Anyone in Human Resources who works in California knows that 2013 is once again year for mandatory Supervisor Sexual Harassment training. Since 2005, California has required companies with 50 employees or more to train managers and supervisors to prevent harassment by participating in a two-hour class. Since its initiation as a law, PTI has conducted dozens of these live classes all across California for a wide range of companies. Over the years, we’ve come to notice something important: the company culture defines the whether the environment allows and tolerates harassment.

Culture is created and defined by those at the top of an organization. Executives, Owners, CEOs, and the like define the kind of environment a company has. This culture then trickles down through directors, managers, supervisors, and finally employees.  If those at the top are tolerating or perpetuating harassment, then toleration and perpetuation is going to be the standard for an organization.

Culture is based on the values of a company. Values are the foundation for identity, beliefs, and attitudes. You can’t observe or see values or beliefs; they are not tangible or concrete. You can only observe behaviors and actions, which stem from the foundation of values. If a company values diversity and respect, then we have found that instances of harassment (whether sexual in nature or not) are severely diminished. In contrast, if an organization has a problem with harassment, we have found that the root of the problem almost always originates from the culture at the top. You can train your managers and supervisors all day long about preventing harassment and extending respect, but if your CEO or Owner or President is not doing the same, the problem will not be solved.

Complying with California law and conducting the AB1825 training provides a good foundation for creating a workplace based on mutual respect.  Not only with will you be complying with the law, but you will be investing in your managers and supervisors who oversee the teams and groups that are the most important part of producing your service or product.