Sexual Harassment: Google Needs to Establish a Sense of Urgency to Change
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Google is a having a big problem with the current walkouts from many of its locations all across the world. Employees all across the world are waging a walkout over the treatment of workers for sexual harassment cases thus deceasing engagement and productivity in the workforce. The sense of urgency for a change exists as the decrease in sales revenue, lawsuits, and bad publicity lead to a much-needed change that needs to happen at Google to help control the damage and turn around for a better future. With the Me-Too Movement and the Times Up Movement sexual harassment is a hot topic that is currently placed in the spotlight. In order for organizations to be competitive they need to establish a sense of urgency to change.
With the fallout over 20,000 of Googles employees showed support by protesting and walking out during work to show the disproval and dissatisfaction for the treatment of its employees. The workers demand changes needed to take place in the culture of Google in order for it to exhibit an environment that embraces women and engagement. Some of the necessary changes that had been requested by the Women include a mandatory arbitration clause in contracts to be taken out in order to enable sexual harassment victims to file lawsuits in court. Currently lawsuits go through arbitration saving the company time, money, and bad publicity and thus shielding the perpetrator.
Google has also paid off its perpetrators and including in 2014 it had made a payout of over $80 million to shield the perpetrator thus putting a slap on the face of the victim. The Chief Diversity Officer reports to the Chief Police Officer and not directly to the CEO, as employees want to request that google makes these changes like other companies that have already started to make these changes such as Apple and Salesforce. A woman recently went to HR to files a complaint on a coworker and was told by HR that if the employee is ranked lower in the company than her than she would be fired. Not only is this practice happening at Google but Wells Fargo has also has experienced this lately.
In the case of Wells Fargo it has hindered the government’s investigation of sexual harassment cases taking place at Wells Fargo. The bank has refused to turnover sensitive documents pertaining to sexual harassment in the workplace hiding the underreported sexual cases in HR. This type of malicious behavior on behalf of the bank creates a culture that is very unsafe and dangerous for women and in fact makes women resign early when in fact they could have a positive influence on change and engagement in the workplace. The hierarchal structure of companies forces that complaints which are initiated at the bottom of the workplace never reach to the top and the concerns are never are brought in for discussion.
HR at Wells Fargo tends to hide these types of practices and underreports them for the sake of them to maintaining a false good public image. These types of bad practices cause the culture of the company to be toxic and create an environment that is disengaged thus making the companies lose billions of dollars annually. The first step in creating a sense of urgency here is visible here because it shows that this problem is not only happening at just a singled-out company but in fact is a much greater problem that is seen in the corporate culture everyone in the world.
There needs to be a honest discussion with people to give dynamic and convincing reasons to get people to start thinking about implementing changes for a better and more engaged workforce. If these changes could be worked upon and fixed the culture could definitely change for the better but the Kotter’s 8 Step Process of Change Model has to be implemented. After establishing a level of urgency the next step is to create a guiding coalition.