Introducing SAFE Supported Business Certification

The SAFE Institute is thrilled to announce the launch of our new SAFE Supported Business certification program, which allows companies to form an ongoing partnership with SAFE to provide a safe, harassment-free environment for their employees and customers. It also allows businesses to promote their commitment to customers looking to spend their dollars with companies committed to preventing workplace harassment. 

 

What is a SAFE Supported Business?

SSB’s are businesses that have committed to preventing and effectively addressing harassment at their place of business through an ongoing partnership with SAFE. 

That means:

  •         100% of leadership is BASE Trained* (BASE - Building a Safe Environment - is an interactive 2-hour session that trains employees on how to identify, prevent, and respond to sexual harassment.)
  •         100% of new employees are BASE Trained as part of their onboarding.
  •         At least 30% of current staff are initially BASE Trained, with the ultimate goal of 100% trained over the course of the certification year.
  •         SAFE Institute experts have reviewed and approved the company’s harassment policies and procedures.
  •         Signage is posted at the business about what to do if you are harassed or assaulted.
  •         SSB’s can consult with SAFE experts if an incident occurs during their certification period, to help ensure that they are taking a survivor-focused approach.
  •         Certification is valid for one year. The business will complete additional trainings related to harassment and interpersonal violence in subsequent years.

 

Why should a business get SSB certified?

  •       Managers and employees are given the tools and support to address harassment if it happens.
  •       Sends a clear message to new employees and customers about your workplace culture and your stance on sexual harassment.
  •      Demonstrates your commitment to customers looking to spend their dollars at businesses that share their value of offering safe spaces for everyone.

 

What is the cost of the certification?

The only cost to become certified is the actual cost of BASE training, which ranges from $25-$85/person depending on the training platform. 100% of training fees support SAFE’s lifesaving programs for survivors of interpersonal violence. SSB signage and incident support are provided to the business at no cost.

 

What makes the certification meaningful?

Since the SAFE Institute started doing workplace harassment prevention training in 2017, our clients have asked for opportunities for ongoing training and support. Our leadership team and Business Advisors have been interested in the idea, but also felt the need to proceed cautiously with a certification program.  Our commitment to our community of survivors comes first, and we care deeply that our SAFE ‘brand’ means excellence in preventing and responding to interpersonal violence. When we thought about what it meant to put our ‘seal of approval’ on businesses, we grappled with the what if’s. What if company leaders are only paying lip service to addressing harassment and turn a blind eye when someone comes forward to report? What if an incident happens and the community feels betrayed because they saw the SAFE logo on the door and trusted that it was a safe space?

In order to proceed, we committed to creating a certification program that met our highest standards and had the following features: 

  •         Ongoing - The program requires that EVERY staff member receive high quality harassment training from SAFE experts as part of their new employee onboarding. Employees must receive additional training every year to maintain their certification. There is no ‘one and done’ training option in this program.
  •         Leader-Driven - Becoming a SSB starts with the 100% of the leadership team receiving BASE training, to ensure that all leaders are on board and prepared to fully address harassment if it happens on their watch.
  •         Comprehensive - Since the goal is a safe environment for everyone, training goes beyond traditional employee-to-employee harassment, and addresses issues between staff, vendors, customers, volunteers, as well as online harassment.
  •         Visible - SSB’s receive signage and messaging for their online channels so that employees and the public know the high standard the business has committed to, and to reinforce that harassment is taken seriously.  The signage also includes detailed information about what to do if you see or experience harassment, as well as contact information to get immediate help from our SAFELine staff.
  •         Validated - a SAFE Supported Business has had its harassment policies and procedures reviewed by experts at SAFE to ensure that they are taking a survivor-centered approach to addressing harassment reports, and to ensure a fair and thorough investigation.

 

Who can get certified as a SAFE Supported Business?

We are thrilled to take this next step with our business partners because it helps us meet our mission to Stop Abuse for Everyone. The certification is open to businesses of all sizes and in any sector (nonprofit, government, etc.) and is not limited to the Central Texas region, since all training options are also available online. If you would like information about becoming certified as a SAFE Supported Business, please contact us at safeinstitute@safeaustin.org.

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Averett

Amy Averett

Amy is the Lead Consultant at the SAFE Institute, where she shares her experience from both the corporate and nonprofit worlds. In her previous role at Alamo Drafthouse she led a culture turnaround and headed up employee engagement efforts on the heels of the #metoo movement. She holds Master's degrees in Social Work and Nonprofit Management. When she's not helping businesses create harassment-free spaces, she's watching RuPaul's Drag Race or covering household objects in glitter.