When it comes to preventing harassment in the workplace, most of the individuals we spoke to agreed that most companies fail on two fronts–creating an environment where employees feel comfortable reporting any incidents of harassment or discrimination, and having an effective process to hold the perpetrators accountable. Many of the apps are especially focused on tackling the former. “I would say for sure, the largest obstacle we have is that people are afraid to report,” says Neil Hooper, the chief operating officer of STOPit. Many employees fear retaliation from the employer, and they’re afraid of losing their jobs, according to Jared Pope, HR law attorney and founder of WorkShield.
STOPit allows employees to submit anonymous reports that goes to company personnel that the company designates–typically someone from HR, compliance, or legal. The company personnel can then address the complaint via the messenger platform, where they can discuss the issues and ask for more information. Hooper believes that this two-way communication is the core to STOPit’s product. “It’s better to have human interaction and interpretation,” he says.