15: Handling Workplace Misconduct with Kia Roberts

We welcome to the show Kia Roberts, who worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn and the Director of Investigations for the National Football League (NFL) and founded her own company, Triangle Investigations.

Overview
We welcome to the show Kia Roberts, who worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn and the Director of Investigations for the National Football League (NFL) and founded her own company, Triangle Investigations.

Triangle Investigations performs third party investigations for companies into allegations of misconduct, including sexual harassment, discrimination, and bullying. Kia talks about why she founded the company, successes she’s had, and what the future of company culture and human resources will look like. We also ask for her opinions on how new and established companies can create and manage a healthy and positive culture..

One Powerful Quotation
  •  21:33 - Kia: “Employees are in a position right now where they’re making demands and they’re being heard, and I think at this point, there’s going to have to be follow-through.”
Key Topics
  • 0:48 - Harris asks Kia about how her career prepared her to start her own business.
  • 2:30 - Shawn asks Kia what the most difficult steps were for her when starting a business.
  • 3:00 - Kia talks about using an external marketing firm to help with client acquisition.
  • 4:10 - Kia describes how Triangle Investigations works to investigate workplace misconduct, including sexual harassment, descrimination, bullying, etc.
  • 6:25 - Kia talks about how her job at the District Attorney’s office prepared her for launching her own business and how she overcame the hurdles of client acquisition.
  • 7:15 - Harris asks Kia about how she’s integrating technology, specifically Triangle’s Telli platform, into her work as an investigator.
  • 9:54 - Shawn asks Kia how the Telli smartphone app works.
  • 11:30 - Kia discusses how her app helps inform decisions in the rest of her company
  • 13:45 - Harris mentions how Kia’s app fills a need and then asks Kia how she is funding her business. Kia responds that she is bootstrapping her efforts.
  • 15:26 - Harris asks Kia her opinions on what steps someone in a hostile work environment should take to address problems.
  • 18:00 - Kia discusses what happens when companies do not address misconduct.
  • 23:30 - Shawn asks Kia about what kinds of symptoms might appear if misconduct goes unnoticed or unreported in a company.
  • 25:12 - Shawn then asks what might companies do to maintain best practices around minimizing and addressing misconduct.
  • 26:04 - Kia mentions the “No Jerk Policy.” See below for a book recommendation.
  • 27:00 - Shawn asks how a company can enforce misconduct rules.
  • 29:15 - Shawn shares his experience with diversity (or lack thereof) in the tech world.
  • 31:09 - Kia and Harris talk about how fighting discrimination needs to be at the top of the list of priorities for CEOs.
  • 35:15 - Kia and Harris discuss how Triangle Investigations provides a level of risk management for other companies.
  • 36:00 - Shawn asks Kia how she recommends new companies go about establishing a healthy, inclusive work culture.
  • 37:51 - Shawn asks Kia for book recommendations. She recommends Book Yourself Solid.
  • 38:48 - Harris asks Kia where people can find out more about Triangle Investigations and how they can follow her on social media.
  • 40:03 - Kia talks about things businesses should avoid doing and what are proactive steps they can take to address misconduct.
  • 42:09 - Harris talks about the effect Glassdoor reviews can have on a company.
  • 44:00 - Kia discusses how nonprofits can be affected by negative Glassdoor reviews.
  • 45:55 - Shawn talks about how mission statements should include what companies do for their employees along with what they provide for customers and shareholders.
  • 47:30 - Harris and Shawn discuss the potential pitfalls of focusing on growth rather than sustainability.
  • 48:40 - Harris asks Kia for advice on how people in leadership positions can better hold each other accountable rather than adopting a defensive posture to maintain the status quo.
  • 52:22 - Kia tells the story of how a pastry shop in New Orleans had to shut down because of a string of sexual harassment lawsuits.
  • 53:44 - Kia shares how she got the idea for Triangle Investigations.
List of Resources
Guest Information
I am the Founder and Principal of Triangle Investigations. Triangle Investigations is a group of lawyers and expert investigators performing misconduct (sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying) investigations within workplaces, schools, and other organizations. Prior to founding Triangle, I was the first-ever Director of Investigations for the NFL, where I conducted investigations into NFL players and employees accused of violating the NFL's Code of Conduct. Prior to the NFL, I spent approximately a decade as a prosecutor in the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, finishing my time there as a homicide prosecutor. I received from law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School, and my undergraduate degree from Duke University. I am a native of New Orleans, and currently live in Brooklyn with my husband and our two small children.

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License Information
“Hello Blink Show” by Kenny Consulting Group, LLC and Skal Risa, LLC is licensed under CC BY 4.0
Intro and outro song is “Routine” by Amine Maxwell is licensed under CC BY 3.0
Special Guest: Kia Roberts.

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© Skal Risa, LLC and Kenny Consulting Group, LLC | Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY)