While some have innovated with technology to work within the existing system, we have effectively reimagined and reshaped the system itself— and used innovative technology to support and scale that.
Let’s start by looking at what makes everything else the same. What do all of the other misconduct reporting systems have in common? They have all been built by or for the employer, and then ask employees to use them.
So why after decades of these reporting systems in place, do we still have over 70% of employees not reporting issues of misconduct when they occur? Because employees don’t trust them. And when they don’t trust them, they don’t use them.
“Trusting them” can mean a lot of different things. Trusting them, the reporting system. And trusting them, the individuals in management using the systems. With common questions like:
- Do employees trust that they won’t be retaliated against?
- Do they trust that anything would actually be done to the person reported if that person is in power?
- Do they trust that it’s actually anonymous if there isn’t a third-party independent* option?
The answers for the first two questions lie in the values and culture of your company. The answer to the third is a resounding no. And there are many other questions and considerations that have been well researched and laid out.
But I want to focus on what may seem like a much less egregious area of mistrust, but arguably a much more pervasive one. I have worked in investment management, media and tech. From big conservative corporate to early stage start-up. At every place that I have worked, there was some option for reporting issues that was offered— be it in person to my supervisor or HR, hotlines, etc. Each time, I viewed it through the lens of knowing they legally had to offer something to protect themselves and the company, but not actually believing they wanted me to use it to protect myself or my colleagues. Think about that. From the moment it’s introduced, it’s had the opposite effect than the words spoken. “If you experience any harassment issues or otherwise, please don’t hesitate to reach out to blah blah blah…” translated in my mind as “We have to say this and offer it to protect ourselves legally.” I don’t think I’m alone in this translation.
At #NotMe, we’re turning reporting on its head by putting the employee and their safety - physically and psychologically - first. Truly. Not just as a marketing slogan, but in action. By having the only open platform that exists in this space, we are helping employees daily who report using their #NotMe app when their employers are not even subscribers to our product. This isn’t a small thing. This is THE thing.
As a result, when companies subscribe to #NotMe, it’s often the first time that their employees actually believe that management wants to hear from them. And that shift is monumental. It’s what can help those who have never spoken up to come forward, as well as those who only spoke up once it became unbearable to come forward sooner. And therein lies the difference.
Yes, we also have made the process incredibly quick, easy and safe with technology and product infused with talent, expertise and heart. Employees can report in 3 minutes, right from their phone, anonymously if they choose whether they experience or witness anything. Employers can track trends, repeat offenders and remain in two-way communication with employees who report even if done anonymously. And though all of this definitely is important, it only moves the needle incrementally on a problem that needs a massive overhaul.
So back to THE thing that is different. THE thing that will make a significant impact. Trust from the employees. We have created the employee’s reporting platform - that has always been the vision. A platform that any individual, regardless of their position, can use for free to report misconduct and get support. And as a byproduct, #NotMe is the most powerful tool for employers. Simply because it is the tool employees trust when they need to speak out.
Bottom line is that until employees speak up, employers are at risk. And until employers put employees at the center of the process, employees won’t speak up.
* Independent means separate from their employers, including and specifically from their IT systems so no one can track individuals reporting anonymously .