I recently learned about an interesting small and simple product called Tell Your Boss Anything: a service organized around anonymous feedback for managers. So I signed up and found a tightly designed social tool, implementing a very important use case in a direct and intuitive way.
One of the interesting features is that employees can share how they feel with their boss, and provide specific feedback. Here’s the sign up, which allows the staffer (here, me under my gmail account) to share that he’s frustrated about the lack of change in the organization with his boss (me, using a different email address).
The editor window:
And here is the manager’s view of this feedback, after the issue has been resolved.
The tool also implements an interesting wrinkle on this use case: if the employee feels like their feedback is not being heard, the employee can invite other employees to chime in and support the initial feedback.
A Talk With Tom Willams of Happiily
I spoke with Tom Williams of Happiily, the company behind Tell Your Boss Anything, and he explained that it grew out of a very structured survey they conducted. The company found that engagement went way up when employee feedback was broken out of structured comprehensive surveys, and they could simply focus on the hot issues that were really important. They also feel that a screened, anonymous model of feedback takes out a lot of the concerns that employees and management have.
Although some say that if the company is operating with the ‘right culture’ that anonymity would be unnecessary, I don’t agree. People would at the least pull punches, and at the worst would totally self-sensor or risk getting fired, passed over, or considered a whiner. And corporate sanctioned channels — like a Yammer or Podio instance — aren’t really organized for this sort of thing, although I can see that it could be built in. (Note that David Sacks, the founder/CEO of Yammer is an investor.)
After the launch of Tell Your Boss Anything they had a big media uptake, and surge of use, which also drives interest in the company’s more sophisticated end-to-end employee sentiment distillation and analysis offering.
I look forward to see where Williams and Happiily take the Tell Your Boss Anything product. I’m sure he has cool ideas brewing.