Teaching a class the other day, I was covering the subject of training, particularly supervisory training. I referenced a blog post I wrote in September entitled Lack of Supervisory Training costs a company $277,565. It is unfortunate that those cases are more frequent than they should be. I have come across yet another example.
This particular case did not actually go to court, and to be honest involved more than training. It involved multiple charges of discrimination and harassment. The company did not admit any guilt but did decide up front to pay the EEOC $750,000 to settle several charges of discrimination resulting from a multi-year investigation. Not only did they have to pay out ¾ of million dollars they also had to agree to “conduct annual training for all its employees nationwide, including specialized training for those working in a HR or hiring capacity.”
Not enough training
I work primarily in the small company market. It has been my experience that small companies don’t do enough training, especially supervisory training. A 2015 article in Training magazine shows that in 2015 companies of all sizes were spending less on training than they had in 2014. Across all industries companies spent $702 per learner in 2015 down from the $976 spent in 2014. My experience has been that small companies don’t spend that on training.
What kind of training?
Companies that do train employees typically do skills training. They may not train employees or supervisors on the EEOC subjects of harassment, discrimination, proper documentation or background checking. Unfortunately, when found guilty or required to conciliate the EEOC requires that the company do training, generally with more people. Much of that required training could have been prevented by training supervisors on HR issues. They need to know the policies and procedures and the law behind those policies and procedures. They need to be trained in how to talk to people and to deliver bad news or even good news.
This is the type of training that is needed to prevent $750,000 or $277,000 settlements. Think of how much training those companies could have done for that amount of money. Spend the money proactively and preventively rather than reactively. As an old commercial used to say “You can pay me now or you can pay me later.” The “now” was always the better option.