complaints. The system should be unbiased and comply with workers, managers, superiors, etc.
By training and educating employees on workplace harassment issues, companies can avoid or control harassment. Many organizations have sensitized themselves to the needs of employees. They organize sensitivity training or diversity training to facilitate respect between people of different religion, ages, genders or races.
Such training should invite participants to talk about any conflict in the face of work environment and encourage them to share their perspectives on the conflicts. Role play exercises by enacting conflict scenarios can help participants realize how their actions can affect other people.
Likewise, even governments have laws in place that provide victims with legal protection from all kinds of workplace harassment.
Companies which follow certain business ethics have better chances of survival, as compared with the ones whose only goal is to make profits, even if they have to make several compromises to achieve their goals.
The recent cases of scandals, frauds and irregularities make it mandatory that ethics in the workplace make a strong comeback. While businesses focus on profitability and success, it is imperative to train employees to be ethical. Training in ethics helps build a strong team and foster professionalism amongst employees, thereby increasing work productivity.
Work ethics is like invisible employee behavior, noticeable by its absence. Some common workplace ethics include:
Punctuality: Arriving to work on time, adhering to lunch and breaks on time and being absent for valid reasons.
Responsibility: Utilizing work time to complete tasks and deadlines and not for personal work.
Professional image: Be well dressed and adhere to the company dress code.
Teamwork: Respect others and work well together and be a good team player.
Attitude: Being pleasant and polite, and take on difficult tasks smilingly.
Employees, who have strong ethics in personal and professional life, need no explanation, unlike those employees for whom work ethics is a growing problem. So, how do you train them to be ethical to one and all, whether in the professional realm or personal?
A written code of conduct: This clearly defines ethics to be maintained in an organization. Each employee should have one, including new hires. The aim of defining and writing a code of conduct is to let employees know what is acceptable and unacceptable.
Training programs: Besides developing goals for the upcoming year, organizations should focus on training in ethics at the workplace. A few members from the top level management can lead the ethics training programs. Such initiatives will stress the fact that employees must cultivate and adhere to the ethics code at the workplace.
Role model: If your employees have a role model in you, it would be easier for them to adhere to the company’s code of conduct and ethics. Seniors behaving in a morally upright manner will set an example for employees to follow.
And finally, it is essential to communicate ethical values and a code of conduct to employees as you are giving them the authority to take appropriate ethical decision in any given situations.
In my first job there was never a formal orientation for new employees or an introduction procedure in place. On the other hand, at my second job, I was astonished to be part of an hour-long employee introduction plus orientation. The introduction of each employee of the company along with a one-on-one meeting with my Project Manager and team members made me feel really welcome. Besides the introductions, I also had a two-hour session with the HR Manager and his team to know more about the company, its products, services, etc. At the end of the day, I knew about the company, policies, regulations and more.
I wonder how different things would have been if I wasn’t introduced to my manager, teammates and other colleagues. I would have felt unwanted and unwelcome. No wonder, orientation and training of new hire are considered a must these days.
If a new employee leaves before the end of his or her probationary period, the company loses a capable employee to its competitors and increases costs of recruiting and training new candidates. Training and orientation sessions offer the new hire the much-needed knowledge on the various departments, workgroups and interaction amongst them.
Besides lessening the fear, new hire orientation training helps the new employees understand the company, its culture, organizational structure, ground rules, policies and procedures, office timings, products and services, and so on. Also, helps them to build a can-do-it attitude and become knowledgeable about one’s roles and responsibilities.
Investing in a new hire orientation program to increase the new hire’s confidence in his or her decision to join your company will motivate the new hire to produce his or her best work immediately. This will increase the new hire’s chances of continuing with your company in the long run as it infuses a sense of belonging.
A good way to test the effectiveness of new hires’ training and orientation is to give them a short questionnaire or web-based test at the end of the session. To test the effectiveness of the training of the job requirements, it is ideal to wait for a month or two to rank their performance. To appraise the employee on a daily basis, assess his daily job responsibilities, methodology and his code of conduct while dealing with a problem.