Human Resources – Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?

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An article by Claire Cain Miller in the New York Times about reporting incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace provides both a real picture of what has been happening and what continues going on, as well as some sound advice on what to do if you are ever a victim.

The culprit, other than the predator, is the Human Resources Department, who according to the research I have done for my book, From Bully to Bull’s-Eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire, is part of the problem versus part of the solution in the majority of organizations. I fully concur that women do not report sexual harassment primarily because, as Ms. Miller points out, “mostly they fear retaliation, and for good reason, research shows”.

The suggestion that organizations provide an Ombuds person is one of the most effective ways for people to come forward. We should also note that this goes beyond sexual harassment. The same dynamics occur with other forms of harassment and abuse.

Photo credit: Nick Youngson