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Perspectives on an Influx of Complaints

Updated: May 4, 2023

Hi, I am Dr. Lindsey Lee. I am the co-founder of Lynch Learning together with my partner Natalie Lynch. I'd like to chat with you a little bit today about the impact of anti-harassment compliance training on your work environment. Conducting harassment training gives you the opportunity to gather insight into things going on in your work environment that you may not be aware of. Once employees take our training, or take training like it, they will become aware of what incidents of harassment in your workplace look like, and they will, better than that, be informed about how they can go about raising those concerns if they aren't already aware. They'll also understand why it's important that they do make you aware of those concerns and those issues that they've experienced in your workplace. And so what we often see happen after the completion of training is that you will actually receive more reports of harassment as a result of creating additional awareness. And that can be a scary thing, especially if you aren't well-practiced at receiving these types of concerns, looking into these concerns, and mitigating them or managing them. And so that often can lead to employers being a little shy about actually implementing this kind of training, even though you have regulatory requirements that demand that you implement this kind of training. And so it can be scary and it can feel unmanageable to receive complaints of harassment. And what we'd like to help you understand is that's actually a good thing. You can only manage and prevent activity that you're aware of. If your employees don't feel comfortable, don't know how to report these issues, they won't do it, and you'll never know, and you might then be creating greater exposure for yourself than you otherwise would need to. And in addition, you often will develop a reputation as being an employer that doesn't support their employees or doesn't have an environment that's conducive to their success and their ability to thrive. And that's not anything anybody wants. So getting more reports of harassment is actually a good thing. It gives you insight you didn't have before and gives you the opportunity, most importantly, to fix those problems. And I can understand that it is difficult to appreciate the value of prevention, but handling these things, managing them, making sure that your employees feel comfortable bringing these concerns forward helps you establish a reputation for being supportive, for being trustworthy, and for having a positive work culture. Most importantly, perhaps, however, is not only creating an environment where employees can bring concerns forward, but then demonstrating that you take them seriously by following through on understanding what those issues are, conducting investigations when appropriate, and making sure that you implement strategies for making sure that those issues don't carry on in your environment.

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