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The Drama-Free Workplace. How You Can Prevent Unconscious Bias, Sexual Harassment, Ethics Lapses, and Inspire a Healthy Culture. Edition No. 1

  • Book
  • 272 Pages
  • May 2019
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • ID: 5227467

Eliminate sexual harassment, unconscious bias, ethical lapses and other HR nightmares!

Companies spend millions on legal compliance training and initiatives to eliminate workplace drama and the resulting low morale and lawsuits, but don’t always get the results they want. Most organizations understand that simply checking legal compliance boxes around sexual harassment, bias, etc. isn’t enough, but are at a loss on how to implement solutions, especially in today’s post-#MeToo world.

Patti Perez is an attorney, HR expert, trainer, and former state regulator, who has conducted over 1,200 workplace investigations. In this unique book, she explains the secret to avoiding all forms of drama, legal exposure, and low morale: A healthy workplace culture. Patti combines the lessons learned from 25 years of professional experience with robust data from behavioral science research to debunk common myths, including the belief that a focus on legal compliance leads to a healthy workplace culture. (In fact, it increases the likelihood of getting sued).

The Drama-Free Workplace includes a section with easy-to-understand causes, effects and solutions to problems related to:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Bias and diversity
  • Ethics lapses

The book also includes helpful information on:

  • Becoming an organization that values and practices fearlessness, fairness and freedom
  • Anticipating situations that give rise to drama, with detailed advice on how to prevent it from happening
  • Using emotional intelligence to communicate more precisely and persuasively about sensitive, controversial topics in the workplace

Finally, the book’s DIY section guides companies on how to:

  • draft and enforce helpful policies (that employees will actually read and *want* to follow)
  • design and deliver powerful and effective training programs
  • investigate and resolve claims of sexual harassment and other types of misconduct.

Together, these practical tools will help all your employees feel valued and motivated, and keep drama, disengagement, and lawsuits, away.

Table of Contents

Foreword xv

Acknowledgments xvii

About the Author xxi

Introduction xxiii

Part I Diagnosis Drama: What You Can Do to Identify, Prevent, and Fix Workplace Drama 1

Chapter 1 How to Blow Up an Organization (and Rise from the Ashes) 3

#WorkplaceDrama: Identifying Problematic Behavior 4

Root Causes of Workplace Drama 6

Legal Compliance: Friend or Foe? 11

The #1 Culture Problem in Organizations: A Lack of Authenticity 13

The Courage to Be Different (and Therefore Effective): Focus on the Good 16

Chapter 2 Why Is Sexual Harassment Still a Thing and What We Must Do to Fix It 17

The Road to #MeToo 18

Are We All on the Same Page? Key Legal Definitions and Clarifications 20

Leading Predictors of Workplace Sexual Harassment 28

Other Factors That Contribute to Sexual Harassment 34

Sexual Harassment: The Cure 39

Chapter 3 Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging . . . Not Just PC BS 45

Unconscious Bias Explained 46

D, I, & B . . . What’s the Difference (and Why Does it Matter)? 53

Best Practices and Emerging Trends for Creating, Executing, and Selling Your Initiative 56

Chapter 4 Ethics Lapses: They’re More Common Than You Think 69

Where Ethics Lapses Begin 69

Leading Causes and Warning Signs of Unethical Behavior at the Corporate Level 70

Best Prevention Techniques 76

Part II “Hiking” to the Top of the Healthy Workplace Culture Pyramid 81

Chapter 5 Reaching the Top of the Healthy Workplace Culture Pyramid: The Three Fs 83

Getting Started 84

Fearlessness 84

Fairness 90

Freedom 95

Why Your Hike Requires Measuring Risk and Opportunity 99

Chapter 6 Anticipating and Preparing for Drama-Causing Events 101

Anticipating Workplace Drama 101

Leading Drama Producer: Corporate Change 102

Leading Drama Producer: Faulty Processes that Lead to Poor Decision-Making 111

Leading Drama Producer: Failure to Observe, Analyze, and Course-Correct 118

Chapter 7 Make Your Journey Easier: Choose the Less Treacherous Path 121

What We Can Learn from Companies That Embrace a Safety Culture 122

Translating Safety Accomplishments to Achieve a Healthy Workplace Culture 124

Accident/Injury Reduction versus Drama Reduction: A Side-by-Side Comparison 130

Chapter 8 Reduce Drama Through Precise and Persuasive Communication 139

The Most Common Communication Failures That Lead to Drama 139

Improve Your Emotional Intelligence to Communicate More Precisely 141

Using Emotional Intelligence to Keep Drama Away 145

The Cassandra Curse: How Not to Be Persuasive 150

Breaking the Curse: How to Be More Persuasive 153

Part III A DIY Roadmap for Creating and Maintaining a Drama-Free Culture 159

Chapter 9 Policies, Schmolicies . . . How to Write and Enforce the Right Rules 161

Policies Should Set Expectations, Not Restrict Freedom 162

Top 10 Mistakes in a Typical Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy 166

Say Goodbye to Legal Jargon and Hello to Clarity and Positivity 172

Chapter 10 Your Step-by-Step Guide to Designing and Delivering Effective Workplace Training 179

What’s Kept Training from Moving the Needle? 180

What Does Work? 181

Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing a Successful Training Program 185

Chapter 11 How to Effectively Investigate and Resolve Claims of Workplace Misconduct 199

Best Practices for Getting Started 200

The Qualities of an Excellent Workplace Sleuth 201

Determining Whether a Full Investigation Is Necessary 203

Conducting Investigations That Get to the Truth and Fix Problems: A Step-by-Step Guide 205

Appendix: Supporting Documents for Conducting Investigations 227

Index 239


Patti Perez