Microsoft Aims to Enhance Workplace Culture and Employee Relationships
Microsoft recently announced its new changes and investments aimed at further deepening their employee relationships and enhancing their workplace culture. They have launched four new employee workforce initiatives including changes to US-based policies and practices related to non compete clause enforcement, confidentiality agreements in dispute resolutions, wage transparency across hiring practices and the initiation of a civil rights audit.
The four workplace initiatives and commitments made by Microsoft are:
- Empowering employee mobility
Microsoft believes that all employees should be empowered to work at a company they love and in a role where they thrive. While existing employee agreements have non compete obligations, they do not endorse the use of such provisions as a retention tool. Microsoft has announced that they are removing non competition clauses from U.S. employee agreements, and will not enforce existing non competition clauses in the U.S. In other words, this means that U.S. employees will not be restricted by a noncompete clause in seeking employment with another company who may be considered a competitor.
- Fostering a safe space for concerns
Microsoft also announced that it will no longer include confidentiality language that prevents workers from disclosing alleged conduct that they perceive is illegal discrimination, harassment, retaliation, sexual assault, or a wage and hour violation occurring in the workplace. This decision comes from feedback that they can strengthen their workplace culture and encourage more employees to come forward with their workplace concerns by addressing non-disclosure clauses.
- Increasing pay transparency
Microsoft announced that it will start publicly disclosing salary ranges in its job postings across the US in order to promote equal pay among staff beginning no later than January 2023. They have been publicly posting equal pay data annually to hold themselves in order to improve equal pay, and has also prohibited the act of asking job applicants about their salary histories years ago.
- Conducting a civil rights audit
Microsoft’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is grounded in accountability and transparency, which is why Microsoft is committing to a civil rights audit of its workforce policies and practices. This audit, to be conducted by a third party, will be guided by U.S. civil rights law and Microsoft values with the purpose of identifying areas of opportunity for Microsoft to address, and is to be completed in the 2023 financial year.
The four new initiatives are aimed at empowering employee mobility, fostering a safe space for concerns, increasing pay transparency and conducting a civil rights audit.
Microsoft is always evaluating their employees’ experience and listening to determine what changes are needed to make as a result of what employees need and care about. These new policies are a result of Microsoft’s “listen first” approach which allows them to identify what works, and what doesn’t.
In regards to the new workplace initiatives, Microsoft stated:
“We believe these workforce initiatives are positive changes for our employees and reflect our fundamental principle that people are the heart and soul of our company and our number one priority.”