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E-Learning: Gaining Business Value Through Six Sigma
Harassment Training (The Training Perspective)
When harassment training is scrutinized from a pure performance improvement or training perspective, its purpose is to change the behavior of employees (so that they do not engage in behavior that harasses other employees). The traditional training model calls for some type of survey or evaluation to be completed by the students (once they have finished the course). This survey evaluates the learners’ reaction to the training. Some type of criterion-referenced exam follows the evaluation. The exam attempts to appraise whether the participant actually learned anything while attending the training (Level 2). Six weeks to six months later, either some type of follow-up communication with the student’s supervisor or an observation of the student in his work environment should occur. The purpose of this observation is to determine whether the student’s behavior has changed as a result of the training (Level 3). Finally, six months to two years after the training, some comparison between the number of complaints or legal action taken against the company prior to the training and after the training is recommended. Performance improvement evangelists believe that the cost associated with this type of analysis is required if the business truly wants to measure the effectiveness of the training program. From a training point of view, the program is considered successful if scores on the post-class evaluations are favorable and scores on Level 2 exams are high.
If the follow-up communication determines that the behavior of the students had not changed, training professionals will quickly point out that it is the responsibility of the line manager to ensure behavior in the workplace. If the number of claims levied against the company increases, training managers will counter that there are “other factors” that affect the number of harassment complaints against a company. If on the other hand, the results of these measures are positive, the training organization will claim responsibility for the company’s savings.
Examining this same program from a business point of view paints a different picture of the purpose of harassment training and sheds a different perspective on what the training program must accomplish to be successful.
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