Way back when Engagement Multiplier was in the development phase, our developers came up with a brilliant piece of technology – what we internally refer to as “vault technology.” That means no comment on the platform can be attributed to an individual. It’s so good, even our own developers can’t break it (and our founder, Stefan Wissenbach, asked them to try, just to be sure!).
Check out our previous post Engagement Survey Best Practices.
Real anonymous employee feedback
We built this in from the very beginning because we’ve always felt anonymity and confidentiality were that important.
Feedback from every person in every survey cycle is absolutely anonymous and confidential.
We’ve had potential clients ask us if their managers could find out who said what, and our answer is always, unequivocally “no.”
In fact, although Engagement Multiplier segments responses by group, if a group is too small – say three or fewer – we think it’s then too easy to guess the owners of comments, and we won’t do it.
Why take such a hard line?
Progress starts with telling the truth
People tend to tell the truth when they feel safe.
Our promise at Engagement Multiplier is that we help owners find out what’s really going on in the business – and more often than not, we uncover issues and surface brilliant ideas they never would have heard otherwise.
These become the actionable insights that drive real, meaningful, lasting change that results in transformation.
Now, one argument against anonymous feedback is that “it discourages the level of specificity that’s needed to make real changes.” Of course, if one of your employees has a great idea, you’ll want to ask them to explain it to you more fully, which we’ve included as “secure follow-up” in our platform.
We’ve got a funny story about that, actually:
Last year, during one of our own feedback cycles, one staff member came up with an idea Stefan thought was “incredible.”
“I read the comment and I thought, this is wonderful. So I responded using the secure follow-up feature in our vault technology, not knowing who the person was. I told them it was a great idea and I’d love to implement it in our business, can you give me a bit more information?”
We went back and forth a few times, and eventually, I said,
‘We’re going to implement it, and you have a choice: you can remain anonymous, which I’ll respect but it means I can’t give you the credit. Or you can let me know who you are and you can have the credit for this great idea.
At that moment, my executive assistant who’s worked with me for over ten years walked into my office smiling. And I had absolutely no idea.” – Stefan Wissenbach
You’ve taken great care to select the best people to work with you. It would be a shame to lose out on their valuable insights – and even your closest employees may not feel comfortable sharing them with you in person. It’s why we’ve committed to anonymity and confidentiality, and we hope you will too.
Your employees are on the front lines, which means they notice waste and identify opportunities before anyone else. That information doesn’t always make it up the chain of command.
You have to ask for it, regularly.
And you need to act on it.
Getting honest feedback not only requires anonymity and confidentiality, it also requires you to prove to your staff that their thoughts matter, and will be acted on. That creates the motivation to share more ideas for positive change, and it engages everyone in the cause of making your business the best it can be.