Is this the future of workplace harassment prevention?

When you want to address pay-equity, you hire a firm to analyze the data, and you respond to the recommendations.

When you want to address diversity, you hire a firm to analyze the data, and you respond to the recommendations.

When you want to address corporate corruption, you hire a firm to analyze the data, and you respond to the recommendations.

But when you want to address workplace harassment, there’s a problem. You don’t have enough data. Harassment is happening, you simply don’t have the data to tell you how to address it.

And shockingly, we still aren’t talking about it. Not at the HR or executive level (a great read here on whisper networks, if you’re interested).

What we do is update our harassment policy (again) and update our harassment prevention training (again). And we do this year after year– without any measurable improvement.

Meanwhile the EEOC has been explicit about where we can get data that reveals the extent to which harassment is a problem within our organizations:

“Employers should conduct climate surveys to assess the extent to which harassment is a problem in their organization.”

EEOC: Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace Report of Co-Chairs Chai R. Feldblum & Victoria A. Lipnic

And major Labor & Employment law firms have been explicit about where we can get harassment training efficacy data:

“Consider a post-training evaluation of the efficacy of existing [harassment] training, perhaps by a third party (not the employer or trainer).”

Littler Mendelson: Maintaining a Respectful Workplace – Rebooting Our Approach to Harassment Training

So why aren’t we conducting climate surveys or training efficacy assessments? It’s a good question. We asked a 150 HR and Compliance professionals in a recent Impactly® Poll.

It revealed the following:

  • 65% of HR professionals indicated that they don’t deploy climate surveys
    • Top Reasons:
      • Data is too risky
      • Can’t get executive approval
  • 55% of HR professionals indicated that they don’t measure if employees know X, Y, Z
    • Top reasons:
      • Data is too risky
      • Can’t get executive approval