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Roberta Matuson
Identify the best talent in the world.
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Roberta's Recent Publications

The Magnetic Leader

Employees don’t work for companies; they work for people. The more irresistible you are as a leader, the more pull you have for employees to want to stay and for your customers to remain loyal. Read Excerpt

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Roberta's Recent Publications

Talent Magnetism

Your company is only as good as the talent you keep. Learn the new rules for attracting top talent and getting them to stick around. Excerpt

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Roberta's Recent Publications

Suddenly in Charge

Honored by the Washington Post as a Top 5 Business Book for Leaders.

Learn how to manage up, down, and succeed all around... Excerpt

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Roberta's Recent Publications

Suddenly in Charge

Learn how to save your company millions by improving the quality of your hires, while improving productivity. Slash costly employee turnover.

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Resources

Fact or Fiction: Sexual Harassment Claim at "The Factor"

The world of HR is constantly changing. These articles will help you stay informed of changing trends in HR so that you can confidently address day-to-day HR issues that may arise in your organization.

The tables are turned and now Bill O'Reilly is in the hot seat. Andrea Mackris, associate producer on "The O'Reilly Factor," has accused top cable news host Bill O'Reilly of Sexual Harassment. Ms. Mackris's allegations include that Mr. O'Reilly made inappropriate comments and that in at least two phone conversations, he engaged in telephone sex with an unwilling Ms. Mackris. Her lawsuit alleges that he told her, "Next time it's going to be in person." The spin has begun as both sides take it to the media.

If you believe stories like these only happen on television, think again. Businesses all across America are vulnerable, including yours, and the stakes are rising. Victims of sexual harassment have a right to recover damages under state and federal law. This can include lost wages, attorney fees and punitive damages. Awards for sexual harassment claims can run into millions of dollars.

But money is only one part of the story. All you have to do is look at the faces of the accuser, the accused and co-workers to know that this bomb will be felt throughout the organization. Whatever the outcome of the Mackris-O'Reilly suit, you can bet that morale at Fox News has plummeted, the company is now focusing on defending this claim rather than staying ahead of the competition and life at Fox News will never be the same.

Here is what you can do to prevent your company from becoming tomorrow's headline news:

Clean up your office

The first step in addressing sexual harassment in your workplace is to implement and enforce a zero-tolerance policy, which defines harassment and describes your complaint procedure and disciplinary measures. A proactive and aggressive stand against harassment will show employees as well as vendors that you take this issue seriously.

Accept that Sex is not a dirty word

Too often companies mistakenly think that if they avoid talking about a subject like sexual harassment, it won't occur in their organization. This couldn't be further from the truth. Make it a point to talk about sexual harassment in your organization. In today's work environment, it's a subject that needs discussion.

The key is to provide ongoing training, including refresher courses, tailored to employee's needs. For instance, educate workers about their rights and how to report incidents. Meanwhile, you should teach supervisors how to respond to worker complaints and show them ways they can create a sexual-harassment-free environment.

Create a respectful environment

Although an off-color joke may seem harmless to the teller, the receiver and others may feel differently. As a company leader, it's your job to set the tone for conduct - no matter how difficult it may be for you to address workers' comments. When leaders show zero tolerance for these offenses, employees are more likely to be respectful of their co-worker's feelings.

Take action quickly

If you suspect that a worker has harassed another in your office, address the matter immediately. After all, several employees may be affected. Consider hiring an outside professional to conduct an investigation. Although doing so may be costly, it could save you from bad press or a lawsuit.

Investigate all complaints

Treat claims seriously and take immediate action. How your company handles grievances can make the difference between effective, low-cost resolutions and expensive legal battles. Many federal courts have not held employers liable when they found that the company responded to sexual harassment complaints promptly and took corrective action. Regardless of your opinion about the specifics of the situation, it's in your employees' and company's interests to thoroughly investigate any claims.

Harassment in the workplace is an issue that won't be disappearing anytime soon. But that doesn't mean we should stop striving for a work environment where it's the exception rather than the rule.

Testimonials

"Roberta's guidance has dramatically increased my ability to pull in and retain the talent we need to take our organization to the next level. She's proven to be a trusted advisor and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to other CEOs who are looking to accelerate..."
Tom Hopcroft, President & CEO
Mass Leadership Technology Council

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"The coaching that Roberta Matuson provided for one of our retail store managers renewed the manager’s excitement in her work, provided her with increased skills in the selection of new employees and gave her the tools she needed to better manage her staff..."
Mary G. Rahal, VP, Human Resources and Administration
Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, Inc.

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"Roberta was able to clearly define our project objectives and the methodology that we needed to reach those objectives. Roberta helped us pinpoint the root cause of our problem by using in-depth probing techniques that gave her access to important data we did not have..."
Amy Waryas, Director, HR
The Boston Beer Company

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"Roberta worked with us to create a comprehensive onboarding program. With her guidance, knowledge, and expert HR advise we have successfully launched our company-wide training initiative. We now assimilate new hires into the company more effectively than ever..."
Ted Winston, Co-Owner
Winston Flowers

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"When it comes to management of people, Roberta sees through all the noise and gets right to the heart of the matter..."
Mark Spitzer, President
Photonic Glass Corporation

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"As we have grown, Roberta has provided continued support to help us work through complicated personnel issues while allowing us to focus on other areas of our business. Our employment practices truly support our business goals..."
Paul M. Zavracky, Ph.D., Former President and COO
MicroOptical Corporation

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"Roberta has saved us time and energy on situations we may have needlessly wrestled with. We consider her a partner and look for her guidance often. Roberta has provided a welcomed service to Six Red Marbles..."
Sarah Smith White, President
Six Red Marbles

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"Roberta was tenacious about keeping us focused on completing our project on schedule. The finished project was comprehensive, professional and passed the scrutiny of legal experts. I would definitely use Matuson Consulting again..."
John Blake, Former COO
Advanced Results Marketing

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"Roberta has been a tremendous mentor and coach to me over the past year. She has partnered with me on multiple professional development fronts, as well as helping me through some very challenging situations. I found Roberta to be wise counsel!"
– Allison DiSiena, VP of Recruiting, Marketing, Interactive and Creative Services Division, 24 Seven Inc.

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"Roberta Matuson was our answer. She met with us, developed a plan, walked us through the process to record our policies and procedures. She helped identify areas where policies were non-existent. She then developed and produced our employee handbook. We still use it today..."
Tim Slattery, CEO
CFSmail.com

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"Roberta presented an engaging and informative webinar on “Managing Up in a Top Down World” for Northeastern University’s alumni. This thought provoking session provided practical strategies for navigating office politics and building effective relationships for career advancement. Roberta’s extensive expertise and knowledge of workplace trends was apparent as she skillfully answered a wide range of questions from participants. Her well-organized presentation made it easy for the audience to commit to implementing her advice."
Michele Rapp, Associate Director
Northeastern University

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"Roberta’s ability to provide new leaders with insights on matters that few are willing to discuss is refreshing and will serve our members well. As a CEO, I'm especially impressed with her ability to quickly distill difficult situations and provide pragmatic advice that can be quickly and successfully implemented."
Aradhna Malhotra Oliphant, President and CEO
Leadership Pittsburgh Inc.

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"I have had the opportunity to experience Roberta Matuson’s “fast track” coaching. Her candid, succinct and concise approach provided positive reinforcement toward my professional goals."
Cheryl Schondek, VP of Food Acquisition and Supply Chain
The Greater Boston Food Bank

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Talent & Your Bottom Line: The Employee Turnover Calculator

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