Listening to recent news stories, I am appalled that - in 2018 - inappropriate behaviour of a sexual nature is still going on in the workplace. 

And, while the film and media industry has hit the headlines particularly heavily, sexual harassment is something that can affect all workplaces - across sectors, industries, and countries. 

Employers need to make sure that they're educating their staff about sexual harassment, and taking a proactive approach to combat it. 

Sexual harassment training has been around for a long time. Over the last 15 years, I've been personally involved in delivering 'dignity at work' training, for organisations of all sizes. But, as news events have unfolded over the last few months, it's clear that some employees remain ignorant - or dismiss the training, and continue to behave in the very way that it's designed to prevent. 

A common thread seems to be a general lack of understanding about what behaviour consitutes sexual harassment in the first place. Raising awareness - via a training day, e-learning module or seminar - can only provide a limited list of unacceptable behaviours at work and can't cover all scenarios. Often, a delegate will ask, ‘isn’t all of this just applying common sense?’ And, in an ideal world the answer is yes – if only we could train everyone to be kind, considerate and compassionate.

The below article from HR Director is a useful reminder of the basics.