Microsoft is overhauling its HR policies to address employee grievances of discrimination and harassment, and criticisms of inadequate company response to those complaints. The changes, which CEO Satya Nadella announced to employees in an email are coming less than two weeks after it became clear that workers were talking about how they had been mistreated in an email thread.
Nadella was quoted in media saying, "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."
On March 20 when an employee who had been in the same position for six years asked other women at Microsoft for advice on how to move up in the organization. The email turned into a thread where other women shared their frustrations about discrimination and sexual harassment at the company.
According to the reports few of the changes laid out by Nadella are:
- The company will hire more HR employees to improve capacity to examine 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
- Centralizing 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.