View source: Chiradeep BasuMallick
In 2019, more women were ready to come forward with reports of sexual harassment in the workplace than ever before. And a big part of this is providing the right channels of communication. Today, we survey the HR tech landscape to bring you six tools that make it easy, safe and secure to report harassment in the workplace.
Ensuring a safe work environment for employees is essential for every company. In the last few years, several industries have come under scrutiny for their approach to safety and sexual harassment in the workplace. Movements like #MeToo contributed significantly to this positive trend. Today, it is critical that companies have the requisite checks in place to detect harassment and make reporting an easy process.
Based on 1,900+ telephonic interviews, Gallup found that 48% of female respondents were sexually harassed in 2019, up from 42% in 2017. “The #MeToo movement has been credited with emboldening women to talk about their experiences as victims of sexual misconduct,” noted the report.
So, what are the tools you can use to simplify the reporting of harassment in the workplace? Let’s look at our roundup of the six such tools.
Rethink How Employees Report Harassment in the Workplace in 2020
Gallup’s study had several interesting insights. Worryingly, U.S. adults seem to be less concerned about this issue in 2019 than they were two years back. However, respondents were widely in agreement that sexual harassment is a “major problem,” with 70% of women and 53% of men talking about this issue.
Employers must adopt a culture where reporting harassment in the workplace is easy and free of stigma. This would increase accountability, inviting employees at every rung to put their best foot forward without fear of discrimination or inappropriate behavior. It also shows employees that organizations care about them, an essential driver of job satisfaction and security.
Here are six tools that can help you achieve this in 2020, arranged in no particular order.
STOPit offers an end-to-end suite of tools for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace. It comprises an employee-facing portal to capture reports, anonymize communication, and provide two-way messaging support. At the backend, it offers an incident management platform to review and act on these reports. STOPit also comes with an incident monitoring service, comprising a team who will listen to incoming reports 24/7/365. You can follow up with employees anonymously using this solution to ensure that they see their commitment to justice through.
STOPit follows a bespoke pricing model, and costs are based on the size and nature of your business.
Work Shield is a third-party mediator for sexual harassment and discrimination reports. The company has a strong service focus and actively works with employers to investigate incidents of sexual harassment and resolve every incident without bias.
Work Shield’s USP is its ability to align the solution with a company’s culture, ensuring that it “protects employees, employers, and preserves cultures at the same time” (as mentioned on its website).
Like STOPit, you’d have to contact them for a quote, but the company does claim a return on investment of 10:1.
Spot is a 360-degree solution to address both harassment and discrimination, including and beyond reporting. The reporting module comprises two features: an AI-powered conversational interface that follows up with the employee after they report an incident, and a dashboard for HR using which they can follow up on these anonymous reports.
We were particularly interested in Spot’s training feature that leverages social media, mobile, and surveys to offer fully compliant harassment prevention training to employees in the workplace.
The Spot Starter plan starts at $100 per month for companies with 100 or fewer employees.
Vault Platform covers multiple tasks and processes associated with the reporting of sexual harassment and discrimination. At its core, Vault Platform is a “secure, safe, private zone” (as per its website) where employees can write and share confidential reports.
All communication has a permanent timestamp for complete transparency, and Vault’s GoTogether™ feature enables peer-backed reports on harassment in the workplace.
Like most solutions in this space, Vault follows a tailored pricing model that you can consider after a demo.
The Speakfully app is available for teams as well as individuals. Individual employees can use it to log entries, store attachments, export data, and share comprehensive reports. For teams, the app offers advanced analytics, reviews, status updates, and notifications on the action taken. Speakfully consolidates all the communication around reporting and addressing sexual harassment on one platform.
Individual employees can use Speakfully for free. Prices for teams start at $2 per user per month for the Base rate edition.
#NotMe was explicitly designed to take on the challenges of a post-#MeToo era. Employers who partner with #NotMe get access to a customized app where employees can report sexual harassment in the workplace.
It also has an AI-driven dashboard to analyze and view reports in an actionable format. Data on #NotMe is securely encrypted, both at rest and in transit, and the app supports employee logs until an individual is ready to share their experience.
#NotMe works with companies of every size and offers a bespoke pricing package.
Why Sexual Harassment Reporting Tools Belong in Every HR Tech Stack
In the last few years, we have made progress in creating an environment where employees feel safe when sharing their experiences. It’s time to take this one step forward and make reporting harassment in the workplace as easy as talking about other forms of conflict and grievances. Tools like the ones we listed above take the stigma out of the conversation. They provide a formalized, accessible channel to talk about this critical issue.
This particular space of the HR tech landscape is rapidly evolving, with solutions available at every price point and level of requirement. And we expect more new entrants in 2020, leveraging the power of cutting-edge technology to tackle this vital diversity and inclusion question.
As HR, you must remember, though, to act upon the anonymous reports you receive and do everything in your power to resolve an issue. This helps employees develop faith in the organization and know that the organization cares for their well-being at work. Offering the technology to report sexual harassment at work is just one part of solving the problem. The second part is developing a culture that creates a safe space for employees to bring up these issues – even anonymously – in the first place.