The last blog post in our “Safer Spaces” series, discussed the challenges of designing a training program around workplace sexual harassment, including the most overwhelming part – creating the course from scratch.
Spearheaded by go2HR and supported by Justice Canada, Safer Spaces is a three-year initiative that aims to create sexual harassment free workplaces in B.C.’s tourism and hospitality industry. The program’s first course targeted to employers and supervisors, launched in March – and the process has been a learning curve for everyone.
The Safer Spaces training course was designed by a team of seasoned experts from Spark + Co., developers of custom e-learning; Bunderfost Creative, a graphic design company; and professionals from go2HR’s health and safety, communications and industry training departments. The first stages of the process involved soliciting input from the tourism and hospitality industry, to ensure objectives met industry needs; drafting a course skeleton; and collecting information to fill in the gaps.
Editing and refining – a story of motivation
The next step was centred on adapting and refining the training program elements – no small feat, given a task as weighty as developing educational materials meant to shift perspectives and create an emotional connection with an incredibly diverse range of people on a very sensitive topic.
“With so much content to cover within the training modules, it’s definitely a challenge to narrow down the information and also to make sure the right content is covered in the most appropriate place and in the most appropriate manner,” said Stephanie Mallalieu, go2HR. “The constant question I asked myself as I worked through the content is, ‘Is this something practical that an employer or supervisor will be able to apply to their own workplace?”
To ensure adequate time was dedicated to content refinement, the team worked backwards and built in plenty of room for edits and review cycles. They also kept each other accountable and motivated to see the project through.
“It’s important to collaborate with your team members by meeting often and holding each other accountable for progress, and that’s what we endeavoured to do throughout the process of designing this training program,” said Andrea Hinck, go2HR. “Also, we went over the course scripts many times on different occasions – it’s useful to create some distance and go back to the scripts with a fresh set of eyes.”
“Projects go through ups and downs. The ups come when you see how well things are coming together or how your initial designs are being received. The downs come when you’re sifting through information and can’t see a clear way to prioritize,” said Holly MacDonald, Spark + Co. “The exciting part is when you begin to develop the content into something more interactive and engaging than lists or bullet points.”