EVERFI, Inc., the leading social impact education innovator, today announced the launch of a new and revolutionary workplace conduct course that puts evidence-based best practices into action. Moving away from a compliance-only framework, the new course, Preventing Harassment and Discrimination, focuses on critical culture-building behaviors.
A recent study found that 79 percent of employees witnessed an incident of harassment or discrimination at work within the last five years, but only 23 percent of those employees reported the incident to human resources.
Current workplace conduct training courses typically address behaviors that are illegal and/or in violation of company policy, ultimately training employees on what not to do. This approach does not offer education on what employees should do to help create a positive working environment [or positive workplace culture]. EVERFI’s new Preventing Harassment and Discrimination course uses positive framing and skill-building, giving employees the tools to confidently take action when they see the warning signs of harassing behavior in the workplace.
“Pressure from internal and external stakeholders has prompted a shift in how organizations are thinking about risk in relation to harassment, discrimination, and other compliance and ethics failures,” said Ray Martinez, co-founder, and president, EVERFI. “The traditional approach falls short by ignoring the element of prevention and instead relying on an incident response model. Implementing a program that instead puts prevention-first empowers employees to speak up and get involved when they see something they believe is inappropriate. ”
Understanding that companies suffer when the culture does not support a professional, inclusive workplace, the Preventing Harassment and Discrimination course pivots away from a legal-only lens and instead focuses on workplace culture. It also engages employees in the culture-building effort, providing them the knowledge and tools to take everyday actions that promote a great place to work. The mobile-friendly course walks an employee through the steps of bystander intervention, teaching them how to respond appropriately when they see behavior that is not aligned with their company values. Preventing Harassment and Discrimination also showcases highly realistic and nuanced scenarios, as well as diverse working environments, issues, and employee identities, to ensure the course is relevant and relatable to all employees in an ever dynamic workforce.
The course also provides strategic workforce insights to human resource professionals by offering an in-course solution that gives administrator-level users the ability to demonstrate the return on investment to company leadership and stakeholders. Preventing Harassment and Discrimination’s reporting capabilities go beyond completion results or employee satisfaction ratings and delivers real-time, anonymized data dashboards that highlight information about the strength of an organization and the perceptions, behaviors, and experiences of employees. Company-specific data insights not only demonstrate the impact of the training on employees, but also help to reveal a roadmap for next steps post-training.
“It is clear that the check-the-box approach traditionally used to address harassment in the past has not been effective. This status-quo focus on compliance and incident response has not worked–we know that from the #MeToo movement and the ever-increasing number of harassment charges and complaints being filed today,” said Elizabeth Owens Bille, J.D., SHRM-SCP, Head of Impact, Workplace Culture, EVERFI. “However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found great promise in the effectiveness of training that includes bystander intervention and focuses on respectful behavior in the workplace. The Preventing Harassment and Discrimination course aligns with this finding and will disrupt the workplace training status quo with a revolutionary approach that spotlights and teaches what to do when employees see behavior that doesn’t align with their personal and company values. It truly changes the conversation with employees from one about compliance to one about culture and the role of each employee in creating that culture.”
Preventing Harassment and Discrimination was developed in collaboration with Shannon Rawski, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a leading expert on the topic of harassment in the workplace, and Dr. Alan Berkowitz, an internationally recognized prevention researcher and practitioner. The course currently meets state-specific compliance mandates for California, Connecticut (supervisor employees), Delaware, Maine, and New York (city and state). The course will be available in November 2019. Learn more about Preventing Harassment and Discrimination here.
EVERFI is an international technology company driving social change through education to address the most challenging issues affecting society ranging from financial wellness to prescription drug safety to workplace conduct and other critical topics. Founded in 2008, EVERFI is fueled by its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) community engagement platform and has reached more than 30 million learners globally. EVERFI powers community engagement in a sustained manner to empower individuals and organizations to make an impact within their communities. The Company also convenes Networks to bring together financial institutions, colleges and universities, and some of the largest corporations to leverage insights and connections to drive impact. Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter founder Evan Williams, Advance Publications, Rethink Education and Rethink Impact. To learn more about EVERFI visit everfi.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter @EVERFI.