Why Anonymity Matters When It Comes to Warehouse Feedback

When talking with WorkHound customers, we often hear them say that offering their employees an anonymous feedback mechanism is a true difference-maker. That’s because, innately, most of us are at least somewhat fearful of providing employers with criticism or anything that might rock the boat.

But while that’s a common fear, it’s not the only reason why people value anonymity when it comes to feedback. 

Feedback programs that offer warehouse workers an anonymous method of providing insights and concerns are more likely to be successful — and there are a number of reasons for that. Let’s take a deep dive into the benefits of offering anonymity, for both your business and for your employees.

Benefit 1: Anonymity Builds Trust

Most of us have had a job at some point where we felt like we weren’t valued as an employee. The workplace may have even been toxic, creating an atmosphere that seemingly rewarded backstabbing and other similar behavior.

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When that type of job is in your past, you can’t help but look back over your shoulder at times. That’s true of any employee. When a new employee begins working in your warehouse, trust-building is an important piece of the onboarding process. 

You can help build trust and encourage effective communication by giving employees a way to provide their thoughts without any fear of reprisal. While they can eventually reveal their identity, they don’t have to — and action can often still be taken. When feedback yields action or answers, trust is the result.

Benefit 2: Anonymity Yields Honesty

As a business, you want to make your decisions and take action based on realities, not assumptions or guesses. Hearing from the workers themselves allows you to do that.

But if workers are only being queried using biannual surveys or they’re being put on the spot to answer questions about processes and needs, the feedback you receive may be skewed.

For one thing, if you’re only asking for feedback at specific intervals, you’ll miss out on real-time feedback in the in-between periods. But bigger-picture than that? If you aren’t offering a way to provide feedback that keeps the feedback provider under wraps, you may receive less feedback in the first place — and what you get may not be as honest.

Providing feedback in an anonymous way allows warehouse workers to be truly transparent and sometimes brutally honest about what’s needed on the frontline.

Benefit 3: Anonymity Can Diversify Your Feedback

Anyone who has ever participated in a Zoom meeting knows that the loudest voices on the call often overshadow everyone else.

And while there are challenges involved in video conferencing in general, that phenomenon isn’t a recent one. The same thing happens in a room filled with people, particularly when they’re asked to share an opinion or offer a perspective.

Sadly, that often means that people who could provide invaluable perspective, including minorities and women, are often shouted out. The good news is that a feedback tool like WorkHound allows all employees to offer perspective and can even the playing field.

Every piece of feedback received through an anonymous platform is valuable, and you are likely to receive a good cross-section of representation from your employees.

Benefit 4: Anonymity Can Be a Springboard to Other Communication

When employees choose to provide you with feedback or to ask a question through a feedback tool, they’re looking for a way to raise their voices and to get action on something they need.

We mentioned above that anonymity can help build the trust that’s vital to keep employees satisfied and on your team. Knowing that they can talk about their wants and needs without needing to reveal themselves is important.

But at the same time, speaking up anonymously is often the first step toward communicating with your leadership team on a broader basis. Some challenges shared by workers can’t be solved quickly through a broad-stroke solution that impacts everyone.

In those cases, you may need to ask employees to reveal their identity so you can gather more information. Increasingly, employees participating in WorkHound’s feedback programs are willing to do that.

In 2021 alone, more than 8,700 workers were retained after revealing their identity in WorkHound — an increase of 3,500 over the previous year. Through the Request-to-Reveal feature, companies can engage with their workers and take steps toward a one-on-one conversation and a solution.

Getting to that point is a gradual process, and anonymity provides a starting point to build from.

Want to give your warehouse employees a way to provide anonymous feedback? Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!