A sincere apology always counts for something, but a set of protocols that stop apologies being necessary surely count for more. This week details emerged of Microsoft firing 20 employees over the past year after accusations of multiple instances of sexual harassment

Microsoft’s Chief People Officer Katherine Hogan has communicated this to all members of staff and made it clear that such conduct is unacceptable. The tech giant deserves credit for acting decisively and making no attempt to sweep the news under the carpet and in fairness 20 bad apples in a global workforce of 124,000 is a very small minority. As with all cases of workplace harassment, though, it’s deeply regrettable that innocent people had to come to work in the morning and find themselves objectified and intimidated. Criticism still hangs over Microsoft after it was revealed that 118 cases of gender discrimination were made between 2010 and 2016, and only one of them was taken under consideration. The possibility remains that a class action lawsuit will be brought against Microsoft by multiple employees essentially complaining about the same problem. None of this is good news for one of the world’s most recognisable brands, and as a HR service provider to household names in the public and private sectors Jane Systems appreciates the importance of maintaining a reputation.

We help our clients protect their good names by advocating prevention, not cure.

We advocate having a system in place that helps you capitalise on your good intentions and make it clear what your expectations of your people are.

We advocate HR software that offers you “big picture” performance monitoring, identifying positive and negative patterns that you can either encourage or nip in the bud.

We advocate disciplinary and grievance procedures recorded with follow up action monitored for enhanced problem-solving. So the first time you investigate an example of inappropriate behaviour, you can put measures in place that won’t just act on it but will monitor the effectiveness of that action. One instance of harassment is too many and some offences deserve dismissal, but when faced with someone who has inadvertently crossed a line, employers may want the option of educating them to be a better and more respectful colleague. Allowing bad behaviour to continue through ineffective disciplinary procedures damages the employee and those around them. Jane Systems helps you take the steps you deem appropriate and educate your workforce in ways that benefit everyone.

We applaud any organisation that takes steps to ensure a respectful, positive working environment, and we’re proud to say we help them achieve exactly that. Contact us to find out how you can benefit from prevention not cure.

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