Think about a time before the early 90s when there was no internet or any such technology that maintained anonymity employee feedback. Of course, those were much simpler times with comparatively less competition but that wouldn’t have stopped people from having opinions. Technology or no technology, people are free to express their views, aren’t they?
Fortunately, today we live in a world that is making extraordinary advancements to manage employees and their opinions. We do panic every time the Wifi stops working but at least it has helped establish greater connectivity and strengthen outbound communication. Hence, it is orchestrating a culture where people can talk and discuss ideas even when they are not physically present in the same room at the same time. Collecting anonymous feedback is one such people technology that has helped organizations collect opinions from employees on one large, single platform.
If you are planning to conduct such a feedback session then the best to go about it is to work out a set of strategically correct employee feedback questions and act on the responses in the most fair manner. However if you are still unsure about its credibility, take a look at a few ways in which anonymity in employee feedback can empower your employees to open up and speak their mind.
Why you need a platform that provides anonymity in employee feedback?
To know what otherwise might go unheard
Wherever there is an open and anonymous platform, your employees will try and elaborate as much as they can. They will appreciate all the great ideas and initiatives taken by the organisation and at the same time, will also be critical about the ones that don’t fit in. Here comes a metaphor.
If someone is critical about your work then become friends with them. They are the ones who will always tell you the truth. Through anonymity in employee feedback they will give you an honest opinion, which will help you get better and grow.
Therefore, give an opportunity to your employees to become your best critique. They know your business and your rules. They are the ones who are a part of your vision and at the same time a part of the ground reality, the only source to get a reality check. On the other hand, some employees are introverts and shy away from discussing their opinions out in the open. Take such views into consideration and see how their thoughts work wonders for your business sales and profits.
High impact on regular performance
We have already read a number of articles on how companies, such as Adobe and others, are altogether getting rid of annual performance reviews. In fact, I have personally read countless articles on how annual performance reviews are dead because they are becoming highly inconsequential. Nobody wants it. Everybody hates it. Instead, companies are now relying on regular, more frequent feedback sessions that give the most recent reviews about the work done by employees. Such feedback is free from any unconscious bias and is up-to-date. If an employee is performing extremely well, the feedback will encourage them to work with more enthusiasm. If an employee is going off-track, the feedback will help them catch up.
In fact, pushing an automated notification to your employees will encourage them to participate and improve each other’s performance. Practising this regularly is actually effective in order to measure employee performance and hone work-related skills. This will help team members in keeping up with the pace of their performance if in any way it begins to drop.
Overall personal and professional development
As a leader, it becomes your responsibility to ensure that your team is on the right track. However, the team members know each other well enough to give feedback to each other. This is because they are the ones who work together on projects, pull off all-nighters, go for much-needed breaks and crack challenging tasks and meet unrealistic deadlines. There are times when they are open and appreciate each other’s efforts but they are not exactly comfortable talking about the shortcomings. Let’s face it, nobody wants to be the bad cop or get into an awkward situation that they don’t like.
Therefore, anonymous feedback helps them be virtually vocal about their thoughts. Employees can use it as a platform to recognise and appreciate each other for a job well done. Or help their peers realise weaknesses if any, and work on themselves. This leaves no room for any kind of disconnect.
Seamless and effective conflict resolution
Unless you are a team of under-50 members, there are chances that a conflict might rise among team members. It could be because of a clash of ideas, misunderstanding, miscommunication or anything for that matter. Moreover, many a time the situation is a bit sensitive. Team members hesitate or rather find it inconvenient or inappropriate to speak up.
Therefore, anonymity in employee feedback is a medium through which they can fearlessly, yet politely address their concerns. This way nobody gets hurt and the concerned management can take the necessary action in the most appropriate and careful manner. This helps put forward any form of negative feedback under a positive and inspiring light.
Most leaders are confident that session will help create a more open and honest culture. On the other hand, some worry that it might have a negative impact on the culture. However, there is one important fact to note. Irrespective of your decision to provide an open platform or not, your employees are going to have an opinion. They are going to discuss it with their peers and derive a conclusion out of it. This is where anonymous employee feedback will help. Wouldn’t it be better to have the management hear them out?
Therefore, it is important that the management brings out the best from the anonymous employee feedback platform. Being in the leadership and management team, you may not be able to comply with every employee suggestion. Your employees will understand as long as you validate the reason for disagreement.
In the end, anonymity in employee feedback will come with its own pros and cons. What’s important is to look at an open culture. Create one and develop it as much as possible. Things will always work out when you and your employees talk it out.