“Me Too” / “Time’s Up” Movement – Is Your Organization Prepared and Responding Appropriately?
Just about every day there is a new story in the media about high profile politicians, celebrities and executives across all industry sectors involving claims of sexual harassment or sexual assault. Conversations about the “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” movement have moved from TV and social media to the workplace. How many of your employees are pondering their past and present “Me Too” situations?
CCI Consulting, a BCEDC member and a full service HR Consulting firm, has seen a very significant uptick in sexual harassment and assault claims reported to HR and through Employee Hotlines. In addition, we are hearing that conversations on the topic are on the increase in coffee clutches, at the water cooler…and even dare we say on social media platforms. Sexual Harassment and Respectful Workplace are now significant topics of concern and focus for employers of all sizes, from small to large, throughout Bucks County, the Delaware Valley and the country.
Over the last decade, CCI Consulting has helped companies of all sizes with matters of HR compliance and HR training including investigating and resolving matters of sexual harassment both overt and covert. Organizations have been both reticent and explicit in the resolution. The accused have both blatantly and surreptitiously harassed. They have knowingly and unknowingly understood the consequences of their behavior. Harassment is not prescriptive; it is the feelings created by the words, actions and intimidation of the harasser. It is “unwanted” behavior!
CCI Consulting is working with many clients to assess and address vulnerabilities/risks on two fronts:
1. RESPONSE TO CLAIMS
- Are you responding appropriately when any employee bring claims or has conversations about perceived harassment?
- Are you aware every time when an employee raises this issue with any manager/HR?
- Are there any trends or patterns in employee claims in this regard?
- Do employees know how to report concerns?
2. TAKING PROACTIVE MEASURES TO REDUCE RISK
It is an employer’s mandate to ensure that everyone in the organization knows what harassment is and knows how to effectively report incidences. We all have both a legal as well as moral responsibility to provide a safe work environment for all employees.
- Is your HR policy regarding Harassment up to date?
- Are you providing meaningful and impactful Harassment training to staff and management?
Do your managers and executives need to become much more cognizant of their communication, behavior and action when working with subordinates? Is there a legacy culture that will require change to prevent employee claims?
- Are all new hire employees being trained on policy and expectations as part of onboarding?
- Are all new people managers (especially individual contributors promoted to first people manager role) trained on enhanced responsibilities and expectations to provide harassment-free, safe work environment?
- Do you know if your people managers have any questions or concerns especially in light of current climate? Are you giving opportunity for one-on-one conversations to assess concerns, answer questions and help individuals modify any problematic behavior?
- Are you conducting internal investigations properly? Are you engaging independent third party to do investigation when appropriate?
- Have you considered providing employees an independent, outside channel to discuss/report concerns – employee hotline?
- Are you aware every time when an employee raises this issue with any manager/HR formally or informally?
- Are there organizational cultural changes needed as evidenced by a pattern of incidences?
Organizations of all sizes need to take these matters seriously. In fact, it is often smaller companies who lack true in-house HR expertise who can be most at risk.
CCI Consulting has the expertise to help. We can help you assess your risk/vulnerabilities and bring solutions where action needs to be taken. Call for a conversation to see if we can be a resource. We can help you with any of the following:
- Sexual Harassment Training
- Third Party Investigations
- HR Policies review / HR Compliance Audit
- Employee Hotline
- Employee Engagement
- Culture Change Initiative
- Interim HR Staffing
- Full HR Outsource