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Climate Surveys can Tell the Real Story

Published Wednesday, March 27, 2019 10:00 am

Individuals gathered around an office table Question: How do you measure the efficacy of your harassment prevention initiatives?

An article published in Harvard Business Review introduced a very simple and approachable way to answer that question - Ask your employees.

Referred to by the EEOC as climate surveys, these questionnaires can help employers measure the efficacy of existing prevention programs as well as identify blind spots relating to harassment and discrimination. The Harvard Business Review was responding to the EEOC’s 2016 earlier recommendation that “Employers should conduct climate surveys to assess the extent to which harassment is a problem in their organization.”

5 Key Benefits of Conducting a Workplace Climate Survey

1. Better understand your training investment: Mandatory sexual harassment prevention training may be one of your only companywide training initiatives. As such, defending your annual training strategy and budget will be an ongoing challenge. Need to upgrade training vendors? Climate survey data will help demonstrate ROI and get buy-in with key executives.

2. Identify gaps in knowledge: What constitutes harassment? Where do you report? How do you report? Ensure that employees are retaining key information in your training and identify gaps where booster training or other educational programs can be implemented.

3. Identify risks and opportunities: Invariably there will be areas for improvement revealed in your workplace climate survey —uncover those before they become front-page news.

4. Demonstrate commitment: Sexual harassment and discrimination training is often viewed as a check-the-box initiative. By implementing a workplace climate survey, you’re signaling to your employees that you want to identify opportunities to improve and go beyond “check the box.

5. Benchmark: Measuring your year-over-year improvement is important. But to really understand what “good” looks like, it’s important to compare your workplace climate survey against industry peers. This will also help in getting executive and board level support for future prevention initiatives.

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