This past weekend’s release of a Google employee’s now-infamous “Google Manifesto” has received quite a bit attention of worldwide, and subsequently led to the firing of it’s author, James Damore. The document has sparked a torrent of debate over workplace culture, tolerance, and dissent.
The fact that it is so controversial (even within Google) demonstrates that there is a very real divide within many organizations. Intuitively, one would assume that most do not support anti-diversity views. The events of this week, however, show otherwise and strongly underscore the need for internal, anonymous feedback channels. Had James Damore been provided a tool to anonymously disclose and discuss his opinions with Google’s management, he may have never felt the need to pen his manifesto and Google wouldn’t have felt the need to terminate his employment. As research shows, suppressing emotions at work can lead to aggressive behavior.
Anonymous feedback solutions, such as Incogneato, allow organizations to anonymously gauge internal opinion on any topic—and not just topics that could publicly embarrass a company. Maybe a whole team is about to call it quits over a toxic manager. Maybe that recently-launched product contains bugs or issues that employees are afraid to speak about. Maybe a manager has done something illegal. The list of “what-ifs” can go on and on.
Sure, every company likes to think it’s employees are comfortable enough to share their views out in the open. Open door policies and listening tours are commonplace in many organizations. Those may work fine for some employees, but there will always be others who, for a variety of reasons, prefer to remain anonymous.