The office Christmas party, filled with its joyous, awkward moments and drunken encounters making eye contact unbearable till the next one, can now be relived through a curated feed of employee confessions.
However, Unsaid’s mission is not about workplace gossip and inappropriate crush disclosure, it is a tool that can be used to facilitate transparency in companies and enhance productivity through a bottom-up approach to communication.
25Fifteen partner Kim Heras, who helped develop the app, told StartupSmart organisations like Square and Buffer demonstrate the positive effect radical transparency can have on employees and businesses.
“Our view is that engaged employees are much more valuable than controlled employees, so we are working on a solution to allow employees to create their own open information flows,” he says.
While many workplaces now have open plan office spaces for better transparency, Heras says apps like Unsaid can be utilised by smart management to address hidden issues in their organisations.
“You’d be surprised about how many senior managers and C-level execs we’ve spoken to want access to that information but feel that middle-management are acting as gatekeepers,” he says.
Any employee can create an Unsaid community using a corporate email address. Only people from the same company can read and contribute to feedback, questions and criticisms. All of this, including inviting colleagues into the Unsaid community, is done anonymously.
There is no username or password and the server deletes any identifiable information including the email address once a validation code for access is received. Users simply sign up again when they want to log back in.
Unsaid communities can become a space for venting frustrations but Heras says this is not necessarily a bad thing.
“As long as management and employees can engage in conversation around the topic rather than who is venting then the outcomes are generally good for all,” says Heras.
Unsaid’s motto: “With great anonymity comes great responsibility” is a hint of advice to users. Whether employees and management take it on board, only time will tell.
The app is now available for download in Australia and the US. It is only compatible with iPhones but there are plans to make an Android version.