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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.

Did you just hear that millions is wasted on ineffective training?

Posted on May 14th, 2013 by Victoria Kossoff

In the past fortnight, CIPD released their Learning and Talent Development Survey 2013. The survey results show that 74% of organisations in the UK currently use eLearning, but only 15% report that it is one of the most effective training methods available to them. I suspect the numbers are similar around the globe.

So how much of an organisation’s training budget is spent on the development of eLearning? Recent IBIS research shows that $26 billion is spent globally on eLearning or 13% of all training expenditure. Why are so many organisations continuing to invest in eLearning modules if it is not the most effective way to train their people? The same CIPD study also found that only 31% of organisations reported that most employees completed an eLearning course. Immediately the true cost of that “cost-effective” eLearning module exploded. How can the ROI be justified to any CEO or CFO?

Before I continue, I want to articulate my definition of eLearning. Over the years, I have found this word to mean many things to different people. My definition is:

eLearning is electronic learning, in which the learner uses a computer to learn a task, skill, or process.

eLearning is asynchronous – this means the training occurs remotely, where learners partake in a course according to their own time frame or schedule as it fits into their work commitments. An example of this method would be self-study, self-paced classes, conducted and studied online or with the use of a computer-based training CD or DVD.”

eLearning has been available for about 20 years. During this time organisations found eLearning offered several benefits including reduced overall cost in comparison to face-to-face training, proof of learner completion/certification and consistent delivery. Organisations immediately saw eLearning as a great way to meet their corporate compliance obligations.

However the last measure of success of an eLearning module must be in the uptake or the engagement of the module by the workforce and more importantly its effectiveness at improving performance. With only 31% of organisations reporting that employees completed an eLearning course, the numbers tell us engagement with this type of training is low.

In terms of effectiveness, let’s look further at the numbers. Traditionally eLearning has ranked highly for compliance training. As an example, companies saw a quick eLearning module as the silver bullet to reduce workplace issues related to bullying and harassment. With the passing of time and with so many employees completing their mandatory eLearning module, we would then expect the claims related to bullying and harassment to decline, correct? Interestingly around the globe, claims have sky rocketed! In Australia, claims of bullying and harassment have blown out dramatically. In the UK, bullying in the public sector has increased, with 6 out of 10 public sector workers being bullied. Do you hear more warning bells ringing??

As educators, we know people learn in different ways. We know that active learners tend to retain and understand information best by doing something active with it – discussing or applying it or explaining it to others. Reflective learners prefer to think about it quietly first.

If face-to-face training is expensive and time-consuming and eLearning is not showing to be effective at the behavioural level, there has to be a better way. It is now time to see how improvements in technology and Web 2.0 can be capitalised upon.

Enter the New World of Virtual Training

Improvements in technology and the Internet have opened up new ways for organisations to reap huge benefits.

We can all now access the new world of online, synchronous* training where specially designed training programs are delivered over the web by a live trainer. This new method is called Virtual Training.

Bersin by Deloitte defines the virtual classroom as “a tool for delivering live online learning. It is often called “synchronous learning.” The interface mimics the face-to-face classroom in many ways with a roster, hand-raising icon and an instructor leading the group. The primary difference between the face-to-face classroom training and virtual classroom training is that the latter is used to deliver content live, over the Internet to people who are geographically dispersed.”

Imagine your teams, partners or channel simply logging into a training session from the comfort of their home or office. They can meet online with others in a group, are asked questions, broken up into virtual rooms to prepare presentations or case studies, answer quizzes and watch videos all whilst being guided by a live trainer.

Virtual training sessions are designed by experts in virtual instructional design so everybody’s learning style can be catered for. Instantly feedback can be captured and an assessment can be made on the efficacy of the session. Immediately your ROI has improved.

Responding to a Culture of Speed

Senior leadership teams are now constantly focusing on the need for speed in new market entry, time-to-market, cycle-time reduction, and competitive advantage.

With virtual training you can deliver effective training live without spending a dollar on travel, venue hire, printing or catering.

The possibilities are endless. Here are a few:

  • Drive product adoption by offering your customers easy access to web-based training
  • Educate your channel partners and field reps regularly, so they always have current information
  • Train global employees to advance their skills, or push revenue-generating initiatives to market faster

Imagine the revenue opportunities that you could capitalise on by embracing virtual training. Improve the skills of your people with live, online training delivered without the high costs associated with face-to-face training.

Get ready to smash your competition. Start now!

* Synchronous training comprises the traditional method of a number of learners grouped together, learning the content material at the same time, or in synch with each other.

Solving Mike’s Business Problems in 2 Minutes

Posted on May 3rd, 2013 by Chris Gaborit

Finding innovative ways to transfer knowledge and skills is a generational issue and an economic challenge critical to a company’s survival. See how Mike solves a business challenge he has.

We have just launched Bare Brilliance – a division that delivers engaging, interactive wed-based training – all with a live trainer. See how you can smash your competition.

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