How Does #MeToo Affect HR? This is an important and delicate question that every board member, CEO and HR professional should be asking themselves in the face of a powerful movement sweeping through U.S. society today.
While I can’t speak to the legal ramifications of various approaches to dealing with managing diverse workforces in a seemingly supercharged environment, I can speak to the root cause of of the movement and practical strategies for addressing it.
#MeToo gives voice to victims of discrimination, poor treatment and, of course, outright criminal and civil assault. This is the key to crafting strategies to address the issue as an organization.
Give All Employees a Voice
In a transparent environment where everyone has equal access to a safe and easy way to report issues, the potential for inappropriate behavior to hide in the shadows drastically diminishes. How easy is it for employees at your company to report problems without fear of retribution?
Forget retribution, what’s your policy and mechanism for employees to report problems at all?
The fact is, if you haven’t implemented regular pulses to measure employee satisfaction and engagement for the operational benefits you can achieve, you better get serious about it for the liability of it.
Workforce Feedback is a 365 day a Year Process
Employee engagement surveys are the main formal mechanism for gathering and measuring employee sentiment in an actionable way. The problem historically has been that these are often onerous, annual (or longer) surveys that get ignored or are viewed as a chore for employees. They frequently don’t result in visible changes to the work environment and employees become disengaged.
The new model espouses frequent “pulse” surveys that measure everything from engagement to satisfaction and beyond.
When it comes to the question of how does #meetoo affect HR, this is a step in the right direction, but lacks an “always on” resource for employees to report suggestions, issues and complaints. It is a top down approach that restricts employees to reacting to management’s agenda instead of allowing employees to set their own.
Comprehensive Workforce Feedback Platform
Survale’s Workforce Feedback Platform combines the value of frequent pulse surveys that can be organized around topics or programs and combined for complex analysis across multiple measures, whether they be engagement, problems, ideas or even which coffee is preferred in break rooms.
But just as importantly, Survale’s “always on” feedback mechanisms can be embedded in every internal system that employees interact with. For example, you can have a feedback form available on the employee intranet, or embedded in every internal email signature.
This a great feature to gather feedback on benefits choices, for example, by embedding a pop up survey in your benefits enrollment system.
But most importantly in today’s environment, you can embed surveys that gather feedback on your employees’ sense of safety and equitable treatment in every employee facing system. This “open channel” of communication is always on and always available for employees to anonymously or non-anonymously report issues of perceived inequity or downright criminal activity.
Again, I am not a source of legal advice, but it seems to me that a lack of this kind of resource that provides a widely available mechanism for reporting issues that could threaten employee safety could be a big strike against an organization should a legal action arise.
So I started with the question: “How does #meetoo affect HR.” But the bigger question is, why wouldn’t you want to understand on a day in and day out basis what’s working and what’s not for your employees? It’s a simple process to implement, thanks to tools like Survale, and the potential benefits in both reduced liability and increased retention and productivity are compelling.
Author: Ian Alexander
Ian Alexander is co-founder and CMO of Survale. He is a pioneer in SaaS HR software with decades of experience bringing leading technologies to the performance management and recruiting industry. He is a passionate advocate for revolutionizing candidate and employee satisfaction in the Enterprise.