case 10 training systems

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1. Would a TNA be needed in this situation? Why or why not? If yes, who would you want to talk to?

In this case a TNA is unnecessary as the court has ordered all employees to receive training.  However, a TNA would prove useful in terms of what areas employees are particularly weak or strong.  It is likely that there are differences in needs among the management, staff and hourly work groups.

2. Based on the case as presented above, what KSAs need to be trained?

Knowledge: The most obvious area for training is what constitutes sexual harassment and the process for reporting and investigating claims.  Additionally, the company needs to develop and communicate its policy on sexual harassment, including sanctions on perpetrators. 

Skills: Skills need to be developed in how to handle sensitive situations and how to respond to instances of possible sexual harassment.

Attitude: All employees need training on attitude change towards  the way in which women are treated in the work place.

3. Why has the Commission insisted on training for the whole company when the problem is clearly only Mr. Pettipas? Elaborate.

First, it is not clear that the problem is only Mr. Pettipas.  When Ms. Dillman went to others in authority her issues were not addressed appropriately.  It did not seem that management took her claims seriously.  Employees at all levels did nothing to address the inappropriate behavior of Mr. Pettipas.  In fact when a letter was finally put in his file, the President and CEO had it removed.  Thus, the court must have felt that a culture had developed in the company which allowed such inappropriate behavior.  Training for the entire company must have appeared to the court to be the best avenue for changing that culture.

4.  In order for the training to be effective, what other things do you think need attention?

Table 9-4 provides a list of effective strategies for dealing with sexual harassment, in addition to the initial training.

This case appears to deal with a situation where the problem is not a lack of knowledge or skills, but a problem of attitude. Attitude change is more difficult than learning knowledge and skills and there are different training methodologies that can be used to better approach the issue in this company.

This is an example of where training might provide a change in behavior, but still not achieve a change in attitude.

5.  What would you suggest in the way of evaluation of the training? How would you convince top management that it would be worth it?

The most obvious evaluation criterion is that the court is satisfied with the training and that all employees attend.  Beyond this there are many approaches that might be taken.  Certainly an employee satisfaction questionnaire that included questions related to sexual harassment would provide a time based way to evaluate improvements in the company culture.  Tracking of incidents, claims, etc. is another option. Attitude surveys might be taken pre and post training. Presumably, all things being equal, productivity should improve as employees (women) become more comfortable in the work environment.  However, it is very difficult to demonstrate a direct connection between workplace atmosphere and productivity. This is also a situation where the use of an external trainer and/or consultant might be advised, due to the culture that has seemingly permeated the organization.