Workforce Wednesday– The follies of Microsoft’s HR department
By Nick Shekeryk
Last month, a simple email from one female Microsoft employee to another asking for career advancement advice quickly sparked into a 90-page-plus email chain that exposed rampant discrimination and sexual harassment towards women within the tech company. As many female employees recounted their experiences of being personally affected or bearing witness to it happening, one of the most alarming discoveries was the lack of support from the company’s HR department.
As an HR professional, one of your key roles is to enforce the laws, policies, and regulations made to protect your employees from on-the-job issues that threaten their safety and security. When employees face problems— especially those involving discrimination and harassment— your company’s HR department should be prepared to objectively assess and reconcile the situations accordingly.
When your HR department neglects objectivity, it compromises the integrity of not only the entire department but the whole company. Your company becomes one that will have difficulty both keeping and hiring employees due to a lack of trust in their best interest.
Kathleen Hogan, the head of Microsoft’s HR department, as well as members of the executive team— including CEO Satya Nadella— have begun investigations into the company’s claims of discrimination and harassment of female employees, but the damage may have already been done.
While the giant tech company probably has enough money to buy themselves out of their massive blunder, let it be a lesson to hold your HR team accountable for properly responding to the actions of unruly employees. It’ll keep your company respectable and your current and future employees safe from workplace injustices.
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