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Anonymous Questions

Transparency in organisation is an exciting topic. How much transparency is needed? Could transparency be damaging even in a very healthful organisation? Buffer, a company widely known for their transparent approach to all processes and practices, learned through experiments that transparency could play badly in some fields.

For example, feedback. Providing fair, critical feedback is a tough thing for most of us (well, may be not for Dutch). Doing it in public makes it harder and even impossible in some cases. On one side, people giving feedback tend to hinder and reword the most harsh parts. On the other side, people receiving feedback tend to overreact and accept well-weighted and constructive criticism aggressively.

Having private one-to-one communication channel for feedback is a good idea. But what about company level? What if an employee wants to point out something or ask a question but is afraid of looking stupid? SC5 found a terrific solution to this problem.

Employees could post a question with /question command in any Slack channel and it appears as an anonymous question on a Trello board. As soon as the question is moved to Done, it pops up in open Slack channel along with an answer and a person who answered it.

Marjaana gives an example,

When somebody asks “Why didn’t we have donuts last Tuesday?” and I answers it, “Sorry I forgot”, it shows that Marjaana is responsible for that kind of stuff and she was just forgetful.

Laura adds a bit of clarification,

And not to blame Marjaana. It’s more about making clear who is in charge of what and encouraging people to discuss directly with her their likes and dislikes.

Creating a channel for anonymous feedback gives you an opportunity to learn more about your company and find new directions for improvement. No matter how transparent your company is.

SC5 is the fourth company joining Yay4Monday — a community of organisations which truly care about employees, their happiness and engagement. While we’re working on their profile, read stories from other companies. 

Futurice Ministry
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