Friday, 2 January 2009

Something I hope I never have to experience ever again

Bill Whittle nails it in regard to sexual harassment training. I often feel that I am one of his shrinking band of rational adults (even if my writing sometimes takes me out of that category).

Here's to contracting, and avoiding working for big companies ever again.


TimT said...

I sometimes wonder if this collective anxiety society seems to have about 'sensitivity' and 'giving offence' and all those other fears we have that combine to make up Political Correctness is just a phase, and that thirty years on we'll look back on this and laugh at it.

I think it's probably true, since it's comparable in so many ways to the elaborate, and largely meaningless, social codes of foregone eras - the 'etiquette' craze of the early twentieth century, for instance, which got sent up so brilliantly by generations of comedians, from the 1930s onwards.

Most entertaining site you have here, Boy on a Bike.

1735099 said...

"I understand, also, that the reason for these sessions is to provide legal protection to the company, so that if a harassment claim is made, they can say, “look, we did everything we could to combat this sort of thing.” I get all that."

He nails it with that comment. I discovered that years ago when I asked the "why" question of my Regional Director when he informed a Principals' meeting about initiatives to eliminate harassment and bullying. It's all about CYA so the organisation avoids payouts, rather than the welfare and productivity of the workers.People in large corporations are generally aware of this and become cynical as a result.

The programs which were particularly useless (and did more harm than good) were those where a set video or Powerpoint was mandated. Generally, because they were designed to suit every "business unit" (school) they were so generalised that they were irrelevant everywhere.

I remember saying that I would prefer to be told what constituted harassment and then figuring out a training session for our school based on its unique characteristics. I was told that this would leave the Director General liable in the event of an action. Pointing out that in a staff of thirty-five, there were only three males, cut no ice.

In the end, the best protection against harassment and bullying is for the manager (or principal if it's a school) to model courteous and respectful behaviour and ensure careful supervision and mentoring. This is a coaching exercise and should go on day by day. A once a year group training is next to useless.

kae said...

Excellent find, BOAB.

I undertook "cultural diversity training". Asked what I'd learned after completing said course, I replied "It's easy to insult everyone just being your normal self. It's pointless. Just be polite."

I'm going to blog on that... thinking now... I've linked to the article, too.