Deb Muller, Founder & CEO
Since the start of the #MeToo movement in 2017, the corporate world has exposed multiple cases of sexual harassment at the workplace. To this day, female employees are taking to social media to express outrage over their ill-treating managers and the perceived inability of the human resources department—having no suitable HR tool—to carry out an unbiased investigation. Most of the victims’ narratives suggest that their HR teams lack the ability to take strong action.
The shortcomings of an organization’s HR department to deal with issues like sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and wrongful termination, are not entirely new. However, the ripple effect of social media today— through the hashtag movement—has made these long-standing concerns reach a tipping point. With few technical resources at the HR team’s disposal to investigate employee claims objectively, organizations are not just risking their bottom lines due to lawsuits, damage awards, and legal fees, but also lowering employee morale, risking organizational reputation, and, ultimately, productivity.
Having experienced these obstacles first-hand for years, Deb Muller—a seasoned HR professional—highlights two core reasons behind these HR limitations: first is the lack of well-documented employee relations data, and second, lack of consistency and best practices in HR investigation processes. Passionate about transforming the traditional HR practices, Muller took it upon herself to conquer these daunting challenges— resulting in the birth of HR Acuity, an investigation management technology platform that is changing the face of HR.
Explaining how HR Acuity is driving momentous change in the HR tech marketplace, Muller—the founder and CEO of the company— points to the most critical element of an intricate employee relations management universe: data.
“Consider any area of an organization—sales or accounts department, for instance. You will find that each of those segments hasa definite way of documenting and analyzing data,” says Muller. Conversely, when it comes to the HR department of a firm, there is no systematic way of procuring employee relations data. Muller emphasizes, “This data is critical to the employers to proactively manage employee engagement, mitigate risk, and ensure a safe workplace.”
This is where HR Acuity’s key competencies lie. The company’s comprehensive HR employee incident and investigation management platform enables organizations to effectively and methodically record all their employee relations data.
HR Acuity’s comprehensive workplace issue and investigation management platform enables organizations to effectively and methodically record all their employee relations data
Successfully leveraging this mission-critical information can not only strengthen its defense mechanism in the case of an uncalled-for lawsuit but prevent themselves from getting into a legal entanglement in the first place.
To further illustrate, Muller cites an instance. “Consider a recently terminated female employee who is filing a complaint at Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for gender inequality and pressing charges stating that she was wrongfully dismissed. If there is enough documentation with the employer to show how the employee behaved at the workplace, her performance, and times when she violated the policies, the organization can easily defend in the court of law.” In many other cases, an employer can actively monitor the behavioral trends of its employees and take strong action to stop a particular professional misunderstanding from becoming a legal issue.
Even so, objective and well-documented employee data only solves half of the equation. A value-driven methodology to handle employee issues constitutes the other half. If an employee makes a claim that he or she has been harassed or discriminated, the organization has to ensure that the investigation is fair, conducted systematically, and the complainant and witnesses are treated with respect. A case investigation process is more likely to create an impact among employees if it is proactive, transparent, and compliant. “That is what we aim to achieve through our proprietary methodology, ensuring that employees have a favorable experience,” Muller says.
Muller understands, however, that adopting new technology can be an uphill task for many organizations. Thus, as a proponent of change management, she ensures that her company supports clients at every step of the solution implementation journey. “Even after the implementation process, we organize periodic meetings with our clients to understand how they are using our solution and handling the employee data, so that we can guide them further to improve their practices,” she explains. Today, HR Acuity is also widely recognized among organizations for its prestigious roundtable events and benchmarking studies. These events, as Muller points out, are a constant fuel for HR Acuity’s expansion.
Advancing into the future, HR Acuity’s focus on creating a positive consumer experience coupled with its second-to-none employee relations case management solution is poised to spearhead a momentous transformation in ensuring a safer workplace.