Who Will Step Up and Provide “Anti-Harassment in the Workplace” Training? And Actually Follow Through..

Spurred on by this interesting post about the “regret factor” in product design, I was reminded about a question asked this morning by a mutual colleague who I play basketball with several days a week.

He has a friend who has developed a fantastic training program for creating “safe places” at work where managers and employees can talk truthfully and meaningfully about what’s really going on between them.

This, he said, is especially valuable today given the need for many companies to come to grips with and appropriately deal with harassment — sexual and otherwise.

I agree. But here’s the problem:

  • Who are the people companies pay to go to management training? Managers.
  • Who are the people who choose for companies to pay for trainings like this. Executives.
  • Who are the people absolutely least-likely to sign on to a powerful, motivating, empowering training program that lets the newest line-employee have permission to call out the most-powerful people in the company when they misbehave? All of the above.

So therein lies the rub — how do you sell a product that has the ability to help companies deal with the terrible and crippling problems of harassment of all kinds in the workplace when the exact people least interested in having their power structures upended are the only people who would be willing to pay for a product like this.

It would need to start at the very top. I dont see Travis Kalanick or Mike Cagney or Roy Price lining up and pounding the pulpit to usher in changes like this. And, if it wasn’t for the sweeping and awesome #meToo movement, they would still be atop their perches, still claiming that haters gonna hate.

So, who steps up and makes companies safe?