Did you know that the HR executives at NBC had their offices in the middle of the newsroom staff--and those offices were glass?
How comfortable would you be, going to file a complaint about a co-worker if you had to do so in a glass office? If you were going to complain about sexual harassment from the company star, say, Matt Laurer, would you feel comfortable doing so in a glass office, where people could see you? 45 percent of us report crying at work, reports my Inc. Colleague, Heather R. Huhman. Might you feel like crying if you had to report something traumatic? Might you not want to do that in a glass office?
Might you be afraid of causing drama by reporting something? People see you walk in, cry, and walk out. They know something is up. Even if the HR manager pulled the blinds, it's all kinds of obvious.
But, here's the deal. The reporting employee isn't the cause of the drama. The harasser is. In this case, Matt Lauer caused the drama. But we don't see that.
So many people (especially women) are afraid of causing drama so they keep their mouths shut when they would prefer to speak up. A few months ago, I answered a question from a woman who had received a wildly inappropriate gift from a co-worker. She wrote, "He won't take it back and I have already tried to express my concerns and discomfort to him twice. How do I give it back to him without causing drama?"
As I reminded her, she didn't cause the drama. He did, by giving her a wildly inappropriate gift and then refusing to take it back. He's the source.
Unfortunately, even in this #metoo era, many still blame the victim. In the recent Texas school shooting, the shooter targeted and killed a girl, Shana Fisher, who he had been harassing for months. This headline demonstrates the problem:
This is in no way, shape or form, the fault of Miss Fisher. She had every right to turn down any and all romantic advances, regardless of who they were from. She didn't cause the drama.
Rose McGowan didn't cause the drama around Harvey Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein did. The person who complains about an unfair salary, or that she's owed overtime pay isn't causing the drama, the person who gave her an unfair salary or denied legally owed overtime is.
Yes, when someone reports inappropriate behavior, that will start an investigation that may lead to drama, but keep in mind that unless the reporter lied, she did not cause the drama. The perpetrator did.
Everyone should feel comfortable reporting any concerns to HR, and HR should certainly not have glass offices. Companies should never protect harassers, regardless of how much money they bring in. And no one causes a school shooting by turning down a date. Ever.