As you’ve no doubt read in the headlines this past week, the ousting of Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves is yet another example in the long list of high-profile executives reportedly using power, authority and intimidation to commit unsavory and egregious acts against their employees. According to a recent Forbes article the tally is up to 701 individuals who have been held accountable for their actions.
Moonves is accused by 13 women of sexual misconduct as reported in a New Yorker expose by Ronan Farrow, the journalist and writer best known for his work in bringing to light allegations against film executive Harvey Weinstein that spurned the #MeToo movement.
Over the past year, the #MeToo movement has given power in numbers to the victims of workplace sexual harassment and disrespectful workplaces. This is not just a “Hollywood” problem, the long list of bad actors uncovered has touched virtually every industry.
But the consequences do not end with the resignation of a long-standing executive. Pending an internal investigation, Moonves stands to take with him a $120 million severance package if it cannot be proved that he violated the organization’s anti-harassment policies. Other employees have reported experiencing some kind of sexual misconduct, retaliation or discrimination.
This underscores the importance of respectful workplace and a strong organizational culture – both of which are supported and affirmed by a high-quality ethics & compliance program.
From a compliance perspective, bad actors are always a problem. In fact, in organizations large and small, outliers surface in even the strongest cultures. In the world of #MeToo organizational risk mitigation begins and ends with the implementation of best practices to create a respectful workplace, standardized investigative review and unbiased accountability.
How do you succeed in keeping your organization respectful?
It is the job of the ethics & compliance team to ensure that their organization, from top-to-bottom, has:
- Clear, precise policies;
- Leveraging company core values;
- Training & raising awareness;
- Supporting Equal Opportunity & Performance Management;
- Identifying high-risk individuals;
- Safe, confidential steps in place to report acts that violate company policies;
- Consistent review of all wrongdoing and misconduct; and,
- Accountability when wrongdoing occurs.
When allegations of misconduct occur, there should be no question as to whether the ethics & compliance program offered safe recourse for employees. There should also be no gray area or room for interpretation in how violations are defined.
Want a hands-on workshop in keeping your workplace successful? Join us in Dallas this November for our Fall Best Practice Forum, Building a Respectful Workplace. Expert speakers and leading minds give keynote addresses, interactive clinics and more to ensure your culture and ethics & compliance program stays strong.