Tips for Effective Workplace Education

Simple training methods that effectively teach the impacts of domestic and sexual violence, and stalking can change a workplace culture and make workers safer.

Getting Started

    • To get support for internal educational efforts, present a brief seminar for executive management and/or union leaders about the impact of domestic and sexual violence on the workplace.
    • Find a champion among upper management and/or union leadership that supports the importance of the need for domestic and sexual violence education or training.
    • Have executive management and/or union leaders introduce training or educational efforts to demonstrate their support for the issues.
    • Review all personnel policies and procedures, benefits, employee services and security mechanisms prior to training to determine how the training content needs to integrate or interact with these areas.
    • Involve Human Resources, any EAPs, the union if appropriate and Security Services personnel in planning for workplace education or training.

During the Training

    • Adapt training content and handouts for employees whose primary language is not English and consider cultural concerns that may play a part in training on domestic and sexual violence.
    • Provide lists of referral resources during training, including service providers that reflect the diversity and geographic distribution of the workforce.
    • Consider the timing of the training. Avoid training during any major organizational changes, such as lay-offs or restructuring.
    • Make training events mandatory when feasible, especially for managers. But, allow employees who request it a chance to opt out. The training may be emotionally overwhelming for some employees who have been traumatized by violence in the past.
    • Allow employees to leave the training if necessary and have trained people (preferably domestic and sexual violence counselors) available to meet with them.
    • Keep in-person training sessions fairly small, with an upward limit of 50 employees if feasible, allowing for some questions and interaction.
    • Acknowledge any past violent events, such as the murder of an employee or workplace attacks, during the introduction to the training.
    • Be sensitive to the gender issues that surround domestic and sexual violence. Acknowledge that, although women may be more at risk, anyone may be a victim and anyone may be a perpetrator. Avoid statements that could be perceived as blaming men.
    • Provide a message of hope, combined with a practical focus on workplace needs.