As a barrage of sexual harassment allegations emerge from Hollywood and the film industry, it serves as a wakeup call for restaurant operators and business owners everywhere. Harassment training — once viewed by many as just another annoying HR box to check off the list — can longer be put on the backburner.
When you see such systemic levels of inappropriateness and misconduct occurring in one industry, you begin to wonder how pervasive it is in other industries. As a business owner, it's up to you to lead by example, carving out the time necessary to ensure your entire crew — from hourly to managers to office staff — understand what acceptable behavior is and how to handle any inappropriate incidents.
Why Harassment Training Matters
While harassment training, especially from HR's perspective, has almost always been a critical and serious endeavor, many employees and managers tend to place much less importance on it — frequently just going through the motions of annual trainings and seminars and not truly acknowledging how integral it is to day-to-day operations.
But if we take a long and honest look at the current world around us, speaking in a divisive and inflammatory manner has become more common and is opening doorways to harassment never breached so regularly and publicly before. Between that and what's coming out of the Hollywood scene, now is the time to fully accept our responsibility, as business owners, to provide ongoing employee harassment training, enforce a zero tolerance policy, and maintain a heightened sense of awareness regarding the interactions occurring between our employees.