Category Archives: Social

What Men Can Do To Prevent Workplace Sexual Harassment

What Men Can Do To Prevent Workplace Sexual Harassment | Recognize

Sexual harassment has dominated headlines in recent weeks, with the Harvey Weinstein exposé closely followed by revelations about Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. But workplace sexual harassment isn’t limited to Hollywood. Many companies in the tech industry have also made headlines for sexual harassment allegations in the past of couple years. Women have come forward to speak out about discrimination and harassment they experienced at companies such as Uber, Google, and Microsoft.

The ongoing problem of sexual harassment in tech

In early 2017, former Uber engineer, Susan Fowler published a blog post detailing the systemic sexism and sexual harassment she experienced during her one year with the company. Though she reported the incidents to HR, they were repeatedly brushed under the rug. In one case, after Fowler reported that she had been propositioned for sex by a member of upper management, she was told that Uber did not want to ruin the career of such a “high performer.”

When Fowler joined Uber in November 2015, over 25% percent of the company’s engineers were women. A year later, that number had dropped to just 3%. In the months following Fowler’s blog post, internal and external investigations into the toxic culture of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation have resulted in 20 firings and an exodus of executive talent.

Earlier this fall, Uber’s SVP of Engineering, Amit Singhal, was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had failed to disclose the circumstances of his departure from Google the previous year. As reported by Recode, Singhal left Google in the wake of a sexual assault allegation. Singhal denied the claims, but Google found them “credible” and had been prepared to fire him before Singhal resigned.

The problem isn’t limited to Uber. Three female engineers have filed a lawsuit against Microsoft accusing the company of pervasive gender discrimination that they claim has cost women at Microsoft more than 500 promotions and between $100 million and $238 million in pay. If the case wins class-action status, the women will represent 8,630 peers worldwide.

Google is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor for “systemic compensation disparities” between male and female employees that violate federal employment laws. Janet Herold, a representative for the Department of Labor, said in April, “The government’s analysis at this point indicates that discrimination against women in Google is quite extreme, even in this industry.”

Even in this industry assumes that such issues exist everywhere in tech, it’s just a matter of severity and getting caught. Indeed, it is hard to name a major company in Silicon Valley that hasn’t been accused of tolerating a culture of sexism, discrimination, and sexual harassment.

Many of the men that have made headlines for their inappropriate behavior have received consequences for their actions. They’ve been removed from power, their projects cancelled, and their reputations irrevocably tarnished.

That’s all well and good, but punishing past transgressions doesn’t do anything to prevent future incidents or change a working culture that permits incidents like these from not only happening but from going unreported – sometimes for decades. If we really want to make progress, we need to dedicate as much energy to advocating for women as we do to punishing men.

What qualifies as workplace sexual harassment?

What Men Can Do To Prevent Workplace Sexual Harassment | Recognize

Most of us probably feel confident that we would recognize and call out sexual harassment if we were to see it. But in many cases, harassment falls into grey areas that may not be explicitly outlined in sexual harassment training. Behavior that falls into grey areas is more likely to go unchallenged or unreported.

There are two broad categories of sexual harassment in the workplace:

  • Quid pro quo harassment: Employment decisions (such as promotions and raises) are made contingent on an employee’s acceptance of sexual advances or willingness to perform sexual favors.
  • Hostile work environment: The unwelcome conduct of supervisors, coworkers, or contractors that creates an intimidating or offensive working environment.

Behavior that can fall into these categories includes:

  • Sexual jokes
  • Suggestive comments
  • Discussion of sexual activities
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Unnecessary touching
  • Commenting on physical attributes
  • Using innappropriate terminology
  • Sexual advances
  • Lewd body language

Sexual harassment includes both physical and nonphysical forms of harassment, and it is often the nonphysical forms that can become most pervasive in a toxic work environment.

Why do people tolerate unacceptable behavior at work?

What Men Can Do To Prevent Workplace Sexual Harassment | Recognize

Many of the women speaking out against Harvey Weinstein are doing so now after keeping their experiences private for years, or even decades. In discussions like those surrounding Weinstein, it’s acknowledged that victims of assault are often reluctant to come forward because they fear the consequences of speaking out against someone in power.

We may understand why women (or victims) keep quiet, but in most of these cases, the general response has been, “Everyone knew. It was an open secret, but no one said anything.”

So why don’t people who witness inappropriate workplace behavior intervene?

  1. They’re not sure what’s acceptable.

When a person is in a position of power, the prevailing assumption is that whatever they do must surely be allowed. Many of us are taught not to speak up to authority figures, even if we feel we know better.

  1. They don’t feel they have the power to speak up.

Standing up to a bully is intimidating, whether that bully is on the playground or wearing a suit and signing your paychecks. Some people don’t feel they have the courage to speak up or the strength to stand behind an allegation. They may also feel like their voice won’t make a difference.

  1. They fear retaliation.

Someone who witnesses harassment may be just as vulnerable to retaliation as the victim if they speak out. Fear of retaliation creates a toxic environment in which inappropriate behavior is permitted to continue while the majority of employees exist in discomfort and fear.

What can men do to prevent sexual harassment among colleagues?

What Men Can Do To Prevent Workplace Sexual Harassment | Recognize

Everyone goes through sexual harassment training their first day on the job. Most of us understand intuitively what is and isn’t appropriate behavior toward colleagues. And yet unacceptable behavior is frequently tolerated or ignored. The responsibility falls on men to change cultures of harassment in the workplace.

Here’s what men can do to prevent workplace sexual harassment:

  • Pay more attention. It’s easier to look away from unacceptable behavior than it is to confront it, especially when the behavior falls into the grey area. We can close our ears to inappropriate remarks or pretend not to notice a wandering eye. Start paying more attention to the behavior of men in your office – and more importantly, to the body language of women on the receiving end. Learn to read their discomfort.
  • Hold your male colleagues accountable. Cultures of harassment form when men don’t hold each other accountable for their actions. If you overhear male coworkers speaking inappropriately to or about a female colleague, call them out. Make it known that you won’t tolerate hearing such language in the office. Harassers are more likely to respond to a third party challenging their behavior, especially if that person is another man.
  • Be an ally for your female colleagues. If a female colleague comes forward with an allegation of harassment or discrimination, believe her. Stand up for her to colleagues who dismiss or ridicule her claims. Protect her from retaliation.
  • Speak up when women can’t. Women often don’t feel safe reporting an incident of harassment. If you witness such an incident, take responsibility. Talk to your female colleague and ask her if she would be comfortable with you taking the issue to HR or a manager in her stead. Respect her wishes, but make it clear that you will support her.
  • Keep extensive notes. This is the most passive action you can take, but it’s still important and it’s better than doing nothing. If you witness an incident of harassment or discrimination, document it. Write down the date, time, details of what was said or done, who else was present, and where you were. Documentation from a third-party witness will corroborate any claim the victim files with HR or law enforcement.
  • Escalate the issue until it’s dealt with. The first person you should report an incident of harassment to is your manager. If they neglect to take action, bring the issue to HR. Unfortunately, as in the case of Susan Fowler, HR doesn’t always take the action it should. In that case, you can escalate the issue even further by going to a government agency such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (at the federal level) or the Fair Employment Practices Agency (at the state or local level).

Sexual harassment and gender discrimination in Silicon Valley and in workplaces across our nation will not go away on its own. It will require a fundamental shift in workplace culture to one of accountability, equality, and respect. The responsibility for that shift falls primarily on men. If one man at a time takes it upon himself to speak up for women and treat female colleagues as equals, norms will change and the tide will start to turn.

Hold yourself to a higher standard, and hold your male colleagues to one as well.


The Importance of Employee Recognition in the Healthcare Industry

“Being a nurse means to hold all your own tears and start drawing smiles on people’s faces” – Dana Basem.

With healthcare being one of the fastest growing industries, organizations face challenges in more ways than before in employee engagement. That’s why more than ever, healthcare organization must consider employee recognition as part of their overall strategy. While healthcare employees work in extremely high-stress situations, and are not rewarded accordingly, the employers deal with serious challenges due to a high turnover rate and labor shortage.

Healthcare’s High Turnover and Low Satisfaction

According to a 2016 Nursing Solutions report, the average turnover in the nursing industry has reached 16.5% with an average turnover cost of $50k. SHRO’s are realizing this and that’s why behavior optimization and people analytics are on the rise in healthcare.

The report shows the current situation in the healthcare industry is driven by the inherently stressful responsibilities of the employees, the high turnover rate is also caused by a reason that can be actually controlled – employee recognition and satisfaction. Underappreciated and overworked employees will never be able to perform to their best. In fact, the lack of appreciation from the management is one of the top drivers of low job satisfaction, and consequently the main reason behind the high turnover rate.

Doctors in surgery

The Healthcare Solution

Employee engagement strategies move the needle for employee satisfaction and retention. Healthcare managers need to make use of these programs and to combine them with the proper tools, education and empowerment methods in order to ensure that their employees are engaged with their work. A successful program decreases turnover, improve efficiency and promotes the core values of hospitals.

How to Make Recognition Programs Work

The execution is paramount for new initiatives to take hold. Recognition programs in the healthcare industry should be balanced between value-based initiatives and performance-based. Studies shows people want to feel appreciated for their work, and they want to be rewarded for their creativity and their unique contribution to the organization.

However, for the recognition program to work as designed, all personnel involved from managers and supervisors to doctors and nurses, need to be properly trained. That’s why at Recognize we built it to be so straightforward that staff are guided through the program intuitively. We believe all tools should be easy to use.

Regardless of technology ease-of-use, the linchpin for an engagement strategy is buy-in from all levels of the organization. The following are a few suggestions:

  1. Give staff a reason to send recognition with non-monetary or monetary rewards
  2. Make it easy for managers to run reports, receive notifications, and recognize staff in their workflow
  3. Help leaders see the benefits of discovering qualitative people analytics through continuous positive feedback

It is important to communicate that a job well done deserves appraisal. As an organization in the healthcare system, you need to transform your company by implementing a strong culture of recognition. Once your employees know that their efforts are appreciated and their work rewarded, you will build a connection and reap the benefits, including an increased productivity, a lower turnover and an improved brand image.

Start Small Think Big

Recognition to your employees must be constant, unbiased, and meaningful. In the healthcare industry, it is important to be open to new, innovative rewarding ideas. While you can always use the existing goals and procedures for rewarding employees, innovation is what will make you benefit of a serious, appreciated recognition program.

Use Case: Making Workplace Safety a Priority

Healthcare workers are exposed to a wide variety of safety hazards. Several issues arose in 2015 that shed new light on patient safety threats. As part of a complete employee recognition program, you need to recognize and reward those employees that have been affected by an accident. At the same time, you can make workplace safety a priority by integrating this aspect into your reward & recognition program. Gallup’s employee engagement database shows 70% fewer safety incidents compared to companies with disengaged staff.

Incorporate Recognize Into Existing Processes

Integrate your NSC Employee Perception Surveys, or other safety procedures that you’ve adopted ​in your workplace, with continuous positive feedback through Recognize. Habits are easily adopted when attached to existing habits.


The Result: Giving Rewards

Receiving awesome perks at work as a result from employee recognition will lead to long term success of an employee engagement program. Gamification shows we can use a variety of resources. SAPS stands for Status, Access, Power, and Stuff. These are the four elements you can provide as rewards to staff.

Status – Create a special video about someone in the company and present it company-wide. Give people a special job title based on their qualities.

Access – Give staff access to conferences or even a parking spot.

Power – The power to make a decision based on the qualities they have shown.

Stuff – Gift cards, days off, massages, lunch delivered, or cash are all popular examples.

The least expensive most effective gift to an employee is status.

More Staff Reward Ideas for Healthcare

  • Lower back massages each Wednesday
  • Employee awards banquet once every six months
  • Monthly meeting with the boss: each month, employees are invited by their superior to attend a lunch meeting
  • Free tickets to sporting events for overtime hours
  • Wall of fame recognition
  • 20% bonus for Holidays
  • Pizza party event
  • Various other bonuses for performance and for positive customer feedback

How to Do Employee Recognition for Healthcare

As a rule of thumb, you need to base your program on four unique elements:

  1. Unified platform:

Due to decentralization, a unified platform available in the cloud is vital for your recognition program’s success. The platform should be accessible from any device and should integrate seamlessly with third-party apps. Showcasing employee recognition and creating a team environment increases productivity by 12.5%.

  1. Recognition options:

While it is vital to make sure your employees understand the importance of being recognized and rewarded, you should also ensure that they are be allowed to recognize their peers. Your employees should have multiple recognition options in order to become part of the larger organizational culture.

  1. Mix of informal and formal strategies

While formal, branded awards are imperative for building up the organizational culture, informal awards are necessary to add a human touch and make the experience complete.

  1. Customizable awards

The last element of a successful rewarding program in the healthcare industry is a flexible program. You need to be open to change and base your rewards on the changing trends.

Once you put together all of these elements, you have a solid base for your employee recognition program. To get it rolling, here is what you need to do:

Whether the team takes a trip to Hawaii or event based themes, recognizing your employees helps boost morale, productivity and engagement.

  1. Create a project team

For starters, it is important to establish ownership of the program. The team within the institution should be cross-functional, incorporating multiple units in the hospital, the HR and IT departments. Or just someone well liked in the organization that people know and respect.

  1. Allocate a budget:

Next convince the members of the board, the directors, and the stakeholders that putting money in an employee rewarding program is an investment that pays off by itself. HR professionals with budget of at least 1% of payroll are more likely to perceive positive effects on the organization than less than 1%. Healthcare is ranked third highest in turnover rates with 13%, improving this is accomplishable with tried and true employee engagement methods.

The cost of employee turnover not only means financial repercussions, it can result in lowering the knowledge base in your company and decrease performance and workplace morale. – Streamline Verify

Promote the launch and help your employees understand the recognition and rewards process.

  1. Promote the launch:

Create a big event and promote it across all departments. Everyone should attend and it should be fun for everyone. Who doesn’t love a great party that celebrates everyone’s accomplishments?

People Want to Make a Difference in Their Workplace

They want to know that their work matters, especially in the healthcare industry. However, you need to go the extra mile and create a rewarding & recognition program if you want to have happy employees. Put together a recognition platform and you will be able to reap the benefits that result from keeping your employees satisfied.


How Successful People Make Introductions

Rock climbing bouldering in Bishop Buttermilks

At a party in Palo Alto, David Traub calls me over, “Alex I want you introduce you to someone.” Turning to his colleague, he says, “Alex has an amazing spirit and is a great eye for design. He’s working on something groundbreaking in the world of workplace positive feedback. Alex, I think you will get along really well with my colleague Tim. I’ve never met anyone like him, he is one of the kindest and most successful investors I know in social enterprise .”

People like David Traub and Allan Young both taught me how to introduce people. They have a natural gift of seeing the best abilities in people and highlighting those abilities when they make introductions. It shows that they act with selflessness and look for the positives in people.

Benefits of this approach:

  1. The people introduced will be pleasantly surprised by the attention you have given them.
  2. People may not even know about those positive characteristics in themselves. It may boost their confidence and better prepare them for the conversation that will follow post-introductions.
  3. It shows sincere care because the compliments are real.
  4. It sparks the start of a new conversation between two strangers.

I’ve been practice this approach for a couple of years now and can see the benefits. I think about people’s abilities before introducing them. When I make introductions, I say what is amazing about these people and why they should be introduced. I’m not as good as David or Allan yet, but I’m getting there.

Reposted from Alex Grande’s LinkedIn post.