5 Things Employees Are Too Afraid to Speak Up About   

Posted May 18th, 2022

Leaders might assume that because their employees aren’t complaining, they must be content. They may actually be struggling or want to suggest something but are too afraid to speak up. 

Why are employees keeping quiet? Fear of job loss, reputational damage, and organizational ineffectualness are just some explanations.

This post discusses issues employees keep mum on, from taking mental health days to voicing new ideas. We also include recent data points on what’s concerning employees and why they don’t verbalize them.   

self care isn t selfish signage
Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

1. Taking time off for mental health.

Sixty-two percent of employees worry their boss will judge them for taking mental health days, according to Forbes. The pandemic shined a spotlight on nurturing mental health, both in and out of the workplace. Yet:

Multiple organizations are gradually instituting time-off periods for mental health—from Cisco to Starbucks to Google. As a whole, though, there’s still a long way to go for companies to provide relevant resources and adequate time off for employees to take care of themselves.

person s hand forming heart
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

2. Their identity.

Four in ten LGBTQ employees say they aren’t fully out at work, says CBS News and Glassdoor. The fact that more than 50 percent of LGBTQ workers say that they’ve experienced or witnessed anti-LGBTQ comments from coworkers is likely a huge driving factor.

Half of those surveyed said their fears about expressing their identity were:  

However, if employers let their employees bring their full selves to work, employees would be much happier and more engaged. 

“Employers want to fuel their businesses for financial success, and you need quality talent to do that. If they don’t show the LGBTQ community support, their companies are missing out on great talent.”

Scott Dobrowski, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at Glassdoor

3. Unhappiness with their manager.

In 2022, more than 75 percent of employees report they’re frustrated with their manager, says a new study from Real Estate Witch. The biggest manager-related aggravations were:

Additionally, one in five workers (20%) say their managers negatively affect their confidence and self-esteem during performance reviews. 

One strategy to improve your happiness with your manager is to bring up one constructive suggestion and solution at a time, de-personalizing it as much as possible. For example, if they’re reluctant to let you work from home or use a hybrid style, speak with them about how much more productive you are without a daily commute. Suggest a trial period and demonstrate your effectiveness during that time.

4. Workplace bullying and harassment.

Think more open discussions about mental health and discrimination have mitigated workplace bullying? Not exactly. Remote work may have made it easier for colleagues to harass their comments. 

“Harassment and hostility have moved from physical and in-person actions to online and technology-based forms. They range from public bullying attacks on group video calls to berating employees over email to racist and sexist link-sharing in chat and more.”

Ellen Pao, CEO of Project Interlude, to FastCompany

Now that remote and hybrid work is omnipresent, organizations need to develop policies and plans specifically for curtailing virtual bullying and harassment.  

5. New ideas.

While companies claim they encourage innovation, employees don’t feel like they can voice new ideas. Why? According to the UNC Social Research Lab

Cognitive diversity is what will propel organizations. Everyone  That starts with creating a culture of feedback that encourages employees to bring new ideas to the table. 

Of course, it’s easy to tell employees to suggest new ideas and not as easy to make sure they’re set into motion. Devise a system or strategy to nurture ideas and make them actionable. Anonomyizing suggestions will assuage fears about confidentiality and make employees feel comfortable submitting new ideas.

Weave feedback into your company’s DNA

Your employees are the heartbeat of your organization. If they’re afraid or discouraged to speak up about their concerns, they’ll find another organization where they can. Organizations need to find ways to encourage employee feedback and engagement and use it to advance the organization.

Use technology to help you. The importance of collecting anonymous employee feedback is what drove us to create Incogneato, a secure, anonymous online suggestion box. 

Want more details? Reach out to one of us here.

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5 Ways to Embrace a Distributed Workforce

Posted September 28th, 2021

Working remotely isn’t new. The Basecamp folks wrote a book about it in 2013, but even before that many were already working away from a central office. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies were moving to a workforce that was distributed across the country or even the world. Some of the reasons include access to additional talent, reducing labor costs, and providing freedom for employees to work where they choose. 

Why might you want to embrace a distributed workforce? Matt Mullenweg of Automatic (WordPress) lays out out a few reasons in this short video:

Matt Mullenweg: Why Working From Home Is Good For Business

So yes, distributed work is here to stay whether or not your company embraces it or struggles with it. At Incogneato we have decades of experience working on remote teams and during that time, we’ve collected some tips and tricks to share with you. There are many ways to embrace a remote workforce but we think these five will be the most impactful. 

1. Foster a culture of trust.

Many companies are going to an unlimited (or more accurately non-tracked) vacation policy. Rather than limiting how much time employees can take off, they trust employees to take however much time they want while considering their tasks and responsibilities. This sort of policy eliminates the need for time-consuming tracking and accrual practices and sets the stage for a relationship built upon trust. 

Likewise, remote work policies should be trust-based. Trust-building starts in the recruiting and hiring stage and continues indefinitely. Interviewers and hiring managers should stress what will be expected of new hires and candidates should be selected based upon self-direction and maturity. 

Managers should be hesitant to micromanage employees, and trust that they will accomplish what was jointly agreed to. Communication should be honest and transparent and you should make time to get to know each other.

4. Make Time Together

Making time to be together: If possible you should establish “together hours” where 50+% of the team is expected to be online and working together. According to Harvard Business Review “teams had on average 7+ hours in the workday during which more than half the team was consistently online. Those hours are also when you should schedule business processes that benefit from having greater team overlap—as well as making and communicating decisions that affect the entire group.”

But regular check-ins between managers and direct reports, standing meetings with cross-functional project teams, and time for social interactions with subjects that fall outside of work topics and duties should be prioritized. 

Even if your workforce is mostly remote, it can be extremely valuable to also occasionally come together physically. Planning one or two annual meetings where everyone travels to a single location to accomplish business and social objectives will be important for effective distributed teams. 

3. Provide the tools your remote team needs. 

Don’t skimp here. The productivity of your remote employees (and thus your company) depends upon having the right tools in place. These tools consist of both software and hardware and can often be facilitated by listing preferred solutions and required applications and by providing a stipend for your  remote workforce to use to get set up with them.

Hardware

Let’s start on the hardware side. A home office setup should consist of a decent camera, a good microphone/speaker combo, and (crucially) a strong internet connection. Of course, you can go crazy with this sort of thing as Mullengweg might suggest but you need not spend that much on a setup (though the results are amazing). Here’s a baseline list of specs (and a few recommendations) for which you should look:

Desk (chair optional) – Let’s start with the basics. You should strive for good ergonomics and health wherever you set up your office. Desks that you stand at are increasingly popular due to the health benefits of avoiding long periods of sitting. The popularity of standings desks is evident in the number of companies now offering them. You can find quality choices from Uplift, Fully, and Autonomous. If you like your current desk but want to stand from time to time you can also purchase a standing desk converter. Don’t forget a pair of nice comfy pair of “house shoes” and a cushioned mat!

If you must sit (but you are willing to try a standing desk), you can opt for a tall stool, a hydraulic chairwhatever this is, or even a skateboard like thingy. For those who know they are going to sit for long stretches, splurging on a nice chair is a must and should be at least subsidized by employers. 

Photo by Cameron Venti on Unsplash

Monitor – Your existing monitor is likely fine, however if you are spending more time at home, upgrading what you are looking at for hours each day can be a welcome improvement. Start by determining the size monitor you want/need. Focus in on LED monitors as those generally represent the best blend of price and features today. For work, you’ll want to look at 4k monitors which tend to come with refresh rates of 60 Hz. Then look for IPS displays with either FreeSync or G-Sync. Lastly, you can determine if you want features like a USB hub built in (which helps manage all those cables) and what types of adjustments you need for height—or if you want to mount it on a a onitor arm, look for one with VESA compatibility. This ProArt Display from ASUS would be a good choice or form something a bit larger check out this 32” Dell monitor for a bit more space.

Camera – These can be pretty simple (and inexpensive). You don’t need 4k. 1080p will do just fine. In fact, many monitors and laptops already have a camera built in. Your employees may want to utilize a camera (or accessory) that can be closed physically to ensure it isn’t on when they don’t expect it to be. In most cases, this is your camera.

Microphone/Speaker – If you don’t want to spend a lot on a standalone microphone, you can avoid the dreaded echo effect by making sure your microphone and speaker are handled by a single device. You can use the mic and speakers that are equipped on your laptop, but for an upgraded experience you could try something like this or this

Software

As for software, this will relate closely to the software your team already uses and is familiar with and will tend to fall into one of the following categories: Chat, File Sharing, Project Management, Video Conferencing. Sometimes, many of these can be accommodated by one solution. For example, Google Workspace (formerly gSuite) or Microsoft 365 both provide file sharing, email, calendaring, docs and spreadsheets, chat, and video conferencing solutions. 

Some of the individual tools that are garnering the most attention (and usage) in these categories are:

Chat: Slack 

File Sharing: Dropbox

Project Management: Monday

Video Conferencing: No surprise here, Zoom

4. Explicitly define communication habits and expectations

With all these tools however comes greater opportunity to disrupt the normal flow of your workday. Now everyone will have many ways to reach out to someone. Email, Chat, Video Conferencing, and maybe even phone calls we guess.

Each is used for a different purpose, and you should orient your staff on what patterns and practices are desired in your organization. Here’s a framework you might decide to use from the authors of Remote, the Basecamp team with some minor edits, mostly for emphasis:

Chat: Quick questions and messages. We use Slack and chat throughout the day. Slack allows for setup of group channels around a particular topic. We find the old axiom, “If you have a question, someone else probably has the same question,” to be true, so for general clarification, we always have people default to the group channel so everyone benefits from the answer. 

Email: Non-urgent communication and project delivery. Email is appropriate for longer-term communication around a particular topic. We tell our team to err on the side of brevity with email. Since so many people use their phone for email, we want to send them quick messages that they will easily be able to digest and respond to on the go. 

Phone: We make phone calls from inside Slack and use a VoIP phone system. Phone calls are used for clarification when chat won’t do, and brainstorming or troubleshooting a particular project or issue

Regular (Video) Meetings: Each of our teams has a weekly meeting and each individual has a weekly one-on-one with their manager. Having these standing meetings helps us cut down on the clutter and one-off questions, since the team knows they will get a chance to address any issues during their weekly chat. It also gives everyone regular human interaction, and a chance to come up for air, joke around, present ideas and celebrate wins together.

Matt Mullenweg of Automatic also suggests that as much communication as possible be online—where it is documented so that everyone can understand the why of decisions that were made. The conversations and messages that led to a decision are all there for future review. 

5. Don’t forget to seek feedback on how it is all working

Last year we wrote about the importance of collecting feedback from remote workers. That still holds true, maybe even more so today. And although we admit to bias, we still think that collecting anonymous feedback offers advantages to other methods. You can set up a free demo of an Incogeato suggestion box in under 10 seconds.

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Collecting Anonymous Employee Feedback

Posted January 28th, 2021

An anonymous employee feedback program can be an indispensable tool for any organization. Even the most vocal employees may withhold feedback out of fear of irritating others or creating internal controversy. Anonymity breaks that barrier and can lead to many positive outcomes, including:

How to Collect Anonymous Employee Feedback

Fortunately, Incogneato makes it easy to collect anonymous employee feedback. In fact, you can create your first fully-functional box in 15 seconds from the Incogneato homepage. You are immediately given a unique web address to share with employees and a sent a login to view their responses. To get even more out of your box, we recommend reading Best Practices for Creating an Employee Suggestion Box.

Why Choose Incogneato for Your Anonymous Employee Feedback Program?

As you can see from this comparison page, Incogneato gives you significant value for the money. Many of our included features can only be found on enterprise-level solutions, which cost significantly more.

Also, all Incogneato plans come with a unique anonymous message relay and chat feature that lets you hold anonymous conversations with your respondents.

If you haven’t already, you can give Incogneato a try for free by setting up your first anonymous suggestion box. No credit card is required during the trial.

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Now Is a Great Time to Collect Anonymous Feedback from Employees Working from Home

Posted March 24th, 2020

The world is now several months into the COVID-19 pandemic and many local, state, and national governments are requiring companies to shut their doors and allow employees to work from home. Remote work can be a challenge for some, but it does offer one key benefit: a quiet time away from colleagues to reflect upon work life.

We are biologically attuned to the emotions of those around us. Removing our coworkers from the situation opens up our ability to convey our thoughts honestly without considering how others will immediately react. In other words, employees working from home are in a safe place now, removed from ordinary work-life and it is much easier to take a step back and approach their feedback holistically.

Make the most of “extra time”

Many remote employees have more time on their hands. With the average American commute consuming almost an hour each day and a likely dip in workload, some employees have several idle hours each day to reflect upon their work or craft new ideas. Forward-thinking organizations should encourage them to submit new ideas or spend some time developing out previous ideas they had been forced to back-burner.

Retain your best workers

Inevitably, some employees will use their downtime to begin searching for a new job. This underscores the need for anonymous feedback as a retention strategy. Research shows that employees are more candid when their personal anonymity is guaranteed. Giving employees a safe, anonymous tool to address their grievances can ultimately keep them around.

Collecting anonymous feedback is easy

Incogneato is a safe, anonymous employee feedback tool that is also significantly less expensive than other options. We believe that all organizations should be able to collect anonymous feedback without having to pay hefty monthly fees. This especially rings true now as organizations are trying to cut costs to survive. Incogneato is free for the first 30 days and no credit card is required until you subscribe to a plan.

The months ahead will be trying times for many organizations. We hope your business weathers the storm and comes out stronger and that your employees stay safe during this challenging period.

For additional reading, we recommend the following:

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Best Practices for Creating an Employee Suggestion Box

Posted March 16th, 2020

Best practices for creating an employee suggestion box

Creating a simple employee suggestion box can have a massive impact on employee morale, workplace culture, and the overall success of your organization. There are many other benefits of an employee suggestion box, which we have already covered in another article. This article will focus on some best practices for getting your employee suggestion box up and running.

If you’re familiar with Incogneato, then you know we make it very easy to create a suggestion box. All you need is a box title and an email address to create a live, fully-functional employee suggestion box. If you’re collecting feedback from a specific group for a single purpose, you can immediately share your box address and start collecting feedback. However, if your aim is to launch a sophisticated, long-lasting feedback program, we recommend the following steps:

  1. Determine what type of feedback you need to collect. Are you looking for leadership feedback? Feedback for a specific team? Or perhaps you are collecting reports of misconduct. Sometimes you can collect all employee feedback in one box, but most of the time – especially with larger organizations – it makes more sense to create a different box for each purpose. With Incogneato, you can designate box managers to view and respond to feedback left only in the box(es) they are assigned to. You can also create a customized web address for each box so employees can be sure they’re at the right place. For more thorough feedback, you can add up to 25 open-ended questions to each box.

  2. Make sure the executive team supports the initiative. If company leadership does not support the employee suggestion box initiative, it will be more likely to fail. Employees at all levels need to know that management cares about the feedback they provide and will actually take it to heart. If the executive team is apprehensive, try educating them on the benefits of anonymous employee feedback. You can start with The Benefits of an Anonymous Employee Suggestion box, The Research Behind Anonymous Employee Feedback, and Why Are Many People Choosing to Stay Anonymous? You can also find many more articles on our blog.

  3. Customize each box for its intended use. Now that you’ve created a box for each type of employee feedback you want to collect, you can customize each one so employees use it correctly. Start by adding a few lines of introduction text to each box. This is where you can ask for feedback in specific areas and assure employees that all feedback will remain anonymous. To make sure employees know they’re at the right place, you can create a custom web address for each box, upload your logo, and choose a button color to match. If you want to make sure that only certain employees access your box, you can password-protect it and/or restrict it by IP address. As we previously mentioned, you can also add up to 25 questions to each box.

  4. Create a launch plan. Whether you slowly roll out your employee feedback program or aim for a big push, you should create a plan for how it will be introduced to employees. Here are several ideas:
    • Send a company-wide email (preferably from leadership) explaining your feedback initiative with links to your boxes.
    • Post your box link to the employee intranet or other employee-only websites.
    • Print out your box web address and post it in employee gathering spots.
    • Ask management and HR employees to include a link to their boxes in email signatures.

  5. Continue promoting and sharing the boxes. As we covered in another post, the feedback loop is a revolving cycle. It needs a continuous supply of honest, open feedback to continue evolving and effecting positive change. If your initial round of feedback is light, don’t be discouraged. It can often take a few tries before employees become comfortable leaving anonymous feedback.

  6. Read, follow through, and communicate. One of the unique features of Incogneato is the ability to hold anonymous conversations with your respondents. If feedback is unclear, engage the employee anonymously and ask for more information. Once you feel the issue has been solved – or on a path to being solved – reach back out to the employee to let them know. You can also use Incogneato’s Anonymous Voting and Discussion tool to crowdsource an idea with a larger group.

If you haven’t already, you can give Incogneato a try for free by setting up your first anonymous suggestion box. No credit card is required during the trial.

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The Research Behind Anonymous Employee Feedback

Posted February 12th, 2020

Anonymous Employee Feedback

We often hear from organizations who like the idea of collecting anonymous employee feedback, but want to see some research before launching a suggestion box of their own. Fortunately, there’s lots out there. To assist, we’ve compiled the following list:

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Closing the Employee Feedback Loop with Anonymous Feedback

Posted January 14th, 2020

Traditionally, collecting employee feedback was limited to annual performance reviews or irregular feedback requests. Smart organizations gradually realized that employee feedback should function as an ongoing loop, ever evolving to strengthen the organization.

Using a “loop” as a visual indicator helps to convey the revolving nature of employee feedback. The loop begins with the collection of candid, honest feedback, which management then analyzes and uses to develop a plan of action. Once the plan is in place, employees are encouraged to continue submitting feedback and the plan of action continues to evolve. The result is a stronger organization with happier employees, who in turn create more satisfied customers.

Limitations of Direct Employee Feedback

In order for a feedback loop to continue evolving, it needs a continuous supply of honest, open feedback. Without it, action plans can become watered down, or in the worst case, never develop. As we’ve covered in another post on anonymity, employees tend to avoid negativity when providing direct feedback and are reluctant to irritate or challenge their superiors. In an article on conducting employee surveys, HBR noted that when asked to submit feedback, anonymity is the number one concern for employees. The same study shows that when employees have a guarantee of anonymity, they are more likely to submit honest, productive feedback — and even submit more of it.

Closing the Feedback Loop with Incogneato

Incogneato plays an essential role in both closing the employee feed loop and helping it continue to revolve. As a trusted third party, Incogneato helps organizations collect anonymous employee feedback without having to worry about inadvertently storing log files or otherwise finding out the identity of an employee who wished to remain anonymous. With a trusted system in place, employees will be more likely to continue submitting the type of honest, productive feedback that keeps the feedback loop revolving.

How Is Incogneato Different from Other Anonymous Suggestion Boxes?

One of the key differences between Incogneato and other suggestion boxes is the ability to hold an anonymous conversation. Often times that initial piece of employee feedback leads to more questions that would otherwise go unanswered. Our Anonymous Chat feature lets you immediately ask a follow up question or for request further clarification. This one feature is key to a more effective employee feedback loop, as it helps management to more thoroughly understand the issue before an action plan is developed. Another difference is price.

We believe that all organizations should be able to safely collect anonymous feedback without having to pay hefty monthly fees.

If you haven’t already, give Incogneato a try by setting up a free anonymous suggestion box. No credit card is required during your trial.

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Anonymous Reporting as a Compliance Tool

Posted December 17th, 2019

Once a niche role limited to the financial and insurance industries, the field of compliance management has been on the rise as organizations are faced with increased regulation, litigation, and consumer outcry. Corporations, healthcare providers, government agencies, and even small businesses now need to be more vigilant than ever in order to protect themselves. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth in a specific area of compliance management (financial examiners) is projected to grow by 7% in the next decade. That’s 2% more than the average of all occupations nationwide.

Compliance management is a diverse field with responsibilities including reviewing current practices, identifying relevant laws and regulations, educating staff, predicting future risks, and conducting internal investigations. While each responsibility has its own set of challenges, conducting internal investigations can be among the most difficult – especially when unethical or illegal events have taken place.

How Can Incogneato Help?

Organizations are increasingly turning to Incogneato to help collect anonymous whistleblower feedback from employees at all levels. Research shows that anonymous feedback can be very effective in gathering information from people who would otherwise remain silent out of fear of retaliation or embarrassment. One of the key differences between Incogneato and other whistleblower tools is the ability to hold an anonymous conversation. Often times that initial tip leads to more questions that would otherwise go unanswered. The Anonymous Chat feature lets you immediately ask for more details or to clarify those already given.

Is Incogneato Really Anonymous?

Incogneato takes anonymity and security seriously. In addition to using 256-bit SSL encryption for all communication within Incogneato, there is continuous threat monitoring in place and the latest server software is always in use. Perhaps most significantly, Incogneato does not collect any personal identifying information from those submitting feedback, unless they choose to include an email address (which is encrypted before storing).

If you haven’t already, give Incogneato a try by setting up a free anonymous suggestion box. No credit card is required during your trial.

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Why Are Many People Choosing to Stay Anonymous?

Posted September 24th, 2019

In recent years, people have become more aware of the dangers associated with sharing mounds of personal information online. Data breaches are certainly nothing new, but used to affect larger organizations more so than the reputations of individuals. Then came a series of Facebook data breaches starting in 2013, followed by Tumblr, Twitter, Google+ and more. In total, more than 545 million records were exposed in Facebook’s breaches alone. Another 65 million were exposed in the Tumblr hack, and the list goes on and on.

At first, many thought the breaches wouldn’t make a dent in the massive numbers of people interacting within these networks. Over time, however people began to take action. One study conducted over the summer of 2018 found that 42% of Facebook users took a break from the site in the past year. It further found that 52% adjusted their privacy settings, and 26% deleted the app from their phone. While still growing, Facebook’s growth has been slowing down across North America and in Europe. In addition to Facebook, Tumblr growth has slowed significantly and Twitter appears to have plateaued several years ago.

On the other side of the coin is Reddit — a social network known for anonymity and “throwaway accounts.” Reddit’s user base has been skyrocketing over the past few years and is projected to continue growing through 2023. Unlike other social networks, many Reddit users attempt to remain anonymous and completely control what they reveal about themselves. Using these anonymous accounts, Reddit users are free to engage in candid discussion across millions of topics.

What Does This Mean for Workplace Feedback?

People have become much more aware of the dangers associated with sharing personal information. The lessons learned from social media can have a direct effect in other areas of life as well. Someone who is less likely to post personal information on Facebook out of fear of it being seen by the wrong pair of eyes may be equally as reluctant to comment on workplace issues out in the open. We’ve learned that data can be breached and anything we say can be used against us at some point. This is especially salient when dealing with contentious or sensitive issues.

So What’s the Solution?

Using an anonymous suggestion box to collect workplace feedback (like Incogneato) can help employees feel more comfortable giving candid, honest feedback. Additionally, using a trusted third party to collect anonymous feedback prevents organizations from mistakenly storing log files or other pieces of data that can inadvertently reveal the identities of respondents. As we’ve covered in another post, there’s lots more research supporting the use of anonymous feedback.

What Makes Incogneato Safe?

Incogneato takes anonymity and security seriously. In addition to using 256-bit SSL encryption for all communication within Incogneato, there is continuous threat monitoring in place, and the latest server software is always in use. Perhaps most significantly, Incogneato does not collect any personal identifying information from those submitting feedback, unless they choose to include an email address (which is encrypted before storing).

If you haven’t already, give Incogneato a try by setting up a free anonymous suggestion box. No credit card is required during your trial.

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Does Anonymous Workplace Feedback Really Work?

Posted September 3rd, 2019

If you know what we do at Incogneato, then you can likely assume our position on this question. However, as the number of companies we help collect anonymous employee feedback continues to grow, we uncover new reasons for why it is so effective. 

First, the counterargument…

Most often, we hear “anonymity breeds negativity.” It’s hard to argue with that one. Just hang out on Reddit for a few minutes and you’ll see it firsthand. However, we’ve found that anonymity does not exclusively breed negativity. And oftentimes when it does, the negative feedback is also constructive. The trick is to brush off the negativity — and if you can — learn to pick out the constructive pieces.

Take for example the following (fictitious) piece of feedback: 

Bob the manager is universally hated. He treats everyone like garbage and genuinely has a chip on his shoulder. I quit because of him.

Obviously, the feedback is harsh and Bob would prefer not to be told off in this manner. At the same time, it’s brutally honest. Bob likely does have issues with his employees and may have never known they felt this way before. He may have previously viewed himself as strict but fair based on face-to-face feedback he’s received. If Bob can move past the comment’s bluntness, he can change for the better.

Does anonymity breed honesty?

According to HR expert and author Steve Cohen, many employees fall into the category of flighters. In other words, they eschew conflict and often busy themselves with other work or avoid managers altogether when there is perceived conflict. Flighters are also more likely to withhold knowledge and gossip internally, which is never healthy for an organization. On the opposing end of course are fighters. These people gain power by force or personality. Often times when fighters go head-to-head with flighters, the flighter backs down and decides to withhold key information. Anonymous tools that remove the risk of conflict (like Incogneato) are highly effective in gaining honest insights from these conflict-averse employees.

But my organization is open and communicative. Can we still benefit from anonymous feedback?

While unlikely, let’s pretend there exists an organization where every employee and manager is approachable, cordial, and accepts feedback graciously. Can this organization still benefit from anonymous feedback? Absolutely, and here’s why. Sitting in front of a screen composing feedback allows the employee to collect their thoughts without having to focus on a person in front of them. We are biologically attuned to the emotions of those around us. Removing them from the situation opens up our ability to convey our thoughts honestly without thinking about how others will immediately react. In other words, employees are in a safe place where they can focus on the feedback instead of the person. 

I’m convinced. But how is Incogneato different from other anonymous feedback tools?

One of the key differences between Incogneato and other suggestion boxes is the ability to hold an anonymous conversation. Often times that initial piece of employee feedback leads to more questions that would otherwise go unanswered. Our Anonymous Chat feature lets you immediately ask a follow up question or request further clarification.

Of course, there’s also the fact that Incogneato is less expensive than most competitors. How do we do it? We run lean. We do not employ a sales force so our team is solely focused on making the best product we can. 

We believe that all organizations should be able to safely collect anonymous feedback without having to pay hefty monthly fees.

When you’re ready, give Incogneato a try by setting up a free anonymous suggestion box. No credit card is required during your trial.

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