Don't Trust Your HR Department? This Program Can Help

Photographed by Lauren Maccabbee.
When was the last time you faced an issue at work? Maybe it was getting talked down to by a superior, experiencing a micro-aggression, or witnessing inappropriate behavior at an office party. Whatever it was, did you feel you had someone to talk to about it? Or did you just let it slide?
Today’s workplace is not without its problems. Sexism is still rampant — only now many men feel uncomfortable engaging with or mentoring female colleagues in the wake of #MeToo. The wage gap hasn’t gotten any better, and many industries are still bafflingly homogenous. Workers across industries are feeling more burned out than ever. And, to top it all off, many employees feel they have nobody to turn to. In fact, as much as 80% of employees don’t trust their HR department.
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While the competence and effectiveness of an HR department varies greatly depending on the company, the fact is: Many employees need more support in dealing with workplace issues. And the need for support is especially pronounced for minority workers, including LGBTQ workers and workers of color. And while having a work spouse you can turn to is somewhat helpful, it’s not enough. Given this lack, one company is doing something about it.

Bravely is changing the workplace for the better

Bravely is a new platform that may be just what employees everywhere have been looking for. The platform, which first launched in 2017, allows employees to quickly and easily connect with a professional coach for a confidential conversation about whatever problems they might be dealing with at work. Their goal is to help workers feel supported and more comfortable dealing with issues they may have otherwise let slide, leading to happier workers.
If you’ve ever felt you needed someone to talk to about a challenge you were facing, or weren’t sure how to approach asking for a promotion, Bravely might be just the thing your workplace needs.
Courtesy of Bravely.
Bravely sessions follow a distinct four-step structure: Discovery, option identification, game planning, and role playing. This process allows users to identify a goal for the call, brainstorm different strategies for resolving an issue, identifying possible outcomes, and develop an action plan. If a situation involves a confrontation or conversation with a boss, manager, or a direct report, users can opt to rehearse a conversation to feel more empowered about approaching it in real life.
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I talked to a Bravely Pro about a situation at work

I decided to try Bravely for myself, and made an appointment to speak with a Pro about a situation I was facing at work. Though I had already talked things through with my partner and a colleague, I was looking forward to talking to someone completely neutral.
Screenshot, Bravely.
Within the first five minutes, I felt completely at ease. I felt heard and validated, and I was able to talk through my plan of action. My Bravely pro was a skilled listener and made it evident he was carefully listening to and weighing out everything I shared with him.
Our call lasted just thirty five minutes, but by the time we hung up, I had a plan of action. I felt empowered and ready to take the next step. Since then, everything has been resolved, and Bravely played a huge role in helping things go smoothly.

How can you try Bravely?

Bravely has set out to help people thrive at work, and is doing just that. Currently, Bravely works directly with company HR departments to offer the service as a free benefit to employees. Bravely currently works with 25 companies, including Evernote and Zillow, with plans to expand. If an employee is interested in bringing Bravely on as a workplace benefit, they can refer the service to their company.
One thing is for certain: Support for employees is lacking. And, based on my experience, more workplaces need a neutral, third-party service like Bravely that supports employees and coaches them through difficult situations at work. If more companies offered a service like this, I’m certain the working world would look a whole lot different.
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