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Helping an organization resolve harassment claims against the CEO

A multi-million dollar Child and Family Service organization received multiple staff complaints of feeling harassed by the CEO and unsafe.

“People are saying it’s a toxic workplace – but we don’t know what that means exactly or what is going on.”

A multi-million dollar Child and Family Service organization was at a loss of how to proceed when the Board received multiple staff complaints of feeling harassed by the CEO and unsafe. Realize was asked to enter as an impartial and discreet third-party and conduct a workplace investigation.

March 18, 2024
The client

The challenge

Multiple reports of staff feeling harassed by CEO and unsafe in their workplace

The Board of a multi-million dollar Child and Family Service organization had received reports of the CEO of was harassing staff, causing widespread fear and discontent as staff felt unsafe in their workplace. The Board was at a complete loss of how to handle and navigate such a serious situation.

The solution

Impartial investigation and change support

Realize recognized that this situation needed to be resolved quickly and accurately to preserve the safety and well-being of all parties and resolve this extreme organizational risk.

Our approach and methodology

Realize conducted a thorough and impartial in-person investigation into this harassment case. Over multiple days, all involved parties were invited to confidential 1:1 interviews to share their experiences and perspectives. These interviews informed an anonymized report of key behavioural examples contributing to the toxic workplace environment as well as examples of the resulting employee impacts. The final report was submitted to the Board to illuminate the situation at hand, and provide evidence and context for the recommended next steps. Recommendations and support were provided to guide the Board as they took steps to resolve the difficult situation. After action had been taken, Realize continued to regularly touch base with the Board and staff to support finding equilibrium and a new norm.

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Realize Solutions is an award-winning B Corp-certified team that designs practical solutions for organizations with complex problems in the areas of board governance, organizational development, and people.

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