Want to Tackle Workplace Harassment? AI is Your Secret Weapon

by Shaw Taylor 9 May 2019

We are living in a time of unprecedented awareness around the issues of workplace harassment and discrimination. And yet the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission estimates that 75% of workplace harassment and discrimination goes unreported, leaving organizations in the dark about their level of risk and the true health of their culture.

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Some proactive employers are looking to Spot’s AI-based reporting tool to shed light on what’s really happening inside their organizations. Armed with anonymous insight, they can mitigate the costly effects of workplace harassment and discrimination on productivity, retention, and reputation.

Outdated solutions, limited results

The world of work is changing. No longer willing to tolerate discrimination at work, employees expect leadership to ensure a safe, inclusive environment. And as HR departments large and small feel increased pressure to address this issue, many are still relying on outdated systems for reporting.

Hotlines

Hotlines promise anonymity, security, and 24/7 availability. But they tend to be chronically underused because organizations fail to publicize them, perhaps only mentioning them passively in employee handbooks or similar outlets. They also only allow for one-way communication when employees call in anonymously.

Web forms

These systems might include options for employees to provide narrative responses through a single long form, a series of screens for gathering information, or even a chatbot feature with 24/7 availability. But with this one-way form of communication, employers can’t ask follow-up questions when employees report anonymously, and those employees don’t receive feedback about resolutions.

In-person reporting

An in-person conversation might seem like the most desirable, intuitive system, but this form of reporting lacks flexibility, confidentiality, and privacy. Conversations with HR can only take place during working hours, and the outcome of those in-person sessions relies heavily on the individual HR team member. And then there’s the issue of bias, which affects how we all respond and react to accounts of incidents, ultimately influencing how incidents are documented.

 

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Fewer barriers, better outcomes

To be clear, Spot isn’t a replacement for HR personnel. Rather, it offers a streamlined intake and follow-up solution that allows for better documentation, greater efficiency within investigations, and two-way communication with reporters—all while letting employees remain anonymous if they choose.

Talking through an incident of harassment or discrimination can be an intensely personal, sensitive, and even emotional experience. But Spot allows employees to describe what happened whenever, wherever, and for as long as they need, without being constrained by business hours, the stress of human interaction, or access to a private space at work.

And when employees are empowered to report freely, organizations gain deeper insight into the health of their workplace cultures, while at the same time building trust based on how they respond.

Communicating your commitment to confidentiality, anonymity, transparency, objectivity, and fairness can go a long way in preventing operational and reputational problems—problems that can often far outweigh the cost of implementing and maintaining a new tool. Spot can provide the insight you need to show your employees that you value their input and will respond effectively, without retaliation, to their reports.

Proactively improving workplace culture

With Spot, HR and leadership have a clearer sense of what’s happening in their organization. And companies enjoy greater employee engagement and retention because their employees know that they have a voice.

When HR staff is informed by bot-facilitated anonymous reports that still allow them to communicate with the reporter, they can spend less time on intake and respond more efficiently to each report. A streamlined reporting process and earlier visibility into issues empower HR to implement proactive programming and make other systemic cultural improvements.

But using Spot to shed light on the health of your organization is not merely a matter of risk reduction, enhanced ROI, more efficient HR workflow, or a robust bottom line. When employees can choose how and when to report, decide whether to identify themselves or not, and skip talking to a human if it makes them anxious, they feel safe, respected, and free to do their best work.

 

Spot works with organizations large and small. View our plans and pricing to see what might work for your team. 

 

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