Bystander Intervention Touted as Key Driver in Eliminating Workplace Harassment

Experts in workplace harassment and prevention say that bystander intervention is a key driver in reducing incidents of harassment because it “targets the norms around harassment and empowers bystanders to step in when they witness bad behavior”.

From CNN Money:

“Just like you have the schoolyard bully example: Even though you might not be the one bullying the other person, you’re the person standing there and not saying anything. You’re kind of fostering this culture and encouraging behavior that’s harmful,” said Cojocnean [a legal partner at Dignity Awareness], whose firm offers training about workplace harassment. “Other men, who actually have some dignity, will report you.”

CNN Money adds that bystander intervention is most likely more effective in changing workplace cultures than “traditional harassment training, which uses videos and puzzles that research shows is focused on companies trying to avoid legal liability in place of effective prevention”.

OperationsInc includes bystander intervention training in all anti-harassment training sessions, and recommends providing training that is interactive and geared towards changing employee attitudes and behaviors, versus only limiting employer liability.

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