As one of the leading career training marketplaces, with hundreds of thousands of searches for training each month, TrainUp.com gets an insider view to the training trends and needs of organizations all over. Every year we see spikes in particular verticals- whether that’s the move to Agile, cloud computing, or a regulatory driver like GDPR. However, none of those spikes compare to what we’ve experienced the last few months in regards to sexual harassment training requests. The growth has been explosive. For instance, the TrainUp.com sexual harassment category page experienced 267 search requests in January of 2017, compared to a whopping 2,150 in January 2018! That’s nearly 800% growth! Harassment-related training requests started picking up significantly in October of 2017 and have steadily increased since then. I’d say this is a pretty significant reflection of the cultural shift that has taken place across the country, and an immediate reaction to the #MeToo movement, as it also went viral in October of 2017.
The aforementioned category page offers training seekers access to a variety of instructor-led and online harassment content options; however our on-site training services, in which we send leading instructors and subject matter experts to teach directly at our clients’ facilities, often with a customized agenda, has experienced similar explosive growth. The increase in requests we’ve seen have been for both preventative and corrective sexual harassment training. In fact, one of the first questions Wes Lanning, of the TrainUp.com team, asks when the inquiry arises is whether the training is in direct response to an incident that has already occurred. At TrainUp.com, we strive to work with instructors and partners who not only understand the legal side, but also possess the skills to understand the audience in the classroom and connect with them in a way that brings the message home-all while being sympathetic towards the harm afflicted on so many.
The great thing about this growth is concerning where the requests are coming from, which is essentially all over the United States and globe. In the past, most of the anti-harassment training requests we received originated out of California, mainly due to the AB 1825 harassment training requirements. Thankfully, though CA requests are also up, requests from the rest of the nation are driving the majority of the growth. It just shows we’ve reached a point to where companies can no longer turn a blind eye. Claire, TrainUp.com’s main blogger, has written a few articles now on this topic, including a harassment quiz you can try to see how well you know harassment laws.
However we aren’t just satisfied with meeting basic training requirements, checking boxes, or simply covering companies’ rear ends from a legal perspective. Our hope is for genuine changes in culture and accountability. To accomplish this, I firmly believe it’s going to take a model built around continuous learning. Though the on-site courses we deliver, the public courses of our partners, and online content are somewhat effective, great content alone rarely produces an immediate change of heart and culture. Individuals and companies for too long have fostered environments and company cultures where sexual harassment isn’t only tolerated, but systematic. It’s these types of major culture shifts needed within organizations that has motivated TrainUp.com to expedite the development of TrainingFlo, a next-generation, continuous learning methodology, and part of a new platform called KnowlegeFlo aimed not only at delivering great training, but also results that shape culture. It will give organizations an opportunity to build community around their content, facilitate post-training collaboration, track application of concepts learned, and answer questions openly yet securely, along with providing access to micro-learning videos and additional content. To help learners build new habits it’s going to take a new approach, so why not start with something as important as this?
The buzz surrounding sexual harassment training is high, but once this momentum wears off if companies aren’t setup for collaboration, accountability, and continuous learning, we may be just a little further away from where we were just a year ago.