Is an anonymous reporting platform right for my organisation?

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Whether you have thought about the possibility of implementing an anonymous reporting platform in your organisation or just heard about the idea of it, this is likely a question that will have crossed your mind.

There are so many other questions that people have about anonymous reporting, such as:

Why do we really need one?
What are the benefits of it?
Will we have to build it ourselves?
Is it safe and secure?
Who will deal with the reports?
Will it work even though we’re such a small company?
How can we roll it out when we have thousands of employees everywhere?

In this blog post, we will answer those eight important questions to clear up any confusion and put your mind at ease.

Why do we really need an anonymous platform?

Put simply, an anonymous reporting platform is first and foremost a solution to helping your organisation get a truer picture of its culture and what is happening. Many people presented with the idea of having one may think “we don’t have a problem”, simply based on the lack of reports they get through the traditional route. But we would all be naive to think that nothing problematic at all is happening among our workforce – wherever there are people there are likely to be problems.

Studies show that employee-employer trust and the trust people have towards HR is shockingly low. And our studies prove that people don’t report things that happen to them for a vast number of reasons. Plus, 36% of people say an incident at work has led them to not trust their employer. Provide employees the option to report anonymously and you may be surprised to see what some of them really think and are experiencing… You may find you don’t get any serious reports, but don’t provide one and you may never know if your employees are suffering in silence.

What are the benefits of anonymous reporting?

An anonymous reporting platform benefits everyone. As well as allowing leaders to see where there may be trends in certain types of behaviour or where certain groups are being targeted, it’s a safe and trusted space for employees to let those leaders know what is happening, whether they just want to get it off their chest because they are too afraid to do so normally or actually want action to be taken, be that through training or a formal complaint.

Beyond that, having an anonymous reporting platform in place roots out problems before they get out of hand. Too often we have read about problematic behaviour in the media, where employers are sued and reputations are damaged. No company wants that to happen, so this preventative measure is cheaper and worth far more than the cost of losing a discrimination case or profits.

Will we have to build it ourselves?

Building a site or having a standard Google Forms page presents several problems. In short, the former will cost a lot of money and take up a lot of time and resources to be thorough, effective, compliant and secure enough. Meanwhile, the latter simply isn’t enough. You can read more here where we lay out five reasons why you shouldn’t build it yourself and why you can trust that Culture Shift’s software can be the solution you need to take some of the costs, energy and expertise off your shoulders.

Is it safe and secure?

Through rigorous testing and official certifications, Report + Support complies with up-to-date regulations that we are constantly striving to meet, so all data is secure and both you as the organisation and your end users can be assured of its safety. Our 100-plus partners are testament to the system being up to standard and are currently Cyber Essentials and ISO 27001 accredited. You can read more about our commitment to security here as well as how to collect anonymous data and still comply with the GDPR here.

Who will deal with the reports?

A frequently asked question that some companies are interested in knowing so they know who should be trained on using Report + Support. This will usually depend on the teams you already have in place to deal with reports you receive, their time, your resources and your budget. This will vary from those working in ED&I, your People or Culture teams, or HR.

Anybody who will be responsible for looking after Report + Support will be fully supported by our Onboarding team, which will consist of best practice questions and scenarios they may have to deal with, both anonymous and named reports. We will often recommend that anyone who is passionate about shifting culture, finding out more about their colleagues’ experiences and helping them, or using data to help improve their People processes and ED&I strategies, should be encouraged to take part in the Onboarding process.

Will it work even though we’re such a small company?

A main concern smaller companies have is that employees will be less likely to make reports as they could be easily identified if they want to remain anonymous. One way to get round this is by limiting the questions or the potential answers that can be given. However, whether or not you don’t, an SME can still benefit from an anonymous reporting platform in a way larger and longer established companies will find harder: by embedding it early.

One of our partners Praetura, with currently less than 150 employees, are conscious of the fact that having it available shows their commitment to their employees’ needs as well as diversity and inclusion, and rolling it out across the business now is far easier. When the company is smaller and younger, having it early on to prevent future problems will only continue to be a part of normal working life and your work’s culture as it grows.

How can we roll it out when we have thousands of employees everywhere?

This can understandably be a huge challenge for both the organisation to do and the employees to take it on board. Just as Praetura does, regular comms reiterating to employees – be they current, new or prospect – that you have an anonymous reporting platform available, what exactly it is, why it is being implemented and what it should be used for, are imperative. If you don’t tell people as often as you possibly can, how else will people know about it? This rollout should be top-down and line managers should take responsibility for ensuring their teams are told. More can be read about clear communication here.

For many larger companies, we know they are more likely to have people working in ED&I and we know they are constantly working on and revising their strategies to improve every part of the business when it comes to ED&I. This is why it is they who are most likely to look after Report + Support, be its biggest champions in the workplace and why we trust in their methods of rolling it out alongside other initiatives such as policy changes, campaigns and training.

We currently have three corporate partners with more than 1,000 employees, with one ranging up to as many as 17,000 in their UK branch alone. This proves with determination and clear communication, it is possible for it to be a successful implementation.

You can read up on more information on anonymous reporting and our platform in our Culture Shifters’ Hand-e-book here.

How can we help you?

Reach out to our dedicated team who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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