Is Sending The BeeMail
An Option For You?

When harassment, discrimination or bullying first arise, the behavior usually starts small, appears “insignificant,” or is disguised. Many times the first few incidents are only the beginning of a longer abuse cycle. Just because it’s a small problem, doesn’t mean such behavior isn’t worth addressing.

There are some benefits to addressing a problem early: (a) you have more options for resolution, (b) it’s less risky for both you and your colleague, and (c) your colleague is notified that you do not readily accept such behavior.

Not everyone feels safe or comfortable speaking directly to their harasser or bully. And not everyone feels safe reporting to HR.

For those seeking an “out of the box” solution that lessens their risks and keeps control in their hands, The Wolf and The Bee created a new option: The BeeMail. The BeeMail is a diplmotic and discreet notification email sent to your colleague, on your behalf without mentioning your name. Additionally, The BeeMail provides your colleague with information and tools to help facilitate an accountability and resolution process.

The BeeMail Option

Sending The BeeMail isn’t the right option for every circumstance. But sending The BeeMail is an option if you can answer YES to the following circumstances and goals: 

IS SENDING THE BEEMAIL AN OPTION FOR YOU?
  • If you want to resolve the issue early, quickly and quietly
  • If you need to be able to continue working with this person in the future
  • If you don’t feel comfortable speaking directly to the person at this time
  • If you would feel comfortable receiving an apology from the recipient 
  • If you don’t want to go to your boss or HR right now
  • If there is a power imbalance between both parties
  • If you witnessed inappropriate behavior and want to be an ally without putting either party at risk

If you said YES to all of the above circumstances and goals, sending The BeeMail is an option to consider.

The Benefits and Risks

THE BEEMAIL BENEFITS

Sending The BeeMail has one big benefit: It disrupts the current dynamic between you and the other party. Because the notice is delivered by a third party (The Wolf and The Bee), it introduces a “witness” that notification was sent. The behavior is no longer hidden and can be addressed.

Benefits Include: 

  • Lower risk resolution option: If you start by addressing the issue directly with your colleague first, you may save time, energy and money. 
  • If you must escalate to your supervisor or HR, sending The BeeMail may position you as a problem solver – as you have tried all options to resolve the issue.
  • Unnamed source: The BeeMail does not include your name. It is direct and tactful, refers to general inappropriate behavior (not specifics), and provides the sender as much distance as possible. 
  • Control: You stay in control of the process while exploring options for resolution.
  • Documentation: You receive a receipt of the time and date The BeeMail was sent. If you need to escalate the issue you have documentation of communication.
  • Acknowledges the issue: It exposes the behavior to the light, so it can be addressed. 
  • Support for the recipient: Coaching tools and exercises are provided to the recipient on how to take accountability and create a resolution plan.  
  • Support for the sender: Coaching tools and exercises are provided to the sender.
  • Transparent Process: The process is outlined below.
  • Feel empowered – move from feeling powerless to empowered. Sending The BeeMail may start the process toward greater confidence to speak up for yourself and others.
THE BEEMAIL RISKS

When you are being harassed or discriminated against at work, the risks go up, whether you decide to address the issue or not. When sending The BeeMail, here are risks you need to consider:

  • Anonymity isn’t guaranteed: While The BeeMail does not reference your name or specifics, and only refers to general inappropriate behaviors, your work and company circumstances may reveal that you are the source of The BeeMail.  
  • Escalation may still be required: We can’t control how the recipient will respond. They may not take the warning and retaliate instead. If this is the case, you may have to consider escalating the problem to your supervisor or HR.  
  • Retaliation: Retaliation is a risk regardless of whether you do nothing or you do something. Be aware that sending The BeeMail may speed up a reaction.

While no option is risk free, sending The BeeMail may disrupt the current dynamic between you and the other party, and start the process toward resolving the issue, and foster greater confidence to speak up for yourself and others.

The BeeMail Process

When you send The BeeMail, The Wolf and The Bee acts as your “representative” and sends a diplomatic and discreet email (The “BeeMail”) directly to your colleague without mentioning your name.

The Wolf and The Bee does not investigate claims. The intention of sending The BeeMail is to facilitate change in the interaction between both parties. By providing a warning, and not an accusation, The BeeMail process gives space to both parties to seek a resolution.

Additionally, the process provides coaching resources for both The BeeMail sender and recipient.

The BeeMail is only sent to the recipient specified. It is not sent to anyone else.

The BeeMail delivery confirmation is sent to the sender, and may be used as documentation if the sender decides to escalate the complaint.

THE BEEMAIL PROCESS – Step by Step
  1. Make a donation of $25 donation to SEND THE BEEMAIL.
  2. A donation receipt will be sent to your email with a reference number and a link to a form to complete the process.
  3. Click the link provided in the email and fill out the form.
  4. Provide your email and donation reference number, and answer three general questions about your experience. These questions are optional:
    • How did you hear about the BeeMail?
    • What type of harassment are you experiencing? (multiple choice)
    • What level / position do you hold within your company? (multiple choice)
  5. Provide information on the recipient of The BeeMail:
    • First name of the recipient of The BeeMail. (This may be used to avoid confusion in the cases where the email address is incorrect.)
    • Email address for the recipient of The BeeMail.
    • What level / position does the recipient hold within your company?
  6. Select the date and time you want The BeeMail sent.
    • The default is Friday at 4 PM ET to provide a weekend time buffer.
  7. Once your form is submitted, you will receive two emails from The Wolf and The Bee:
    • A confirmation email confirming the information you submitted. A link to make changes or request information will be included in the confirmation. Save this email in your documentation file.
    • An email with next steps, tools and information you can use to address harassment going forward.
  8. The BeeMail will be sent to the recipient on the designated day at the designated time.
    • A delivery confirmation email will be sent to you once that has been sent. Save this email in your documentation file.
  9. Follow-up:
    • Two weeks following The BeeMail being sent, you will receive a feedback survey. (We are always working to improve our solutions).
SEE THE BEEMAIL – Example

Other Options

Sending The BeeMail may not be the right option for you. And if harassment continues, escalates, or you experience retaliation, you have additional options to consider.

The Wolf and The Bee Navigating Workplace Harassment User Guide is a free resource that includes resources, tools, and the risks and benefits of various options, including direct communication, reporting to a supervisor, and reporting to Human Resources.