What #metoo Should Mean for Businesses

 

Between recent pressure on the film and entertainment industry, as well as the heinous crimes and cover-ups in the world of gymnastics, businesses should take current events as a wake-up call to review both current policy and practice. Here is a starting point of considerations for any business:

  • Does your company have an anti-harassment policy?

  • Is the policy written at a level that all employees in your workplace can comprehend?

  • Is it in the correct language(s) for all employees to comprehend?

  • If you have a policy, are your employees aware of it?

  • Is it in the company handbook, and if so, is the handbook acknowledged in writing?

  • Is there any type of orientation or training upon hire?

  • Is there regular (i.e. annual) refreshment training?

 

If you can say with certainty that all of the bullet points above are checked, you’ve got a great lead on many other businesses. But here are some additional points that businesses must ask themselves, and be forthcoming about the answers:

  • Does your culture support open communication?

  • Does your culture support a harassment-free work environment?

  • Does your business pay women and men equally for the same position with same experience?

  • Do your employees believe they can take any issue to management and have it addressed fully? Without retaliation towards them by peers or managers?

  • Has an employee ever raised a concern? About harassment or another work condition?

  • If so, how was it addressed?

 

So many businesses stop at the former list of bullet points; when, in reality, the latter reveals your true culture, and thereby, whether or not your workplace may have #metoo issues. Business owners must take a hard look at all points, working alongside HR, to have the minimum expectations addressed, with the culture of support to ensure the environment isn’t just tolerable for all, but ideal for all.