Self-Edit When Self-Publishing in Business and at Work


Another Fox News host was suspended (and is currently under investigation) over the past few weeks for sending pictures of male genitalia to at least 3 female coworkers several years ago. On the positive side, it’s given me more examples of harassing workplace behavior to include in the Harassment Awareness and Prevention Training that I conduct for clients. On the down side: targets of harassment are either marginalized at work and/or leave the workplace where they experience unchecked harassment; and harassers, thanks to social media self-publishing, continue to be revealed by targets of harassment when their respective organizations fail to investigate and stop the harassing behavior.

As we continue to see these harassment allegations come to light, I continue to wonder:

  • Do workplace harassers who use electronic communications channels to harass understand that they’re documenting their own illegal and substandard behavior – that in effect, harassers are not only self-documenting, but also self-publishing for the general public to eventually consume on the interwebs?
    • Do harassers (and their organizational enablers) understand the reputational and financial impact such public consumption causes on both the individual and organizational level?
    • Do they even realize that their conduct is harassment / illegal? Or does it all fall under “having fun?”
  • Does the harasser’s organization conduct Harassment Awareness and Prevention Training at least once a year?
    • If so – how can they continue to engage in harassing behavior? (And if harassers cannot restrain themselves despite such training, what other loss prevention exposure are they creating for your organization)?
  • When employee (or vendor or customer) harassment complaints are filed via the prescribed due process to HR, Operations or Board leadership, do these leaders understand their responsibilities to investigate and take the appropriate corrective action so that the harassing behavior does not reoccur?
    • Do these leaders know what constitutes sexually harassing / harassing behavior?
    • Once they correctly identify harassing behavior, do these leaders understand, depending on the severity of the harassing behavior, that terminating the harasser is a viable and sometimes necessary option?
    • And finally:  do these leaders know that if they fail to act, it can create legal and financial exposure not only for the organization but for themselves as individuals?

For all of these reasons: how do your leaders and employees self-edit their conduct when self-publishing (or via any other communications / interactions, both electronic and in person) for the safety of all in business and at work?

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