Microsoft is Overhauling How It Investigates Office Misbehaviour

CEO Satya Nadella, in a letter to employees, talked about changes being made in investigating harassment complaints.

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Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft at Build 2018 keynote. 
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Microsoft is revamping its practices for investigating workplace allegations after a group of women shared stories of discrimination and sexual harassment.

CEO Satya Nadella, in a letter to employees, talked about the changes being made in this regard on Monday, 15 April.

Nadella says the company is increasing support services for workers who say they've experienced misbehavior, including a new ‘Employee Advocacy Team’ to help guide employees through investigations.

He said that Microsoft will also require inclusivity training for all its roughly 16,000 managers, set new and more consistent disciplinary guidelines and create more transparency about the outcome of investigations.

“To help, we will provide managers with additional support, in part by rolling out a required manager learning track in FY20 that includes tools and resources on leading diverse teams and further activating our culture.”
Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

In his email, Nadella announced improved investigations process for workplace behaviour and increased accountability and transparency, a Quartz report said.

“We will take new steps to hold everyone accountable for diversity and inclusion.”  
Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

He said that a team has been working on a plan for this in recent months and will move forward in three key areas immediately, according to the Quartz report:

  • Additional support and more information for employees who raise complaints about employee behaviour.
“We’ll add HR professionals to enhance our listening capacity when issues are raised. HR is also creating a new Employee Advocacy Team that will focus exclusively on assisting employees going through a workplace investigation, including helping employees understand the process, guiding them through investigations and following up after investigations are finished to check in on the employees involved.”
Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
  • Increased ability to pursue investigations quicker.
“We will centralize in CELA all investigations globally relating to significant complaints about work-related misbehaviour.”
Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
  • Promote more consistent disciplinary approaches across the company following investigations.
“We recognise the importance not only of taking effective action following investigations but doing so consistently across the company. We will develop new company-wide disciplinary guidelines for work-related misbehaviour. When an investigation is finished, we will provide to a manager both a factual conclusion about the findings and the range of expected discipline.”
Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

The changes follow a large internal email chain started last month by employees sharing personal stories of experiencing misconduct. The issue was reported by Quartz on 4 April and caught the attention of top executives.

Nadella's letter to employees was also first reported by news site Quartz.

(With inputs from AP and Quartz)

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