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How to Tackle California Anti-Harassment Policy Training Virtually

Sexual Harassment Prevention training is mandatory in many states. The California anti-harassment policy training requirements were updated in 2019.  Originally, businesses with 50+ employees were required to implement sexual harassment training for all employees. After the changes in 2019, the minimum is now 5 employees.

The state requires that the California anti-harassment policy training is complete every two years. This means that employers that completed initial training in 2019, will need to complete it again in 2021. The mandate also requires that new hires complete the training within their first six months on the job.  Organizations should keep a calendar to track the two-year cycle. However, hiring new employees or promoting someone to a supervisory role may call for new training.

Additionally, special rules are included for training seasonal or temporary employees. For employees set to work less than six months, the company must provide training within 30 calendar days or 100 hours of work, whichever comes first. It should be noted that if an outside staffing agency hires the employee, the training responsibility falls on them.

COVID-19 has had a lasting effect on the way businesses conduct regular operations. One of the many effects includes the need to conduct mandatory training virtually for the foreseeable future. Although it may seem difficult to conduct effective and interactive training during these circumstances, virtual meeting platforms can offer beneficial features to enhance any distanced learning course. There are also services available that include pre-recorded training videos for you to use.

We have put together a few things to keep in mind to help make your training successful.

Share any special features with your attendees from the start

Many of these virtual platforms have different functions that an attendee can use throughout the duration of the presentation. Often, they can submit questions anonymously to the presenter via chat functions. This can be extremely helpful during sexual harassment training when the topics may be sensitive for some.

The chat function can also facilitate the overall discussion. This makes it easier to accept questions or discourse by allowing individuals to submit questions and comments to the group that can the speaker can address.

Another common but useful function is the “raise hand” option. This allows an attendee to click a button that will alert the presenter that someone is “raising” their hand mid-discussion. A presenter can acknowledge them and give them the space to share their thoughts while maintaining an organized format.

Always use the screen sharing function at least once

Screen sharing functions allow for the presenter to share their screens. Sharing visuals such as charts, pictures, slides, etc. will break up the presentations and give something new for the California anti-harassment training policy attendants to focus on and take in. Some platforms even offer a remote-control feature that allows for several presenters to manipulate the visuals which permits for more than one presenter at a time during any presentation. Collaboration can be more effective and engaging for the audience.

Use the polling function to encourage participation

Listening to the same presentation with no engagement is a recipe for disaster. It is not helpful for the participant and certainly no fun for the presenter. Most of these virtual platforms have polling functions in which the presenter can pose multiple questions throughout the presentation. This helps keep them engaged and gauge how much of the information they have retained. It also gives the presenters a little break in between.

Breakout rooms can help replicate in-person interaction

A common technique used for in-person training is to break up the audience into smaller, more intimate groups and let them discuss without the pressure of talking over the entire group. Some platforms have a function in which a presenter can split the audience up into separate private “rooms” for a designated amount of time. The presenter can even “visit” the groups to check-in and discuss individually.

All these features will not only assist in keeping the order, but they will help keep everyone engaged. A big concern with hosting anything virtually is how to keep the participants focused through all the distractions they may have at home. They will be more likely to participate if they know how.

These virtual tools can offer an effective and less expensive solution to mandatory training.

Need training material to comply with the California anti-harassment policy? Payroll Systems offers different options depending on your employee training needs. With access to a library of over 300 compliance and development courses covering Sexual Harassment, OSHA Workplace Safety, Employment Development, and more, you will be able to knock out all required training in no time.

Contact us today for more information.


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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.