Can Exposing Office Secrets Benefit Workers?
Apparently this new tool allows iOS and Android users to anonymously share their secrets and confessions. Like an Instagram meets meme combo, users can create pictures displaying their confessions under a “nickname.”
According to a Yahoo story, here’s how it works:
- Log into the app and type a confession and hit “NEXT”
- The app automatically suggests a picture (it offers multiple suggestions) to go with your text or you can upload a photo. (If this is supposed to be anonymous, I think it’d be wise to avoid photos that people can relate you to, i.e. your face.)
- Change the font (if you’d like)
- Tag the photo with keywords and you’re done
Like Instagram and Facebook, users can like your “whispers” but unlike most social apps one cannot add or gain followers or friends. Again, it’s supposed to be anonymous.
I looked at the app’s website for an example, and people certainly post a range of things.
One photo talks about how a man returned home from the military only for his wife to cheat on him and leave him to be a single dad. Another post is from a pastry chef who says his/her best ideas come when the person is high. It ends with saying, “My boss just promoted me for being so creative. If she only knew.”
And yet another “whisper” talks about how the person hates how his/her sister takes advantage of the person’s disabled father and family. This confession is accompanied by an image of the Kardashian family; I see the app has a sense of humor.
As I researched this popular app, which gets more than 3 billion page views each month, I wondered what would happen if something like this was implemented in the workplace. Could having a company Whisper app and exposing office secrets actually benefit workers and office communicaton?
I think creating an employee-style confessional in the workplace could produce both positive and negative consequences. Those include:
Work causes stress; that’s no secret. But, oftentimes, workers walk around with a lot of pent up emotions, which is unhealthy. Having an outlet to express themselves anonymously (and without consequences) could help offer a release for stressed employees who may need to get some things off their chests during the work day.
When an employee has an issue with another worker or management, sometimes things can escalate and get out of control, especially if (as stated above) he or she has pent up emotions. Having a company whisper app where employees can openly express how they feel can help avoid office confrontations as workers direct their emotions to the tool instead of colleagues and/or management.
What if a worker felt like he or she was being treated unfairly in the workplace? Or had trouble under a manager’s leadership style but was too afraid to speak up? An “employee confessional” could help with this. As workers anonymously express their opinions and concerns about a company, this can offer valuable feedback for the business showing management the company’s strengths and weakness. It will also help with retention strategies as the business will have a better understanding of the common concerns of workers, which may be a cause of turnover.
As with all things in life, there can be a good and bad side. And implementing a company Whisper app is no different.
Although this app could help avoid office confrontations, it could also initiate them. People are being open and honest with this tool, and not everything they have to say is pretty. If someone reads a post about him or her, this could cause tension in the workplace, especially if he or she then tries to discover the “perpetrator.”
It could also cause tension between employees and management if a supervisor sees that his or her name keeps popping up followed by negative comments. The person may assume that the confessions are from his or her employees and resent them.
Like all social media, having this app in the workplace could reduce productivity if workers spend too much time 1) making confessions and 2) reading and “liking” them.
Damage work environment
If there are ill feelings between employees and management and tension in the wok atmosphere, this can drastically affect employee morale. And a low morale can damage a company’s work environment, as workers will feel uncomfortable and/or hostile in the office. And no one wants to work in a toxic environment.