The workplace has its disputes — some uglier than others. When tensions are high and you need a way to address a sticky situation, you need Bravely at your side. It’s an on-demand conflict coaching and communication guidance platform tailored to the workplace. Billing itself as Urgent Care for HR, Bravely provides advice to manage uncomfortable workplace situations and schedules conversations with all the involved parties with expert coaches and HR professionals to resolve conflict before it breeds into a larger problem within an organization. A growing contributing factor to employee turnover, workplace conflict and tension is an issue that has traditionally often ignored. Founded by a former Gilt Groupe employee, Bravely crafts a better work environment through improved conflict resolution and communication.
Today we sit down cofounder and CEO Toby Hervey to chat about the company, its origin, its future plans, and the future of work.
Tell us about your product or service.
Bravely is a resource for confidential conflict coaching and communication guidance for employees navigating issues in the workplace, helping them prepare for conversations with managers, colleagues and HR teams. The easy-to-use platform connects and schedules employees with experienced conflict coaches and HR professionals for conversations about the challenges employees face that can be intimidating to tackle proactively.
I was working one afternoon when I got a call from a friend who was reeling from a fight with her boss—a culmination of months of tension. I tried to help, then quickly realized he knew the best person for the job: my former Gilt Groupe colleague Sarah Sheehan, who was always helping people deal with stressful issues at work.
After chatting with Sarah, my friend went forward to resolve her issue. The experience got me thinking more and more about workplace conflict. Having spent years building a platform for on-demand urgent care, I couldn’t help thinking employees would benefit from a similar approach in moments of need at work, something akin to ‘HR urgent care’ that would provide a much-needed first step, a safe place outside the walls of work.
How is it different?
Right now, there’s no neutral, formal resource for employees to turn to as a starting point for tackling an issue in the workplace. Friends and family can be blindly on your side and lack the right expertise to really help you, and often employees won’t come forward to colleagues, managers or HR when they have issues because they’re unsure and intimidated. Having a place to safely and privately structure their thoughts and approach without fear of retribution or embarrassment can help send employees forward to proactively and constructively communicate in the workplace.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
We’re targeting forward-thinking companies with a concentration of office-based professionals facing ongoing organizational change such as rapid-growth. We really want companies that care about signaling to their employees that they care.
What’s your business model?
We work with companies directly to offer Bravely as a resource and benefit to employees. We charge companies an annual or monthly access fee for each of their employees. (Bravely is free for employees. The employer itself pays a fee to use the service; the cost depends on the company size.)
Will users be able to work with the same expert coaches over time and build a rapport?
Yes. After their first session, employees can schedule follow-on sessions with the same Pro. We are not intending to serve as a programmatic, regular coaching solution, but we recognize sometimes it takes more than one conversation to resolve an episodic issue, and we want to ensure a great, consistent experience, and not having to re-explain the context each time.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We’ll continue rolling out with forward-thinking companies looking to enrich their support of their employees and tackle workplace issues. We expect to launch around 50 companies, reaching thousands of employees. We’ll also continue hiring and experimenting with new features to enrich our core experience.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We’re focused on delivering a stellar experience to our first wave of clients, collecting data and refining our experience.
Where is your favorite fall destination in the city?
During the fall, I always try to walk around the city as much as possible to enjoy the perfect weather, and the West Village is my favorite place for being out and about — it’s just picturesque.