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Management Skills

5 Compliance Training Courses Your Managers Need to be Successful

Feb 16, 2016

manager compliance trainingBecoming a supervisor can be a difficult transition for a lot of people. They transition from taking orders to all of a sudden giving them. Even if they’ve been a manager for a long time, it still doesn’t always come naturally to delegate and manage a team of employees.

Also, with any imbalance in power, comes the risk of misconduct. The last thing you want is for a manager to unintentionally discriminate against one of their employees because that could lead to a lawsuit from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

But you can’t watch over every single supervisor to make sure they aren’t making any mistakes. So what can you do to help reduce your company’s risk?

That’s easy. Set them up for success with a compliance training program. To help you get started, here are five types of compliance training courses to include.

1. Harassment and Discrimination Prevention

This is one of the most basic, yet essential training courses you can provide. And hopefully, all of your employees are taking this training, but if they aren’t, it’s definitely important to get your supervisors and managers trained right away.

Harassment and discrimination prevention training helps supervisors understand:

  • The definition of unlawful harassment and discrimination
  • The different protected classes and the laws that protect them
  • How to recognize harassment and discrimination
  • How to avoid retaliation when a complaint is filed

Once they take the training, supervisors and managers should have a thorough understanding of their responsibilities when responding to and preventing harassment or discrimination.

2. Unconscious Bias

Picture this. You are driving to work and your turn is coming up after the next light so you switch lanes. Only then do you realize you’ve gotten behind a driver going 15 miles under the speed limit, but now it’s too late to get back over.

Quick. What does that driver look like?

If you said little old lady, that’s your bias talking. We all have them, and many of our biases are so subtle we don’t even know they exist—the exact definition of unconscious bias.

And it’s why unconscious bias training is so important for managers and supervisors. They might be discriminating against an employee and not even realize it until it’s too late.

3. Workplace Bullying and Violence Prevention

The standard for unlawful harassment and discrimination is very specific. It must be based on a protected class and either a condition of employment or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would find the environment hostile.

The majority of the time what’s happening when employees complain about how they are being treated, it’s actually workplace bullying—which is still very serious. It doesn’t take too much for bullying to escalate to harassment or even violence.

Workplace bullying and violence prevention training teaches supervisors and managers how to recognize, report and defuse situations involving tense coworkers, employees or third-parties.

4. Diversity and Inclusion

As the modern workplace evolves, diversity is becoming more and more important to business success. But at the same time, people don’t always inherently know the best ways to communicate—especially with people that are very different from themselves.

For example, someone might think it’s a compliment to tell an overweight person they look good now that they’ve lost some weight. But what if the reason for the weight loss is an illness the person wants to keep private? Now, the communication has gone into a gray area because the illness could be a disability protected under EEO laws.

Everyone in your company—but supervisors and managers especially—need to be able to develop and promote an atmosphere of inclusion and respect that leads to high morale and productivity. And diversity and inclusion training help them get there.

5. Lawful Hiring and Interviewing

Supervisors and managers are often included in the hiring process. For some, that might pose a problem. For example, the manager could think it’s fine to ask a potential candidate if she is married with children, or any number of risky interview questions.

As a human resources manager, you know better. But they don’t. That’s why supervisors and managers need lawful hiring and interviewing training. It should teach them:

  • EEOC laws that affect the hiring process
  • The types of questions they can and cannot ask
  • How to write a job description/application
  • Best practices for interviewing lawfully

Managers and supervisors should be able to get the information they need from potential candidates—without violating any laws.


Depending on your business’s specific needs, there are many different training courses managers and supervisors can take. In fact, we put together a suggested compliance training plan you can view here. You can also mix and match to find the perfect combination for you.

No matter what combination you choose, creating a compliance training program not only helps mangers follow the law, but it also helps to provide them with the skills they need for leadership success.

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