The 2023 Workplace Harassment & Employee Misconduct Insights from HR Acuity found a lack of trust in investigations that inhibits workplace loyalty. It also revealed that there is low trust in anonymised reporting tools.
Key findings included:
- 40% of the respondents lacked confidence that their reported concerns would be thoroughly investigated and addressed fairly
- Half of the respondents feared retaliation for reporting workplace concerns
- 30% of staff who witnessed or experienced bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination have left their roles, compared to 11% who left for other reasons
Deb Muller, CEO of HR Acuity, said, “It’s clear from the study results that how organizations respond to workplace harassment and bad behavior matters as much as trying to prevent it. When issues are mishandled or unresolved, culture becomes toxic, turnover increases and referrals plummet. Clear communication, improved investigation processes, and real support for anonymous reporting can help rebuild employee trust.
“With more transparency around investigations, organizations can foster an inclusive and safe environment that bolsters employee confidence, improves reporting and helps teams proactively address workplace harassment and misconduct.”
There are further concerns raised in the report. In 2023, only 58% of harassment incidents witnessed were reported, down from 64% in 2019. Those suffering the most included independent contractors and transgender employees. 83% of the latter have experienced or witnessed an issue.