According to a recent survey, one in three workers changed their behavior in the office in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Whether that behavior change was voluntary or mandated by an employer is unknown, but our firm is recommending that all employers in the Vancouver, WA/Portland, OR area take a close look at their existing company policies to ensure all employees feel welcome and safe in their workplace.
How did workers change their behavior after the #MeToo movement?
The survey, done by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the software company SAP, sampled 1,000 workers representative of the United States workforce. The respondents came from various industries, different sized businesses, and had a variety of previous work experience.
One-third of the workers said they have talked about sexual misconduct in the workplace with coworkers in the past year. Meanwhile, 38% of supervisors said they changed how they interacted with employees after #MeToo. Can you think of a similar event that has had such a profound impact on the workplace in such a short time? The only other thing we can think of is WWII, which first opened the workplace door to many women.
Four in 10 of those surveyed say their employer has established new training on harassment in the workplace after #MeToo. Of those, 6 in 10 said the new policies or training had a positive effect on their workplace. Considering the number of workers who say they have talked about misconduct with coworkers, and the share of supervisors who say they are behaving differently post-#metoo, we would have liked to have seen these numbers on official company action a bit higher.
It is great if people are voluntarily making positive changes to the way they treat their coworkers and employees, but if the company hasn’t taken official action to address workplace concerns, it is still at risk. Companies should not rely on their employees to “do the right thing” without some guidance.
Why Employers Should Routinely Review Their Policies
At Human Alchemy, we recommend all of our clients routinely review their official policies. This includes the documents their employees rely on for information about those policies, such as workplace handbooks. Doing a review every few years goes a long way toward ensuring compliance with local, state, and federal employment laws, and emphasizes best practices.
If your company has not updated its workplace policies since the dawn of the #Metoo movement, it is time to take action. Our firm can help you develop new policies or training on harassment in the workplace, and assist you with other matters like:
- Employment agreements, including confidentiality agreements and non-compete clauses
- Employee handbooks to disseminate company rules, policies and regulations
- Employment discrimination, including disability discrimination
- Family medical leave
- Wage and hour laws
Being proactive about making changes to your company’s official policies reduces the risk you will be sued and improves employee morale. Everyone appreciates knowing that their employer will treat them fairly, and having access to official information on compensation, leave, work schedules, safety, the chain of command, the workplace grievance process, other issues of importance.
If your business is ready to update its workplace policies, Human Alchemy is here to help. Please contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.