Empowerment As An Integral Part Of Workplace Harassment Prevention Training For Employees

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Workplace harassment prevention for employees is strongly linked to their personal and professional empowerment. Employers must focus on empowerment as a key aspect of giving employees ownership over their lives, their work and their rights. This is necessary if workplace harassment prevention training is to make a significant impact. Without a true understanding of empowerment by employees, and its adoption, there is an ongoing risk of harassment. 

This, in turn, is because people do not have confidence in themselves to overcome these issues. Combining learning on empowerment with workplace harassment prevention training for employees will ensure it manifests in the culture of the organisation.

Building personal capacity

Surmounting the disproportionate power inherent in unbalanced power relationships and situations cannot always be managed entirely by external protective factors. Progressive supporting policies, procedures and remedial systems, alone, are not enough. 

Easy access to resources, tools and protective roles within the organisation, such as HR personnel, helps. Ultimately, however, each individual needs to achieve self-determination as part of their growth. Developing the personal capacity to initiate an appropriate response to harassment with authority, strength of character and certainty is critical.

Workplace harassment prevention for employees will uncover the role a strong sense of empowerment plays in mastering self-determination, therefore. 

It highlights the importance of autonomy in thought, action and the constructive processing of challenging events within a person’s life. Employees learn to advocate and represent their interests in a responsible yet compelling manner. They avoid shying away from pushing for outcomes that uphold their value as individuals who should not suffer any kind of harassment personally or professionally. When we are empowered, we demand respect for everything we are.

Ultimately, empowerment is about individual choice. The choice not only to speak one’s truth honestly and openly but live courageously in the face of any injustice.

Extending our sources of power

As with the development of our increasing understanding of empowerment, workplace harassment prevention training emphasises the need to gain control by affected individuals in cases of harassment.  

It is critical that they be a party to decision-making in all aspects related to the matter. It is about influencing outcomes where the victim should not assume the role of the “child”, with others deciding what would be best for them. 

There needs to be a restorative and redistributive process established on the power front. The person subjected to harassment must be free to regain their power to object, resist, and challenge outcomes. 

They also need to recoup the power to be creative with solutions and provide their views, expectations and boundaries. Through the process of confronting harassment, there is an opportunity to build their power within. Engaging other support systems also enhances the power to be with others in eradicating the scourge of all types of abuse.

Workplace harassment prevention for employees must involve the complementary learning process of diversity training for unconscious bias. This will help those being harassed better understand why people sometimes do things they shouldn’t.

When we understand the roots of other people’s attitudes and behaviour, which do not ordinarily enter an individual’s awareness but affect their behaviour and perceptions, we often get a more mature picture of what has or is transpiring. 

Realism alleviates some of the pain and potential for self-blame associated with harassment as well as the confusion that someone could treat another person in an injurious way.

Workplace harassment prevention training that integrates the concepts and paradigm of empowerment will enhance an individual’s entitlement to demand change in line with what is right.

The call will be for an unwavering ethical response throughout the organisation for justice and equality in the sense that there should never be fear or favour based on position, privilege, hierarchy or conferred power. 

Ultimately, things improve when we achieve a rearrangement of power that is better aligned to societal and organisational values that treasure not only individual freedom from harm but celebrates individual flourishing in terms of wellbeing.

Empowerment demands that we be bold. It is worth remembering what Orison Swett Marden once said: “Most obstacles melt away when we make up our minds to walk boldly through them.” 

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