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Anonymous Comments

Anonymous Comments

Sharlyn Lauby | HR Bartender

January 20, 2010

As a human resources pro, I never paid much attention to anonymous letters/comments.  If you can’t put your name on something…well, how am I supposed to take it seriously?  The same goes for managers who make declarations and won’t site sources.  For example, “we’ve heard from some people that we need to move the location of the holiday party.”

Well, who are these “people”?

And, how many is “some”?

Not to mention, “why do we need to move the location”?

If people are unwilling to provide specifics, well that’s just being sneaky evasive.  To me, it immediately sends up red flags of hidden agendas, political posturing and propaganda.  You don’t want to be one of those people.

Part of being transparent is being open about sources of information.  This is all part of the trust building process.  If you use the example above, it’s better to say, “I’d like to share the person’s name but they’ve asked me to keep it confidential for now. Let me go back to them and convey your concerns” – versus responses cloaked in secrecy.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because, as the economy rebounds, it might be tempting to listen to comments like:

“Everyone says working here stinks.”

“A lot of people are going to leave if we don’t do something about that manager.”

While these comments could be true, take a moment to ask the questions.  Get more detail and specifics.  It builds open honesty in your department and will help you make better decisions.


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