The #MeToo movement has fundamentally changed the conversation around reporting and documenting allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace. Victims of this harassment have previously been restricted by a pervasive culture of silence and shame within the workplace—a culture where reporters are vilified and characterized as dishonest people with an axe to grind. Now, with many victims of sexual harassment publicizing their experiences in the workplace, more and more people are feeling empowered to seek justice for their treatment.
The Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported in their annual fiscal report that sexual harassment filings had an overall increase of 13.6% from 2018. The EEOC also denoted that they secured nearly $70 million for the victims of sexual harassment through enforcement on behalf of administration. These are just a few ways that the EEOC is attempting to make themselves the new champions of workplace harassment reporting in effort to improve the culture around reporting and enforcement. The EEOC seeks to empower employers to create a corporate culture within their organization that does not demonize reporting and encourages thorough investigations of all claims. By fostering this open and transparent workplace culture, employers create spaces for their employees that are safe, respectful, and thriving environment.
For a myriad of reasons, employers may have difficulty in performing due-diligence on sexual harassment claims. Whether the employer does not find the complaint credible, or as a result of oversight, when no investigation is conducted into the complaint, the organization opens itself up to subsequent litigation and a public relations nightmare. However, there are affirmative defenses for employers who can document their attempts to create a safe environment for their employees. One of the ways employers can document this is by submitting their organization to a corporate culture audit.
A corporate culture audit is one of the best investments that an employer can make in 2019. These audits are typically conducted by independent risk assessment firms and in some cases, even private investigators. In essence, a corporate culture audit is basically a check-up for a business or organization—not unlike taking your car in for scheduled maintenance. An auditor will enter the work environment and conduct a series of assessments based on a previously-set agenda. The goal of the auditor is to review internal processes and the physical location (if applicable) and identify issues that could have negative consequences for the corporation or organization, such as faulty investigation procedures for internal complaints.
Not only can these audits protect businesses and organizations in the aftermath of a sexual harassment claim, but corporate culture audits can also improve your business from within. What we know about the cycle of corporate culture indicates that when employees feel valued, they are more engaged and more productive as a result. The audit also evaluates the organization’s internal operations for efficacy and efficiency. By identifying flaws within internal operations, corporations can modify those procedures to increase productivity. Corporate culture audits are an invaluable opportunity for organizations to bolster their business and improve the overall health of the workplace.
If you want to give your business a tune-up, call Lauth Investigations International today for a free quote on our corporate culture program. We are an independent private investigation firm specializing in corporate investigations and crimes against persons. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and scores of 5-star ratings on Google. Call today and learn how we can improve your business from within.