Passionate in Marketing in conversation with Smita Shetty Kapoor, CEO & Co-Founder of KelpHR

Passionate in Marketing in conversation with Smita Shetty Kapoor, CEO & Co-Founder of KelpHR

1. Can you explain the importance of PoSH training in ensuring a safe and respectful workplace environment?

A decade ago, the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 was enacted. Prior to that, our country followed the Vishakha guidelines. However, during each session conducted by KelpHR, it’s surprising to learn that employees still struggle to recognize inappropriate sexual behavior. In India, the representation of women in the workplace is already limited, and this dwindles further in senior positions (statistics can be included here). Engaging in open discussions about behaviors and personal experiences can offer valuable insights to individuals of all genders.

The presence of patriarchal norms also taints the perception of what constitutes respectful conduct among colleagues, as unconscious biases often come into play. Such training sessions play a crucial role in bringing various scenarios to light and provide a platform to share workplace experiences.

2. What techniques do you use to create an engaging and interactive PoSH training experience?

At KelpHR, storytelling stands out as our preferred teaching approach. Our trainers universally employ this technique to immerse learners in the experiences of fellow colleagues, emphasizing the significance of respectful treatment that steers clear of any form of sexual harassment.

Additionally, we integrate applied theatre into our methods. By collaborating with artists who depict real workplace encounters, we create a profound impression on participants, fostering a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Over the course of several years, we’ve also ventured into game-based learning, catering to both kinesthetic learners and the Generation Z demographic. This dynamic approach encourages active participation and meaningful contributions from all participants.

In the case of larger organizations, we provide an e-learning module that encompasses diverse scenarios illustrating various concepts, accompanied by an assessment component.

3. How do you ensure that the PoSH training content aligns with relevant laws and regulations related to sexual harassment?

KelpHR houses a Center of Excellence (COE) team composed of specialized lawyers with expertise in gender and employment laws. This team consistently generates and validates content. They ensure their knowledge remains current by actively engaging with industry developments and participating in relevant forums.

We regularly host sessions with our trainers to keep them updated on ongoing developments. Additionally, we organize monthly panel discussions in collaboration with the Indian Lawyers Association, where various legal perspectives are shared. Our sales and delivery teams maintain active communication with HR heads across organizations, allowing us to grasp market trends and employee behaviors. This enables us to consistently generate content that remains pertinent and relevant.

4. How do you train HR personnel and managers to handle PoSH-related complaints in a confidential, sensitive, and empathetic manner?

We have developed a comprehensive program tailored for training HR professionals, leaders, and members of the Internal Complaints Committee in effectively managing complaints. Each session is customized to suit the specific role within the organization. Notably, for the ICC members, we offer a three-tier course structure, consisting of foundational, advanced, and experiential workshops. This is complemented by quarterly review meetings designed to enhance their skill set continuously.

Furthermore, we produce a minimum of two monthly blog posts, which are distributed to all the aforementioned teams.

5. What metrics or feedback mechanisms do you use to gauge the impact of PoSH training on organisational culture?

As a trainer, one of the most valuable forms of feedback we gather in our classes is through asking participants to summarize their key takeaways. Additionally, we collect anonymous feedback from each participant to gain insights from their perspective. This is further complemented by a brief assessment or key takeaways from the session.

Furthermore, we hold exclusive sessions for women to delve into their feelings of safety within the workplace. To comprehend the actual on-ground situation, we have designed a survey that not only includes participants but also extends to the organizations.

 6. How does PoSH training address power dynamics within an organization to prevent misuse of authority in relation to sexual harassment?

During PoSH training, we address topics such as unconscious biases, micro-aggressions, power dynamics, quid pro quo, consensual relationships, and the establishment of hostile work environments. By exploring the roles of both victims and bystanders, we underscore organizations’ commitment to transcending these power dynamics and fostering a secure workplace. We often incorporate instances from participants’ own workplaces, highlighting instances of robust actions taken against harmful power dynamics.

7. How do you measure the long-term impact of PoSH training on reducing incidents of sexual harassment and improving employee morale?

Sustained learning and awareness efforts empower employees to grasp the organization’s values and stance on this matter. They become adept at distinguishing appropriate behaviors from inappropriate ones. By comprehending their role as bystanders, employees actively address misconduct and support their peers within the organization. This proactive approach serves as a clear signal to potential wrongdoers to exercise caution in their behavior, thereby fostering a positive work culture.

8. What is the purpose behind the KelpHR PoSH Awards?

At KelpHR, we believe that fear of non-compliance should not be the only reason organisations want to be safe workplaces. It would be an opportunity for organisations to share their success stories and best practices, for applicants to benchmark themselves with respect to the pool of applicants and for everyone to have a positive incentive to work towards safe workplaces. 

We are also grateful to have this opportunity to engage with the working world in a meaningful way, outside of the business relationships. We hope for the KelpHR PoSH Awards to be recognized as a prestigious and meritorious award, and we apply deep rigour and care to every step of the process. From the registration process, the design of the questionnaire, the jury’s evaluation process and finally to the announcement and felicitation of the winners.