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Workplaces: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.

Thanks to a unique moment in the national conversation, our December issue has two opposing, yet related, features. One is our annual Best Companies to Work For feature, highlighting the companies in Utah that have gone above and beyond to attract and retain their valued workforce. The other is a look at workplace sexual harassment--a widespread phenomenon that most companies, presumably, want to eliminate in order to foster a workplace that is comfortable and welcoming for all its employees.

(And yes, it is a widespread phenomenon. Just take a peek at #metoo if you don't believe it.)

In "Drawing a Line," Utah Business editor Lisa Christensen describes what sexual harassment is and what companies can do to prevent it. The article paints a distressing picture of the effects of sexual harassment on its victims. But harassment truly impacts the entire organization. What can happen if you have an unknown, unacknowledged or poorly handled sexual harassment situation in your company? Here are just a few potential consequences:

* You lose talented employees who leave your company--and perhaps the entire industry

* Your workforce becomes less diverse because women, for some reason, don't want to work there

* The morale of your workforce plummets, causing other employees to leave or productivity to decline

* Productivity is disrupted by gossip and drama

* Seeing someone get away with bad behavior empowers others to act the same way, spreading a culture of abuse

* Your employees start to distrust your leadership; do you really care about them?

* Formal allegations of harassment cause upheaval and distress across entire departments or the whole company

* Your company is sued for tolerating or enabling the harassment

* Your company is sued for retaliating against a victim who brings allegations of harassment

* Your company becomes a household name as rumors and reports about sexual harassment hit the media

No one wants to believe that sexual harassment takes place in their company. I have my own #metoo stories about my time working at a district court--and if it can happen at a courthouse, it can happen in your company, too. Before you brush off complaints about off-color jokes or unwanted attention, consider: could these seemingly minor complaints be warning flags of a much deeper problem?

Here's hoping the current national conversation around sexual harassment leads to companies becoming great places to work--for everyone.

Best regards,

Heather Dawn Stewart

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Title Annotation:From the Editor
Comment:Workplaces: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.(From the Editor)
Author:Stewart, Heather Dawn
Publication:Utah Business
Date:Dec 1, 2017
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