As sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace reaches a new level of consciousness in society, the National Association of REALTORS® says it is committed to providing a productive and welcoming environment for its 350 full-time staff members. This means making clear that discrimination, harassment and retaliation will never be tolerated by the association, including within employee workspaces and at NAR-sanctioned events, says CEO Bob Goldberg. And it means doing everything possible to create and maintain a culture that pays proper respect to the immense amount of trust placed in the association.
“NAR consistently strives to improve our workplace for every employee, and we have a robust set of policies, protocols and training programs in place to help us maintain a positive, respectful working environment.” Goldberg says. “We pride ourselves on following the best governance practices in place throughout our nation, and we remain focused on fostering a culture that encourages our people to be heard and come forward if needed.”
NAR’s annual employee anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training supports those principles. This year’s program was intentionally and independently designed to teach NAR staff what harassment and discrimination looks like, outline how it can be eradicated, and highlight additional steps managers can take, and provides guidance that bystanders can take to ensure a respectful and encouraging workplace. The training is required of both supervisors and non-supervisors, regardless of seniority or management level. It consists of eight modules, four focused on harassment prevention and four on bystander intervention. The 2023 training, which launched August 1, must be completed by all NAR staff, including temporary employees on NAR’s payroll, within nine weeks.
Chicago, NAR’s headquarters city, has some of the strictest employer anti-harassment education requirements in the country. Because of that, the organization requires all employees, regardless of location, to complete training that complies with Chicago’s employment laws. In addition, NAR requires its member-elected leadership team to complete sexual harassment prevention training each year. Earlier this year, the association made a change to move this training from an online course to a live webinar format while expanding mandated participation to include all current regional vice presidents, committee liaisons, and the REALTOR® Party director.
Later this month, NAR will host its annual Leadership Summit and Leadership Camp in Chicago. As in previous years, NAR will incorporate sexual harassment prevention training into this event; attendance is mandatory for all incoming NAR committee chairs and vice chairs. “We were one of the first professional associations to create a code of conduct around these issues for our members, not just for our employees,” Goldberg says. “We maintain several policies intended to deter and detect inappropriate behavior and unlawful conduct, and we are—and always have been—fully dedicated to addressing every concern brought to our attention.”
NAR earned a “Great Place to Work” designation in 2023 for the third consecutive year. The designation is awarded annually based on an anonymous survey of the organization’s workforce. This year, roughly 80% of NAR employees responded to this survey, which assessed key employee engagement attributes like credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie. This designation significantly enhances NAR’s ability to attract and retain top talent and, in turn, provide the best possible service to its more than 1.5 million members nationwide. If the association is to continue providing the best possible service to REALTORS®, designations like this aren’t a luxury—they’re a necessity, Goldberg says.
As the world’s largest trade association, NAR wields considerable influence: The key role that REALTORS® and the real estate industry play in the nation’s economy affords NAR a tremendous opportunity to serve its mission of empowering REALTORS® to preserve and protect property rights. With a powerful advocacy operation and a Code of Ethics that requires cooperation and fair, honest business practices, NAR supports millions of American consumers in the purchase and sale of real estate.
Beyond being an unwavering voice for REALTORS® and their clients, the association takes seriously its responsibility to maintain a healthy workplace and positive employee culture. “NAR has been and is fully committed to providing a safe and productive environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation,” Goldberg says. “Not only does this set a positive example for organizations within and outside of real estate, but it ensures we are able to live out our goals and core values every single day.”