🤫 Are all Answers really Anonymous?

How we ensure anonymity when responding to feedback
Written by Berglind
Updated 1 year ago
In Successteam, we live by one golden rule:
All answers are anonymized, and we never share individual responses!

This is crucially important to us! below you can read why...

In this article, you'll learn: 

So, why is it anonymous to begin with? 

It's pretty simple, actually. People need a safe space to share their thoughts, worries, and opinions without fear of consequences. 

And before you think, "but in our team, we have an "open-door policy," and we always react appropriately without consequences when people speak up."

Let me just explain further...

The sentence above, or variations of it, is one we often hear from everyday leaders. But the truth is, it's not always about your leadership or behavior. It's about your team's previous experiences and assumptions based on them. 

See, many of us have some sort of negative experience with a previous leader.  Maybe a certain leader from your own past comes to mind? Nevertheless, 9 out of 10 of your team members will have proof from their past that if they speak up about difficult things, their leader reacts in an unpleasant way. That experience has taught them that staying silent is better than speaking up.

In other words, the fear of consequences is too overwhelming for many, and
that is where an "Open Door" policy might not be enough.

The great thing is, over time, if you act positively on the feedback your team provides, you'll change their perception and teach them that they can speak up without consequences, which will affect the culture positively.  

Here is how we do it 👇

We do 4 fundamental things. 

1. We don't show results if less than 4 people responded.

To ensure that the responses cannot be traced back to individuals, we do not share results from the feedback loop if fewer than 4 people answered. 

*This means each team must consist of at least 4 team members + 1 leader.

2. We only display the result when a session was completed or ended.

A leader chooses the frequency of a feedback loop (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly), to ensure anonymity, we only show the leader a result of the feedback session when:

  • The feedback session has ended.
  • All team members gave their full feedback.
*However, in both cases, feedback must still be given by 4 people or more.

This ensures that leaders can't guess the result based on how the score or colors change because they won't ever see a change after a single individual answer. 

3. We base the results on Normal Distribution

Each of the 12 indicators in Successteam is based on a normal distribution of all the responses given. That means your scores are not based on the individual answers but on what the overwhelming majority feels. 

So, an individual person's negative response doesn't tip the score into "critical challenges" (red). The majority of the team must answer negatively to result in a negative score, and vice versa.

This way, we ensure that the insights leaders get are valuable, yet they cannot be traced back to individual answers.

You can read more about how we calculate the score here!

4. Results are shown in Colors

We display the team status and scores and colors to provide a simple and straightforward overview of an otherwise pretty complex algorithm. 

An example of a team dashboard is:

The colors act as a motivator to encourage leaders to take action when a majority of the team feels negative about something. But don't worry, we'll help you prioritize exactly when and how to take action. 

The colors also allow us to ensure anonymity for the team members because the result can't be "calculated" or "guessed" by the leader based on the score.

Read more about the colors here. 

How do we secure your data internally in Successteam?

You can read our full privacy policy on our website. But in short, we secure that the data is handled responsibly by ensuring that only a minor number of Successteam employees have access to feedback responses and are only allowed to access it with acceptance from a workspace owner.

This means that if you, for instance, need support and a supporter needs to access your data, you'll have to permit them to do so formally.

However, a Workspace Owner or Administrator will never get access to individual responses they are fully anonymous.

Under no circumstances are individual responses shared with anyone except for the person who gave the response.

If you are still uncertain about anonymity or anything else, don't hesitate to contact us through the chat in the right corner or through email: support@successteam.com.

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