This shocking New York Times article on workplace culture reveals that after several WNYC radio hosts were fired over harassment claims, the station commissioned an investigation into its own workplace culture. The investigation by the firm Proskauer Rose found a reluctance to report incidents of bullying and harassment but absolved the station's leadership. It is unbelievable and frankly unacceptable for senior management to be entirely let off the hook as they were. It’s unacceptable simply because of what the investigation did find - a culture of fear, which in my experience is systematic.
Given the importance to society that the media enjoys, it is imperative that they set and adhere to a high bar for rules of conduct. More importantly however, senior management needs to understand that these rules apply to them, too.
The Globe and Mail reports on yet another example of leadership claiming they were unaware of inappropriate behaviour. This time it is with the director of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, who allegedly was involved in sexual misconduct, causing him to resign. Such naivete will continue to cripple organizations.
In my book ‘From Bully to Bull’s-Eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire’,I discuss the toxic nature of coverups as well as the ineptitude of leadership revealed by ‘being unaware’. If this form of bullying behaviour continues, the toxic culture it produces will remain, resulting in higher turnover and weaker employee engagement, with the end result being lower productivity and greater discontent.
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