Canada Association of Tourism Employees

Sexual Harassment Prevention On-line Coaching Suggestions

How to Develop Online Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

Activities that some people consider “normal” or non-offensive are harmful to others. Things like street harassment and unsolicited flirting can cause psychological, emotional, or even physical harm. In the past everyone assumed that sexual harassment was a man-versus-woman thing. However, as gender equality opens up more opportunities, there is a risk that it will affect everyone in some way. In any case, it is an obstacle to an effective work environment. It is the responsibility of your organization to contain this through guidelines and training. Here are 5 tips for developing online sexual harassment prevention training that will reduce the risks.

5 insider tips for creating effective anti-harassment courses

1. Inexpensive VR scenarios with a high impact

If you are really serious about tackling sexual harassment, digital VR glasses are an option. The sessions last half an hour each and immerse the learners in a 3D world in which they observe a colleague experiencing sexual harassment. The scenario teaches them to recognize sexual harassment and react to it when it happens to someone else. It also teaches you how to react when it happens to you. The scenario is organic and feels authentic.

For example, after someone has been harassed, the learner in the company receives a “text” from a virtual colleague. The text indicates that the victim looks uncomfortable and the perpetrator may be out of line. The learner in the company can then “look” at the victim and assess their discomfort. You will be prompted with suggested responses, both to the text and to the victim. The scenario unfolds based on what answer they gave and how long they wait before reacting. In another scene, a victim explains what happened to them and asks for advice.

2. Experience-oriented online training

Employees receive empathic suggestions. During the post-scene assessment, give them personalized eLearning feedback that explains how they could have dealt with it better. You will have the option to repeat the online training assessment and metrics will record your responses. This intrinsically tracks whether the online sexual harassment prevention training is working. There are also scenarios that empower employees how to react when they are a victim. It shows them how to correct and / or escalate incidents of sexual harassment. This is critical. You need to know how to deal with it when you are scared.

For example, if the harasser is a manager, they may be afraid of being fired. If their attacker is in close proximity or works in isolation, there is a risk of physical harm. This type of online training not only protects you at work, but also in other situations. It equips them to deal with sexual harassment on the way to work or in public spaces. This ensures that their overall life is safer and that they feel valued and respected.

3. Make it nuanced

As for the scenarios themselves, don’t resort to the obvious. Uncolored remarks and physical offenses are pretty straightforward. But sometimes the harassment is more subtle, even though its consequences are just as hurtful. Introduce situations that are less clearly offensive. For example, what if it’s a joke, innuendo, or “compliment” that crosses sexual boundaries? What if it’s a consensual romance that turns vengeful after the breakup? What if it’s a gendered uniform that shows off visible sexual traits? In such cases, the “right” response is harder to gauge, making online sexual harassment prevention training more important.

All of these presentations can be played using online training simulations, animations and video demos. You should also create a safe space for employees to discuss these issues openly. Involve a moderator to control passions as this is a controversial topic and tempers can flare up. You don’t want the online discussion to accidentally turn into a new harassment platform. Because in such situations – and especially online – people often attack each other under the pretext of “just being honest”.

4. Drop the theories and make them relatable

Many organizations make the mistake of dealing with cases of sexual harassment in theory. For example, emphasizing the applicable rules, but not getting to the point with assignable applications. Employees need to be aware of how sexual harassment prevention compliance training is linked to their job duties and professional life. Use personal anecdotes to reveal what it’s like to experience objectionable behavior. Or invite managers and supervisors to host online training courses in their department to share their insights. Of course, they shouldn’t name names, but highlight past experiences that help learners in the company connect.

5. Describe acceptable behavior and protocols

Develop infographics and other clear outlines that explain acceptable work behavior. As well as protocols employees should follow if they discover sexual harassment violations. For example, you must report the incident to your manager or use the anonymous online form. You can use these online training resources as reference tools and knowledge refresher if you are unsure whether something is a “violation”. However, you should always feel comfortable contacting a manager if you are concerned about the actions of a colleague or client. In fact, it’s best to get their input and keep re-evaluating your harassment policies to make sure they are still relevant and up to date. They include, for example, technical annoyance, such as offensive social media posts or comments.


Sexual harassment is a sensitive issue. Victims are often accused of being “too sensitive” while perpetrators may not realize how harmful their actions are. ‘These are just words.’ However, a victim can feel just as hurt as if they were physically attacked. Use virtual reality to help your team spot harassment. Give them online training simulations and tools to identify the incident, comfort the victim, reprimand the harasser, and escalate the situation. Online sexual harassment prevention training courses should provide the perspective of an attacker, victim, and bystander. And don’t just stick to the most common offenses. Provide online sexual harassment prevention training even in nuanced circumstances. They are more insidious and therefore potentially more harmful.

You don’t need to develop harassment control resources in-house. Use our free online directory to find the best outsourcing partner or standard solution for your compliance online training program.


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