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4 Lessons Learned from Oracle’s Harassment Court Case

Posted on July 24th, 2014 by Chris Gaborit

Just this week, a former employee at Oracle Australia was awarded $130,000 for the distress she experienced from being sexually harassed by a male colleague at the company.

You would think that a global organisation like Oracle, who has every resource at hand, would be at the top of their game in protecting their employees from any type of harassment.

What can we learn from this case?

1. The eLearning Training Course was not Compliant.

Justice Buchanan found that the online training program was inadequate because it did not meet the minimum standard set out in Sexual Harassment in the Workplace of Australia.

There has been a shift in organisations, which are trying to manage costs and time pressures, to deliver online eLearning programs for all types of training. Sure, there are benefits, but have we forgotten the very reason that the training is provided? Is it just to tick a box to say compliance obligations have been met or is there a need to inform and seek behavioural change in employees?

Workplace harassment and bullying can be subtle in its form. It can also be inextricably linked to organisational culture. So, are organisations realistic in thinking that a simple eLearning program can meet their obligations?

2. Face-To-Face Harassment Training is Required

Oracle has learnt it the hard way. The company has now introduced a new workplace diversity policy, which requires face-to-face harassment training.

We have run face-to-face sexual harassment and bullying programs for leading companies for over 17 years. We have always found that the greatest learning happens through the discussions in the classroom, the sharing of real life examples and the asking of questions.

3. Community Standards have Changed.

The Oracle manager who harassed the female manager was initially fined $18,000, but when he appealed ,the judge increased this to $130,000, stating that community standards demanded higher compensation in #sexual harassment cases

4. Future Cases of Sexual Harassment Could Award Higher Compensation

General Counsel Margaret Diamond, who was one of the team members at Harmers Workplace Lawyers that represented the female manager in the case, said that, from now on, “courts are likely to take a more respectful and realistic view of the impact of sexual harassment on complainants in making awards of general damages”.

I think that Human Resources in all companies should take stock. The tide has turned in these cases and we must be sure that we have the correct training in place for our employees and managers to both protect them from predators and also minimize risk to the company through lack of correct training.

5 Benefits of Training Outsourcing

Posted on June 30th, 2014 by Victoria Kossoff

1. Reduce Costs – The number one reason why companies outsource training is to save money. Our experience shows that organisations can save up to 30%.

2. Speed to Market – Planning on bringing a new product to market? Your success may be dependent on getting resellers trained on how to sell or service your product. With training outsourcing you can quickly get your product into your customers’ hands, without scaling up internal resources.

3. Geographic Reach – When Cisco needed to train local employees in China, they simply outsourced training to The Learning Factor. We have resources in China who already understand the Chinese culture. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

4. Access to Talent – The most strategic way to source the best training talent at the best possible price is to outsource. Instantly you have a pool of trainers and facilitators, who are industry experts in their field. This commercial experience brings training to life.

5. Improve Scalability of Resources – Running an internal training department takes a number of people with different skills and talents. Internal staff are a fixed resource. But training is a variable activity. When you work with a training outsource company, you are able to scale up or scale down the number of resources you need– just when you need them most!

3 Leadership Keys from the World’s No. 1 Caddie

Posted on June 16th, 2014 by Chris Gaborit

To me, Steve Williams is the world’s number one caddie. Steve has caddied for the winners of 14 major golf championships. Not only that, three golfers, Greg Norman, Tiger Woods, and Adam Scott, rose to become the world’s number one golfers while he was their caddy, and amazingly, two fell from that spot when Steve left them.

Was it Steve William’s support that helped them win? Was it his coaching, etc., on the course that guided them all to victory? I have no doubt it was.

A great caddie is more than a bag carrier; he is a motivator, encourager, admonisher, counselor, and advisor. He is there with you every day to coach while you are practicing and when you are playing. Good caddies understand your strengths and weaknesses and your stress and anxiety cycles, such as how you are affected by pressure, adrenaline, winning, and losing, and they guide you through those emotional moments.

If a great caddie like Steve Williams can assist a great golfer to become the world’s number one, could a great leader also help you to become the world’s number one in whatever it is that you do?

Three things that Steve Williams does that every leader should do:

1. SPEAK YOUR MIND

There are too many yes men in life. We don’t need another manager who will tell us what we want to hear. We need managers who will challenge our thinking, strategy, and direction. Steve Williams is not a yes man; he believes in speaking his mind and giving his opinion to you. This is done in the spirit of wanting the best for you.

In one interview, Steve was asked, “What was your biggest regret at caddying.” He told the story of caddying for Raymond Floyd, who wanted to become the oldest man to win the US Masters. Raymond had told Steve he was going to hit a fade into the 17th green. Steve had a thought, “but what if you pull it?” However, he never spoke it as he was overwhelmed a little by Raymond’s reputation at that event.

Raymond did pull that shot and lost in the playoff. Steve regrets not speaking his mind on that occasion.

The best managers I have ever had challenged my thinking, plans, and goals—and that was a great thing as it made me a stronger person.

2. ABSOLUTE PREPARATION

A caddies’ role is to know the course ahead and then coach their player around the course. The caddie must know distances, obstacles, hills and valleys, and every possible risk that could come into play. The intense preparation is essential in doing their job, which is to get their player around the course with as few errors as possible.

Steve is a master of preparedness. He has written books and books on every course they play. He is known for obsessive preparation and is considered by other caddies one of the greats of their business.

It’s the same with a great manager. Great managers know where we are going, and all the risks involved in getting there. Their role is to coach their team through the obstacles and get them to the other side.

The problem is that many managers are lazy and do not prepare and coach their team, they expect the team members to do all the work while they sit back and watch. Underperforming managers produce underperforming teams.

On the other hand, high-performing managers are willing to study, prepare and take the time to coach their team. They are not lazy neither are they afraid to delegate.

Great leaders develop high-performing team members. They understand the challenges and yet allow team members to hit the ball (delegation).

3. COMPETITIVE SPIRIT

Steve Williams says that the reason he and Tiger Woods got along quickly was their competitive spirits. Steve was a scratch golfer when he was 13 and races stock cars until today. He is not only competitive for himself but also for his team. He is known for being very aggressive and vocal in directing crowds during tournaments, and for being very protective of his team (player) on the course.

A competitive spirit is something inside us that is never satisfied with poor performance. It drives us forward, makes us get up early and practice, study and develop and never allows us to quit.

A competitive spirit in a manager will constantly inspire others to perform better. Steve Williams recently said about Adam Scott, “Adam has so much more ability within him that has yet to be realised.”

We need leaders who are competitive, hard-working, and prepared. They will speak their minds, challenge our thoughts, and push us forward so we can achieve what we are capable of.

Chris Gaborit, Managing Director, The Learning Factor – Australia and Asia’s Leader in Training Outsourcing

Reach me at chris.gaborit@learningfactor.com.au

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