Corporate Culture Improvement Efforts
It is 2017 and, with all the high-profile cases of sexual harassment finally being exposed to the light of day, now, more than ever, organizations no longer need superficial, looks good on paper, sexual harassment policies, but, instead, need a proven to be effective, proactive sexual harassment elimination as well as prevention program that focuses on fundamentally changing the culture of the organization.
Here is one such program that has proven effective for over a decade.
The worth of such efforts may be seen in the example of one company with 15 steel processing plants and 1,500 employees, of which 1,200 are on industrial plant floors. You would expect this type of organization to be involved with several harassment lawsuits per year. With a typical settlement likely conservatively to be in excess of $100,000 and the typical defense attorney fees to be an even higher amount, the unnecessary expense is substantial. However, from 1999 to 2008, this organization has experienced no employment-related lawsuits. Throw into the mix a diverse workforce (various religions, races, and national origins), and add women working on the plant floor, the record becomes even more impressive. Even more incredible is the fact that these plants are not limited to traditionally non-litigious locations, but this company’s largest plants are in Detroit, Cleveland, northern Indiana, and Ohio.
How was this done and how can other organizations replicate these results?
It was a matter of giving responsibility to the organization’s first-line supervisors and hourly workers.
Proactive Workplace Harassment Prevention
1. Redraft your Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment to be concise and understandable. Using plain English, such a policy can be reduced to as few as 350 words and still completely cover all topics.
2. Communicate and fully explain the policy with descriptive examples to all supervisory and salaried personnel. Use real-life examples, or a variation thereof, to enhance the learning process. Use imagery to get attendees to feel what it is like to be the victim of harassment or discrimination.
3. Teach all supervisory personnel how to effectively communicate the policy to non-salaried personnel and require them to annually communicate the policy using a checklist. This demonstrates ownership in the program by a supervisor who is observed everyday by hourly employees.
4. Teach all supervisory personnel how to effectively investigate a complaint. Company liability often results from an ineffective response to a complaint and an improper investigation of such complaint by organization personnel once they are put on notice.
5. Convince all salaried personnel that it is in their personal best interest to address a potential harassment situation even when no one is complaining. Information, persuasion, reasoning, and involvement are the most effective means for obtaining ownership in any policy. Addressing issues early on is the best way to establish the right Proactive Prevention Culture.
6. Involve all employees in the program. A Proactive Prevention Program that involves all employees, both salaried and non-salaried, creates a culture that does not tolerate harassment of any kind and is the most effective program to actually prevent harassment in the workplace. Peer pressure and the negative reaction of co-workers to inappropriate language, the use of derogatory terms, and unacceptable jokes or slurs will do more than anything else to eliminate and prevent harassment in the workplace.
Proactive Workforce Relationships
1. Create a new employee orientation program using the acronym “MADRE,” which stands for Maintaining a Direct Relationship with Employees. This should also be included in any employee handbook.
2. Conduct pre-promotion supervisor-to-be MADRE education and Management Skills Training focused upon respect and appreciation. In this way, supervisory candidates can be further evaluated as to their ability to be effective supervisors.
3. Conduct workshops on MADRE and Management Skills Training (Responsibility, Inclusion, Treatment, Attitude and Atmosphere) for existing supervisors.
4.. Executive Management MADRE education completes the training process. Having top management experience the same training sends the right message of commitment to MADRE.
For the entire Article, link to http://www.amanet.org/training/articles/2826.aspx
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John Baumann is an unusual individual in a great way. He made significant sacrifices to become an attorney. John realized his dream at the age of 26 by graduating from a prestigious law school – Cornell. He had several offers and chose to take a job with Exxon where he was transferred 3 times in 7 years and passed the state bar exam in each location – Texas, Louisiana, and New Jersey. John assisted in the sale of the refinery at which he was assigned. He established a law department at this location. After 4 years, John took a job at a publicly-traded steel company in Louisville, Kentucky and established their law department. If anyone could be said to ‘love the law,” it would be John. He was living the American dream. The next thing that happened, one would not wish on their worst enemy – in 2002 at 41 years old – John was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Mr. Baumann summoned the strength to do his job for 6 more years, despite the fatigue, difficulty handling stress, not to mention all the physical or motor manifestations of the disease. In 2008, John had to give up his job because he was getting worse and needed to take care of himself. Over the next 9 years, John has had the discipline and tenacity to do everything he could do to address this disease – healthy food, strenuous exercise, positive attitude, and uncovering his purpose/ making a difference in people’s lives. He started teaching law to undergraduates in the College of Business at the University of Louisville. He also wrote a book on success and has provided inspirational, educational, and motivational speeches at over 100 Symposiums across the United States and Canada.
The Sexual Harassment Outcry-for-effective-solutions has prompted John to refocus his attention on the program that he created and effectively and successfully has implemented.
To contact John directly, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 502-262-3300. Please forward this to anyone anywhere that could use John’s expertise.