Workplace culture impacts everything from employee morale, productivity, and retention, to a company’s reputation with business partners, clients, and the public, to the level of workplace harassment and discrimination. In this #MeToo moment, policies prohibiting workplace harassment and discrimination are simply not sufficient. The most effective way to reduce the potential for litigation and business risk is to improve workplace culture.
Because employers best address workplace culture issues with proactive training and consultation, we work alongside our clients to assess their culture, identify risks, and develop concrete solutions that promote a positive, inclusive workplace, mitigate the possibility of litigation, and preserve a company’s brand and image.
Our comprehensive approach to assessing workplace culture is tailored to our client’s particular circumstances and based on our experience in litigating harassment and discrimination claims; advising on workplace policies; conducting workplace harassment training programs for executives, managers, and employees; and applying years of government service studying and implementing the most effective harassment prevention strategies.
We help clients create safe, respectful, and inclusive workplaces where employees are free from harassment and bullying and are respected in ordinary interactions, and where women and underrepresented individuals are fully included. We work alongside our clients to assess their cultures, identify risks, and develop concrete solutions to create inclusive workplaces, mitigate the possibility of litigation, and preserve reputation and brand.
Our analyses and strategies can be delivered individually or as part of a comprehensive, integrated campaign. We work collaboratively with all relevant departments, including legal, human resources, compliance, diversity and inclusion, and communications.
Codes of Conduct & Policies
We review employers’ codes of conduct and policies regarding harassment prevention, personal conflicts of interest, respectful workplaces, and diversity and inclusion. We recommend revisions or draft new policies, as appropriate.
Procedures for Reporting, Investigations & Accountability
We review employers’ procedures for reporting harassment or disrespectful behavior and recommend enhancements as necessary. We review existing investigation procedures, conduct investigation file audits, and recommend changes to the investigative process and investigator training. We review outcomes of investigations and provide suggestions implementing proportionate and consistent corrective actions, including a matrix for such actions and making them more transparent.
We review employers’ training, including on harassment prevention, nondiscrimination, and diversity and inclusion. We make recommendations for enhancing existing training and/or for new training on respectful workplaces, bystander intervention, and implicit bias. We consult on or deliver a range of trainings.
Diversity & Inclusion
We conduct sophisticated data analyses regarding workplace demographics, applicant pools, and pay equity; develop talent recruitment and retention strategies; support and advise on the development of diversity and inclusion councils and employee resource groups; and mitigate legal risks in the development and implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Cultural Assessments and Strategic Planning
We provide cultural assessments using established evidence-based practices. Our assessments collect qualitative data through group and individual interviews with randomly selected employees, conversations with employees who have asked to be interviewed, and a portal where workers send anonymous narratives. We also use a proprietary quantitative tool to survey the entire workforce; capture information about employee knowledge, actions, and beliefs; and establish benchmarks for tracking progress. Based on the collected data, we develop a customized strategic plan with concrete steps to create a safe, respectful, and inclusive workplace.
We help develop and implement communication plans to educate employees on management’s commitment to a safe, respectful, and inclusive workplace, including what actions management intends to take to advance that goal. We help develop presentations to C-suite executives and boards of directors as well as communication plans for the media and public.
We have the capacity to provide workplace assessments and strategic planning throughout Asia and Europe. We help clients meet regulators’ expectations under the United Kingdom’s Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) and other laws and regulations that touch on issues related to workplace culture.
We provide workplace culture training to executives, managers, and employees covering the various forms workplace harassment can take, and offer guidance on how to report and handle complaints when they occur. We also offer training on how to create a safe, respectful, and inclusive workplace culture, and ways to empower employees to intervene when they observe harassment or other forms of discrimination.
In addition to courses customized for a client’s specific workforce and policies, we provide new learning opportunities through advanced modules that build on the knowledge foundation from previous courses.
We offer harassment training programs in four delivery methods that take into account a client’s target audience, the audience’s location, the training budget, and workplace harassment compliance requirements:
Embracing a commitment to diversity and inclusion creates a stronger, more vibrant, and more productive workforce. However, attracting, retaining, and building upon a diverse workforce requires a strategic plan that takes into account the realities of the workforce as well as legal obligations. Morgan Lewis’s diversity and inclusion advisors work with clients to develop and enhance diversity and inclusion initiatives by providing essential planning and implementation advice and litigation risk-management counsel.
Our experience covers all critical aspects of diversity and inclusion program assessment, development, and implementation—including discussing diversity with various business constituents (CEOs, general counsel, boards of directors, and other senior managers), developing realistic strategies for increasing the diversity of applicant pools, assessing workplace culture from the lens of diversity and inclusion, and developing effective communication and implementation strategies to make diversity and inclusion efforts welcome within the workplace. We also bring our experience in litigating discrimination and reverse discrimination actions, including those where diversity programs are challenged, to reduce potential litigation exposure in adopting such programs.
Our diversity and inclusion advice and consulting practice is grounded in the experience and insight of former leading government and private sector experts on workplace culture, as well as a nationally recognized systemic employment litigation team. Leveraging our diverse legal team of litigators, senior advisors, and US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission specialists, along with experienced statisticians and analysts, we conduct sophisticated data analyses with regard to workplace demographics and applicant pools. We work with our clients to make substantial and sustained improvements in diversity and inclusion across all aspects, including gender, race, ethnicity, and disability.
Our team works with clients to assess workplace culture from all angles. We use a comprehensive approach to assessing current and potential workplace diversity and inclusion issues that can include, when appropriate, large-scale investigations to address specific complaints or concerns. Our dedicated and experienced team of workplace advisors assesses workplace culture through a variety of qualitative and quantitative mechanisms.
Global Diversity & Inclusion Plans
Cultural differences around the globe require nuanced diversity and inclusion approaches and strategies. We deliver the knowledge of a multinational systemic employment litigation practice combined with an essential understanding of diversity requirements and trends country by country throughout the world.
Workplace Diversity Training
Provided by Morgan Lewis Resources Workplace Training, our diversity and inclusion training course is broken down into four modules so clients can build the training their organizations need. We also incorporate customized messaging to support programming goals and expectations. Our template is based on four modules: