Niren Nazareth, the co-founder and chief financial officer of Jersey City-based PeopleFirst, recently completed an update for his mobile phone application to help company managers resolve workplace harassment incidents and protect their employees.
Through his pilot version of the software, Nazareth learned that companies also wanted a solution to protect employees from discrimination and bullying. As a result, he expanded the workflow of PeopleFirst to include these categories. Now employees can report on all the obstacles that impede their work well-being, and management has a more complete view of what is happening in their organization.
“The timing of our new features release has coincided with a surge in remote work, a response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Nazareth said. “Even before the push for social distancing, remote work in the U.S. had increased by 91 percent over the past 10 years bringing previously face-to-face interactions online. Companies are still trying to adjust their legacy reporting systems to accommodate remote workers that may not come into the office for long periods of time. We’ve recently heard of cases where the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled an increase in xenophobia and racial harassment, which can manifest itself in person or online.”
Nazareth said it was very important for PeopleFirst to expand its offering to include discrimination and bullying. “Because both discrimination and harassment can be illegal if based on a characteristic or status protected under anti-discrimination laws, we needed to expand our coverage to fully protect employees and employers,” he said.
Nazareth said the company has spent a lot of time listening to its customers who relay their “pain points” that often contribute to workplace misconduct.
“We then try to build features that address these problems and increase the value they get from People First.”