advice on how to build meaningful brands

August 09, 2018

042 | What you need to know to prevent, react and recover from workplace harassment – Part 2 – A live panel discussion at Orchestras Canada Annual Conference

Why you’ve got to listen to this episode:

Today’s episode is part 2 of a live panel session I moderated during Orchestras Canada Annual Conference where we tackle the topic of workplace harassment. In this episode we focus on what to do if you’re faced with a workplace harassment accusation and how to recover from it.

The panel comprised of Scott Crockatt, marketing and communications expert with United Way Calgary and Area, Jeanne LaSage, principal at LeSage Arts Management and human resources expert and lawyers Dana Kiefer and John Gilmore both with Bennett Jones.

We discuss the issue of workplace harassment with a focus on Orchestras and arts organizations within Canada, however the insights and guidance shared by the panelists can be applied to any organization in any industry.

Who can benefit from listening in:

Power structures, cultural differences, unhealthy cultures can all be conduits to workplace harassment.  Any organization, regardless of size and industry should be prepared and do their due diligence to prevent workplace harassment. But, if you were not able to implement effective preventive measures and find yourself in the unfortunate position where you’re faced with a workplace harassment what do you do? How do you manage it?

Whether the harassment accusation was done internally, or you find out at 3:00am when a reporter calls because the accusation is all over social media, what is the right way to handle this difficult situation? What are you legally obligated to do and what should you do to try and mitigate as much a possible the brand and reputational damage?

And once the dust does settle, how does your team heal from an experience like this? How can your brand recover? How do you rebuild trust and confidence from staff and external audiences?

There is a right and wrong way to handle a situation like this, not only from a legal stance but from a people and brand perspective as well.

Key takeaways from this episode:

  • Apart from the legal exposure, monetary damages and investigation process you may go through, which are all considerable, your brand damage is the most important damage being caused. John Gilmore
  • There is always enough time to do the right thing. Scott Crockatt
  • Consistency is key. How you respond to one complaint, you need to do the same with all others. Dana Keifer
  • You must act on any accusation even if it’s deemed untrue. How you act demonstrates your position on these issues and sends a message to staff. Luiza Campos
  • Power structures, cultural differences, unhealthy cultures can all be conduits to workplace harassment.
  • Recovering from a serious accusation can take a long time but if you handled the situation properly, if you were true to your values, your brand can come out stronger.

Links to resources mentioned in this episode


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