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Internal memo: Satya Nadella promises Microsoft HR overhaul following new sexual harassment complaints (Source:GeekWire)

Oct 25, 2017
2,766
#1
If you are not helping to create an inclusive culture, your rewards, your career trajectory and possibly even your employment will be impacted,” Nadella wrote.
Here are a few of the HR Changes Nadella laid out:
  • Microsoft will bring in additional HR workers to improve capacity to investigate complaints of employee behavior.
  • The HR department will create a new Employee Advocacy Team that focuses on guiding employees reporting misconduct through the investigation process.
  • Microsoft will centralize all of its investigations globally under Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs and add more investigators to those teams to speed up inquiries.
  • New company-wide disciplinary guidelines will include a range of expected outcomes in an investigation and any time a manager strays from that range, he or she will have to get approval from a corporate vice president.
In addition to these new policies, Microsoft will roll out a required training track for the company’s more than 16,000 managers that includes tools and resources on leading diverse teams. The company also plans to make diversity and inclusion a factor in deciding managers’ compensation, something it already does with its senior leadership.

“Put together, I believe these new steps will move us farther and faster to create an inclusive culture that values diversity and helps us all exercise a growth mindset to learn from each other,” Nadella wrote. “But these will not be the last steps we take. There is a role for every one of us. Each of us can ask ourselves: What can I do to help? How can I show respect and empathy for my colleagues? How can I speak up when I see non-inclusive behavior?”
Here is Nadella's full memo:

Today, I want to talk about something that matters deeply to each of us: our culture. To those who started this conversation by sharing your stories — thank you. To other underrepresented groups and anyone who said they relate to these experiences, I hear you too. I’m disappointed to hear about any behavior in our workplace that falls short of the diverse and inclusive culture we are striving to create. But I’m encouraged that people feel empowered to speak up and demand change. I want all of us to learn and act on this feedback.

I also appreciate the pride in Microsoft that many of you have shared, as well as positive stories about colleagues who have been supportive in your careers and lives. This is why the current conversation is so important. We each have a role to play in closing the gap between the culture we seek and the day-to-day realities we experience. Ultimately, this is important to all of us as individuals. And as a company whose mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, it is fundamental to our collective success.

I appreciate that leadership in this area needs to start at the top. It also must involve deeds and not just words. As a Senior Leadership Team, we’ve sought to exercise our own growth mindset, listening and learning from the ongoing feedback and using this learning to take new steps. This is a journey — it is not a simple issue that will ever be solved by the decisions we announce in a single day — but I want to share with you several concrete steps we have decided to take to accelerate our progress.

Our expectations for each other: First, we will all come together as teams across the company to better ground ourselves in a common set of expectations. In recent years, we’ve created a Standards of Business Conduct and rolled out tools and training around leadership principles, inclusive behaviors and unconscious bias. But one lesson from recent conversations is that we need to do more. We will create new content, and all of us will participate in this conversation by the end of the calendar year. Every one of us needs to understand the behaviors that are prohibited by law or policy and, equally important, those needed for a respectful workplace to which we’re committed. Our time at work can’t be shallow in terms of the commitments we make to each other. No business or product success can replace the human dignity and basic decency with which we treat each other. The empathy we develop to see each other for who we are, where we are coming from and how we make each other feel as we work together is what we will most cherish and remember. Let us be accountable to each other based on this higher standard.

Our expectations for managers: Each of our over 16,000 managers needs to be an effective culture champion dedicated to improving the experience of our employees. 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. In addition, all our managers will prepare for the rewards process with enhanced training that includes guidance on advancing and rewarding people for supporting our inclusion priority. If you are a manager at Microsoft, you are making a conscious choice and commitment to raising your hand to curate our culture. Take accountability and pride in this commitment.

Improved investigations process for workplace behavior: We recognize the need to strengthen the way we handle our investigations of complaints about behavior in the workplace. A team has been working on a plan for this in recent months, and we will move forward immediately in three key areas:

First, we will provide additional support and more information for employees who raise complaints about employee behavior. We will add HR professionals to enhance our listening capacity when issues are first 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.

Second, we will increase our ability to pursue investigations more quickly. We will centralize in CELA all investigations globally relating to significant complaints about work-related misbehavior. We will add investigators to this team to match the benchmarks we’ve recently used with other companies, with measurable goals aimed at shortening the median time of investigations to one month or less.

Third, we will promote more consistent disciplinary approaches across the company following an investigation. We recognize 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 misbehavior. When an investigation is finished, we will provide to a manager both a factual conclusion about the findings and the range of expected discipline. Going forward, a manager will no longer be permitted to depart from the recommended range without the approval of a corporate vice president.

In addition, while we need to remain sensitive to privacy concerns, we will also create more transparency around the outcomes from these investigations. After the process is finished, the employee who raised concerns will receive information about the investigation, including about the investigation’s factual conclusion and, at a minimum, generalized information about the discipline that followed. Beginning in FY20, we will also publish, at least once a year, information across the company so all employees will have more information about the kinds of concerns being raised, how often we find a violation and the types of discipline we imposed.

Increased accountability and transparency: We will take new steps to hold everyone accountable for diversity and inclusion. This past year, we increased our commitment with a new core priority on inclusion for every employee. If you are not helping to create an inclusive culture, your rewards, your career trajectory and possibly even your employment will be impacted. Today, the compensation of every member of the Senior Leadership Team includes an element that addresses diversity and inclusion, and the Senior Leadership Team reviews performance around diversity and inclusion as part of its decisions about rewards for all corporate vice presidents. As a new step in this year’s rewards process, we will expand this review to reach all our senior leaders at general manager and above.

We will also take an additional step to promote broader transparency. Currently, we publish annual pay equity and representation data, and all our Senior Leadership Team members share their representation goals and progress. Going forward, we will add further data transparency to our annual representation update, including new data around career progression.

And, of course, we will continue to listen and rely on the leadership and insight provided by our Employee Resource Groups to build on efforts already underway and develop new initiatives.

Put together, I believe these new steps will move us farther and faster to create an inclusive culture that values diversity and helps us all exercise a growth mindset to learn from each other. But these will not be the last steps we take. There is a role for every one of us. Each of us can ask ourselves: What can I do to help? How can I show respect and empathy for my colleagues? How can I speak up when I see non-inclusive behavior?

One of our strengths is that so many of us come from different backgrounds and have different perspectives. Our opportunity is to find better ways to connect with and value each other. We won’t always get it right, but I fundamentally believe this is a journey that will help define the better individuals we each can become.

I am committed to this journey, and I ask you to join me.

Satya
Source: https://www.geekwire.com/2019/inter...l-following-new-sexual-harassment-complaints/
Previous thread: https://www.resetera.com/threads/ms...een-called-a-bitch-update-ms-responds.109622/

From the previous thread (Xbox):
Another said that she had been called a “bitch” at work more than once, and found it was pervasive in the company. “We did a roundtables with the women when I was in Xbox core [team] & every woman, except for 1, had been called a bitch at work,” the Microsoft employee wrote. “Before people say this is just an Xbox thing (as I’ve heard that dismissiveness way too many times within Microsoft before) the other eng [engineering] orgs where my experiences happened were Windows & Azure. This is a Microsoft thing, a common one.”
 
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
45
#4
It's good that there appears to be changes coming but an amazing leader would be proactive not reactive about these issues.
Maybe in an ideal world. I think the speed of response for an organization the size of MS is impressive - I’ve personally witnessed less (or no response at all) in smaller. Also remember, although the fish rots from the top, we don’t know how much of MS’s issues were inherited from the Ballmer culture and how much are new.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,681
Miami, FL
#5
It’s a shame shit had to hit the fan to trigger this but I’m glad it’s happening. Hopefully everything is implemented as Satya intends and isn’t half assed (or worse, not implemented at all).
 
Nov 2, 2017
2,990
#6
It is disappointing that people were hurt to get here but the fact it went public and that a mega corporation has publicly taken action should have ripple effects with other companies. Not enough penalty for creating toxic workplace and not enough reward for promoting diversity and inclusion at most big corporations. Many just check the box...just like Microsoft did. Hopefully others will be proactive based on this.

I will say regardless how they got here, Nadella responded appropriately. No excuses. No softball response. People who work there now know it will impact their careers if they don’t promote an inclusive culture.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,580
#8
Wow, an actually appropriate level of response from a big tech company. But then again, I really didn't think the Spencer/Nadella Microsoft would be the kind to have a harassment problem on an institutionalized scale.

It never should've gotten this bad in the first place. And it's always sad when a problem has to reach the level of media coverage for management to step in. But hopefully now at least they can stomp this shit out once and for all.
 
Nov 1, 2017
3,470
Boise
#9
Never trust a company’s promise to self-regulate, especially immediately following negative PR. Are they genuine about stamping out this shitty behavior, or looking for good PR and a pat on the back? Only time will tell.
 
May 2, 2018
935
#10
Never trust a company’s promise to self-regulate, especially immediately following negative PR. Are they genuine about stamping out this shitty behavior, or looking for good PR and a pat on the back? Only time will tell.
Cynicism and pessimism are always warranted where money is involved, but I'm inclined to think MS - particularly under Satya - will make some substantial internal changes.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,877
#11
Meh, companies always say stuff like this. I work at a large tech company that went through the same thing and had the same kind of internal memo responses and stuff. Doesn't necessarily translate to change.

Well anyway, this is better than nothing. But I'll wait to be impressed until we see actual evidence of results.
 
Nov 1, 2017
3,470
Boise
#13
Cynicism and pessimism are always warranted where money is involved, but I'm inclined to think MS - particularly under Satya - will make some substantial internal changes.
I am very hopeful myself.

But at the same time it’s very hard for me to not be incredibly disappointed in Satya and Phil. I don’t believe for a second they didn’t know what was going on, so this reaction strikes me as a kid getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar - of course they’ll make promises. We’ll just have to see if they pan out.

What would really comfort me is to see a long list of firings. Scorched earth.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,072
#16
That's some crazy changes; I would've loved to see those HR changes at a few of the places where I worked because it always seemed like HR was doing nothing for the most part.
 
May 2, 2018
935
#17
I am very hopeful myself.

But at the same time it’s very hard for me to not be incredibly disappointed in Satya and Phil. I don’t believe for a second they didn’t know what was going on, so this reaction strikes me as a kid getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar - of course they’ll make promises. We’ll just have to see if they pan out.

What would really comfort me is to see a long list of firings. Scorched earth.
I actually can totally believe they didn't know about it - or at least how pervasive it was. I imagine every employee walks on tip-toes around Phil and especially Nadella. Their actual exposure to these issues is probably negligible, and likely make its way to the leadership's ears once in a blue moon (as seen here). Regardless I definitely think that's something they need to correct - Satya and the rest of the leadership should always have their ear to the ground for these problems.

Now whoever was the leading authority for MS HR - they absolutely should be fired. They've clearly failed their job spectacularly.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,304
#19
It's good that there appears to be changes coming but an amazing leader would be proactive not reactive about these issues.
Read his whole statement (also a little googling would help), MS has been implementing diversity and inclusion policies for many years now. They are fast tracking new initiatives after this all came to light. The unfortunate reality of American corporate life is one steeped in sexism and racism. It's an ongoing struggle to combat these things that will likely never truly be 100% eradicated.
 
Oct 26, 2017
11,458
#22
I don't expect sweeping changes but this and Jason Schreier's BioWare article show the importance of journalism once again.

For the people wondering about the 16k managers, at Microsoft's size that's still a 8:1 ratio of staff to manager which isn't unheard of.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,826
#24
as long as HR is incentivized to protect the company over the well being of individual employees problems will continue. change that incentive structure, because lack of HR reps probably isn't the issue.
 
Oct 27, 2017
747
#29
Good first step. I'm hopeful he'll follow through and foster a better environment for women.

It's a shame it took public backlash to force the action but still better late than never.
 
Oct 25, 2017
901
#36
There's a company nearby, everyone there is an account manager or account executive or sales executive. Theses people are not managing anyone. They are in cubicles selling job ads.

MS could be similar.
They specifically reference the 16k managers when talking about training that will help them lead diverse teams. They are actual managers.

Also, that many managers sounded reasonable after I looked up how many people MS employs total
Number of employees‎: ‎134,944 (2018)