How POSH Training Shapes a Harassment-Free Workplace for Your Organisation
January 4, 2024
Creating a workplace where every employee feels safe, respected, and valued is not just a legal obligation but a moral imperative. Sexual harassment, a pervasive issue affecting workplaces looms large, inflicting harm on individuals and hindering overall progress. It leaves its mark not only on the personal lives of victims, causing physical, emotional, and psychological distress, but also on the organization’s reputation and productivity.
In navigating this crucial challenge, POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) training emerges as a vital tool. Beyond fulfilling the essential mandate of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (POSH Act), it empowers employees to create a culture of respect and understanding, fostering a safe and inclusive environment for all.
But what exactly is POSH training and why is it important for the organisation? In this blog, we will explain these questions and help understand why POSH training for employees is essential for every organization.
What is POSH training?
POSH training is a form of awareness and education program that sensitizes employees about what constitutes sexual harassment, the various forms it can take, and the legal implications. By imparting awareness, employers aim to establish a safe and respectful working environment, free from any form of sexual harassment.
POSH training can be conducted through various modes, such as online modules, workshops, seminars, webinars, etc. The content and duration of the training may vary depending on the target audience, such as employees, managers, or internal committee members. This training covers the basics of the POSH Act 2013, the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders, the redressal process, the dos and don’ts of workplace behaviour, and the best practices to prevent and deal with sexual harassment cases.
Why is POSH training important for employees?
POSH training goes beyond simply informing employees about what constitutes sexual harassment. It serves as a crucial tool for sensitizing them to its gravity, its diverse forms, and its profound impact on individuals and the organisation as a whole. This deeper understanding, fostered through in-depth training, is vital for several reasons:
Breaking the Silence:
Sexual harassment often thrives in silence, fueled by fear, shame, and lack of awareness. POSH training, delivered with sensitivity and empathy, empowers individuals to recognize and identify inappropriate behaviour, even in subtle forms. It equips them with the language and knowledge to articulate their experiences and confidently report incidents without fear of repercussions.
Through POSH training, employees gain the confidence and knowledge to speak out and seek assistance when confronted with or witnessing any form of sexual harassment. The training assures them that their complaints will be handled impartially and confidentially by the internal committee. Additionally, POSH training for employees fosters a culture of mutual support among employees, promoting a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment.
Shifting the Cultural Narrative:
Participating in POSH training shows that the organization cares about the employees and their well-being. POSH training for employees acts as a catalyst for cultural change, fostering a zero-tolerance approach to harassment. Encouraging open dialogue and respectful interactions, promotes mutual respect and inclusivity, leading to positively engaged employees. A McKinsey & Company report showed that organizations with strong anti-harassment policies and training had 23% higher employee engagement compared to those without.
The impact of effective POSH training for employees extends far beyond individual well-being. It translates to increased productivity, improved morale, and reduced absenteeism. According to a study by the International Labour Organization, sexual harassment can cost up to 3.5% of the GDP of a country due to the loss of productivity and absenteeism. By creating a safer and more inclusive workplace, organizations attract and retain top talent, fostering innovation and collaboration. This ultimately leads to enhanced brand reputation and sustained organizational success.
POSH training can be delivered through various modes, such as online, offline, or blended, depending on the needs and preferences of the organization and the employees. POSH training for employees can also be customized and updated according to the specific industry, sector, or domain of the organization.
What are the Outcomes of POSH Training for your Organisation?
POSH training can have significant positive outcomes for your organization. Here are some of the key benefits:
Improved Workplace Culture:
POSH training can foster a respectful and inclusive workplace culture. It can help to establish clear behavioural expectations and norms, promoting a zero-tolerance approach towards sexual harassment.
Under the POSH Act 2013, it is mandatory for employers to provide POSH training to their employees. By conducting POSH training, organizations can ensure compliance with the law and avoid legal penalties.
A safe and respectful work environment can increase employee satisfaction and loyalty. According to a survey by KelpHR, 87% of employees who underwent POSH training felt more valued by their organization.
Organizations that prioritize the safety and well-being of their employees can enhance their reputation among stakeholders, including customers, investors, and potential employees.
By preventing and addressing sexual harassment, organizations can reduce stress and anxiety among employees, thereby improving their productivity and performance.Employees who feel their organization fosters a respectful workplace are often more productive.
POSH training for employees can help to prevent incidents of sexual harassment. This proactive approach not only helps in preventing incidents but also contributes to building a positive public image, thereby mitigating the risk of reputational harm, legal penalties, and financial losses.
POSH training is not only a legal obligation but also a moral and ethical duty for every organization. By providing POSH training for employees, employers can create a safe and respectful work environment, where employees can thrive and grow. POSH training can also help employees protect themselves and others from sexual harassment, and seek redressal and relief in case of any violation. POSH training can also enhance the reputation and credibility of the organization, and attract and retain the best talent in the market.
Therefore, POSH training is a win-win situation for both the employees and the employer, and it should be a priority for every organization that values its people and its performance.