Uber HR Conducts 'Listening Tour' to Delve Into Workplace Concerns

Kathy Gurchiek By Kathy Gurchiek May 26, 2017
Uber HR Conducts Listening Tour to Delve Into Workplace Concerns

An Uber employee's blog post in February alleging sexual harassment by her boss, as well as discrimination and retaliation, prompted not only an internal investigation by the former U.S. attorney general but a "listening tour" by the company's new chief human resources officer to hear employee concerns.

Sexual harassment was not as high on employees' list of complaints as the issues they had with pay and feeling valued, the HR professional found. The listening sessions exemplified the importance of talking to employees so employers know what issues to address to create and maintain a productive and engaging workplace. It's a strategy politicians, educational institutions and government agencies use to get a sense of their constituencies' deepest concerns.  

Uber's Biggest Employee Problems Are Pay and Pride, Not Sexism, Says HR Boss

Sexual harassment at Uber has not surfaced as a major concern among employees, according to the company's new chief human resources officer.  Liane Hornsey, who started at Uber on Jan. 3, said she has conducted more than 200 separate sessions with employees since February to get a handle on the company's biggest HR problems.
(USA Today)

[SHRM member-only toolkit: Managing Organizational Communication]

What CEOs Can Learn from Justin Trudeau's "Listening Tour"

A tour of the front lines can be transformative, but only if it's genuine. There are real organizational benefits for a business when its leader approaches the people actually doing the work, and they listen with open ears. It creates the impression that every employee matters—something that can't really be said for mission statements and staff surveys.
(Profit Guide)

The Benefits of Leading by Listening

An authoritarian approach to leadership may be popular, but another leadership style—leading by listening—offers not only a more peaceful work environment, but a better bottom line. 
(Green Living AZ Magazine)

Uber Engineer's Claims Could Offer Lesson on How Not to Run an HR Department

Former employee Susan Fowler alleged that HR at Uber turned a blind eye to sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation. A competent HR representative, faced with the kinds of allegations that the employee revealed, should have investigated them and brought them to the attention of senior leaders or managers, said Stephen Paskoff, president and CEO of ELI, an Atlanta-based company that helps organizations address bad behavior in the workplace. And a competent HR representative would have made it clear to higher-ups how serious the claims were in terms of potential legal repercussions, the values of the organization, and the ultimate impact on business performance.
(SHRM Online)

7 Signs You Aren't Listening to Your Employees

The employer-employee relationship has many opportunities to become frayed. For example, inadequate compensation can lead employees to feel underappreciated, but did you ever consider how lack of follow through on your part could have the same impact? As the leader of a company, you want to make sure that you're listening (and keeping your eyes wide open) to what your employees are saying or doing.

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