July 26, 2021

The Value of Anonymous Employee Feedback for Hybrid Workplaces

The Value of Anonymous Employee Feedback for Hybrid Workplaces

From #MeToo to 2021's Great Resignation, failure to listen and respond to employees' concerns has clear social and economic costs.

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Our guest this week, Claire Schmidt, CEO and founder of AllVoices, discusses how companies and employees are responding to the changing workplace and the importance of enabling employees to voice concerns without fear of retaliation.


  • What does the digital workspace mean to you?
  • Why Claire founded All Voices
    • "Starting a company is really challenging. You're working against so much inertia and you're pushing a boulder up a hill every day. And the only reason for anyone to do it is if they're so passionate about the idea and about the change they're trying to make in the world that they don't mind, they don't care."
  • How is the average company handling employee feedback today?
  • How have the pandemic and remote work changed the nature of employee feedback? How might this change with hybrid work?
  • Creating equal opportunities for in-office and remote employees
  • Why employees are a company's greatest asset
  • The Great Reshuffling 
  • The future of anonymous reporting

Meet Our Guest
Claire Schmidt is the CEO and founder of AllVoices: A technology platform that enables employees to anonymously report bias, discrimination or sexual harassment to their company's leadership. By equipping companies with transparent data, leadership teams can actively work to improve their culture and move towards a more equal and just workplace.

Prior to founding AllVoices, Claire served as Vice President of Technology and Innovation at Fox, the Senior Director of Giving at Thrive Market, as well as the Director of Programs at Thorn.

Show Links
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Email us: podcast@digitalworkspace.works 

Visit us: www.digitalworkspace.works 

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Ryan Purvis  0:00  
Hello, and welcome to the digital workspace works podcast. I'm Ryan Purvis, your host supported by producer Heather Bicknell. In this series, you'll hear stories and opinions from experts in the field story from the frontlines, the problems they face and how they solve them. The years they're focused on from technology, people and processes to the approaches they took, they will help you to get to grips with the digital workspace inner workings.

Heather Bicknell  0:32  
Welcome back, everyone to another episode of the digital workspace works podcast. I'm your host, Heather Bicknell. Today, I am delighted to be joined by Claire Schmidt, who is the founder and CEO of all voices, a technology platform that enables employees to anonymously report workplace issues directly to company leadership. Prior to founding all voices, Claire served as VP of technology and innovation at 20th Century Fox, Senior Director of giving at Thrive Market and director of programs at thorn. Thanks for joining me on the podcast today, Claire.

Claire Schmidt  1:11  
Thank you so much for having me. It's great to be here.

Heather Bicknell  1:15  
delighted to have you. So I'd like to start off with a question that we like to ask all of our guests, you know, it's the title of our show. And I think everyone comes with their own perspective on it. So what does the digital workspace mean to you?

Claire Schmidt  1:36  
Well, I think that the, the concept of the workspace in general has been changing for a long time. And I think we saw that really accelerate with what has happened over the past year and a half with COVID-19. Suddenly, there was this new situation in which you physically couldn't be in the same space as your colleagues or it might be dangerous. And so, leaders, specifically a lot of people in HR were tasked with trying to find a way forward. And I think, we saw a really rapid adoption of new technologies to help facilitate sort of this idea of a digital workspace, where people could come together over slack and zoom and all of these different connectivity and communication tools. And found, I think, you know, for the most part that things worked pretty well. So I think what the pandemic did is it just accelerated a trend that was already there, which is that more and more work is shifting online. It's becoming digital, more and more of our communications are shifting online, they're becoming digital. And I think it created kind of a forcing function for a lot of companies who never would have experimented with like a fully remote workforce, and a lot of them are now thinking about, you know, which of those tools and processes and systems should we keep in place, even house people do return to physical spaces together? Absolutely.

Heather Bicknell  3:17  
Yeah. I mean, I think there's this whole element that we often come back to in the show of how, how many years ahead, this is accelerated, especially employee's ability to leverage a lot of these technologies, which just is unlocking more possibilities for collaboration, obviously, new ways of working. So great. I'd like to just learn a little bit more about your background. So obviously, it's interesting to sort of Li have, you know, a VP role at Fox and technology, and I'm sure, you know, a lot of people would love to have to found to get into sort of the startup world, I'm sure it was, you know, maybe a leap of faith or just an exciting venture. So, yeah, what kind of prompted that decision? And were there any big surprises or challenges along the way?

Claire Schmidt  4:19  
Yeah, that's a great question. I mean, I really loved my job at Fox. I hadn't been there very long when I left. But I was really, really enjoying it. I was working with someone who I've known before. Who I got along really well well with and work well with. And we were reporting to the CIO of, of 20th Century Fox and so and actually 21st Century Fox as well. So we were given visibility into so much that was going on, and it was incredibly interesting. Especially thinking about the fact that fox is like 100 plus year old company. And a lot of our job was helping innovate and helping think about new technologies that could be adopted to improve processes to improve systems to improve collaboration. So it was actually a fantastic job. And it was just happenstance that while I was working there, I read Susan Fowler's blog post about her experience at Uber with sexual harassment. And it was one of those things that, you know, oftentimes you'll read an article or a blog post and forget about it the next day. It really stuck with me. And I think it was in part because in this role at Fox, I was thinking about broken processes and systems and ways to innovate on you know, the current status to make things better. And so when I read her story, the thing that stuck out to me most was, we are asking employees to engage in a very broken process for reporting issues, not just harassment, but really anything that comes up in the workplace. They have no idea what will happen if they do come forward. Oftentimes, they experience retaliation from leadership. And retaliation can take many forms from being fired to just being treated badly or being passed over for opportunities. So in a lot of cases, people just stay silent. And in fact, the reason I think Susan's story is so compelling is also that she's an outlier, she did something that was very brave that actually most people don't do, which was really just doing things by the book. So I got very fixated on, why are we still asking employees to do things this way? Why don't we see that the system has so many inherent points of failure. And I don't have an HR background. So I ended up basically just out of my own interest, talking to people in HR talking to Employment Lawyers, like trying to get an understanding for why things work the way they do, or worked the way they did. And really, the best answer I got is like, this is the way we've always done it. And to me, that just didn't seem like a compelling enough reason. So ultimately, I decided, once I kind of figured out what this would be, what this idea what all voices would be, I decided to just leave my job at Fox and I believed in something like this needing to exist more than I wanted, the comfort of, you know, keeping a job that was really, you know, pleasant and easy. And I think you asked about challenges. I mean, it's starting a company is really challenging. It's you're working against so much inertia. And you know, you're like pushing a boulder up a hill every day. And the only reason for anyone to do it is if they're so passionate about the idea and about the change that they're trying to make in the world that they don't mind. They don't care. And that's where I really found myself was definitely challenged every single day, but enjoying it.

Heather Bicknell  8:19  
And you're sort of I mean, you're creating a category to in a way, right? I mean, turning the feedback gathering process into a software platform.

Claire Schmidt  8:29  
Yeah, I think, you know, when I did the research, my first thought was, if there's some tool out there already, that's intended for this type of situation, like, I'll help support it all, like, go, you know, I'll do anything to try to get traction for for them. But really, when I did a sort of landscape analysis of the space, what I found was that there were whistleblower hotlines, which are really ethics and compliance tools that are designed for financial fraud and other financial issues that public companies have to have in place, and they're usually a very outdated hotline, someone calls in. As I started to do research, I found that there's like almost no usage of these tools. And I think part of it is the design themselves. Part of it is the way it's being framed and the branding to employees. Because when you think of whistleblower you think of like Edward Snowden, right? You don't think have I had a really uncomfortable interaction with someone at work today. So those were in existence, but not really used. And then on the other end of the spectrum, there were you know, culture surveys out there, or like some feedback platforms where your company not necessarily anonymous, although a couple of them were but your company would ask you like, Hey, how you know, on a scale of one to five, how do you feel today, and I think the Have a place perhaps, but nothing that I mentioned was really designed for the situation that I brought up like incident reporting or sharing, you know, sensitive feedback with HR about something. There was really this huge blank space in between those two on that spectrum. And that's the the area the space that I wanted our voices to fill. So, yeah, I think we have created a new category kind of in between those two.

Heather Bicknell  10:32  
Not to get kind of too into the weeds or too technical here, but I am just curious, is there for the anonymous portion of it? Does it still? Does the system like still tie even though it was submitted anonymously? Is there a way that that person is still sort of tied in some way to the incident? So they see it being like tract? And they can, you know, visualize something on their end? Or is it kind of like, it's, it's, you know, that even the all voices system, you know, it's just like there. Again, it's like signal or something where they submitted and there's nothing kind of tying them back to that incident, if that makes sense.

Claire Schmidt  11:13  
Yeah, that doesn't make sense. And we talked a lot about this at the beginning and thought a lot about it at the beginning. And what we realized was, there is a need to create a feedback loop without employee. But it's not necessary for the company to know any information about the employee, it's only necessary for them to be able to somehow reach out and follow up with them. So what we built was basically a messaging feature in which the employee remains completely anonymous. But we all voices, collect the employee's phone number, encrypt it, store it, and then use that to facilitate a two way conversation between the company and the employee. So let's say they reported an experience they had, you know, being bullied during a meeting. And maybe they provide most of the information, but there's some missing information, the company could send them a message that says, hey, we just need a little more information to look into this, you know, when did this happen, or who else was present in this meeting or something like that, and then they can actually respond back and forth, without that employee ever having to disclose their identity, without the company ever seeing or having access to their phone number. And it's kind of similar to like, when you ride in an Uber, speaking of the Susan Fowler incident, your Uber driver doesn't actually know your phone number. They're using, you know, technology that's facilitated by Uber, to connect with you, as the passenger, like, Hey, I'm five minutes away. So I think people understand that conceptually now in a way that maybe even five years ago, they wouldn't have, and that's how we chose to do it.

Heather Bicknell  13:08  
Kind of getting back to, you know, when you were getting versed in the space, and now that you've, you know, become, you know, an expert in this area and really learned about, you had these ideas about how this was happening or not happening at companies today, you know, you read the story of what was happening at Uber. But now that you've sort of had the opportunity, I'm sure to work with a number of customers and see sort of how this is playing out in the real world. How would you like what letter grade would you assign to the average companies approach to gathering and responding to employee feedback today? are we any better than we were five years ago, you know, with sort of more, you know, companies at least putting on the face of Yes, we know, this will damage our reputation, or trying to take care of it. Like, what is the baseline that most companies are at?

Claire Schmidt  14:10  
Yeah, I think it's really interesting, I think, five years ago, just to keep talking about five years ago, as an example, pre Me too, I think employees were not really being asked to share any kind of constructive feedback beyond maybe what was in those culture surveys or, or, you know, post surveys that would come out a couple times a year. In part because I think a lot of companies and company leaders felt like, Oh, what a pain it is to have to deal with whatever comes out of it, right? Like, I don't want to open Pandora's box. Like we heard that kind of thing back then a lot. And even when we were first starting the company, there was still a little bit of that in the air and I think what happened With Me, too, was that company's very, very quickly saw that they were because of this movement, actually, they were starting to be held publicly accountable for what their employees were experiencing in their workplaces, whether they knew about it or not. And I think previously, it was a very valid excuse to say no one ever told us we didn't know. And post, you know, during and post Me too, that shifted. And essentially, the public opinion was, well, if you didn't know about it, that's a problem too. And leaders were held accountable during that time period, people were ousted, in some cases, for situations they truly did not have any idea about. But I think that kind of, um, that kind of represented a turning point. And that hasn't gone away. So there's not as much dialogue about me too in the media today. But there's different conversations happening. There's conversations happening about like, what is the toxic culture, there's conversations happening about employee walkouts about, you know, employees desires to start unions about diversity, equity and inclusion as it relates to. And we saw this a lot last summer after George Floyd's murder, and a lot of companies were speaking up about diversity and inclusion and and proclaiming solidarity with black lives matter. There were a lot of employees that came forward and said, Well, you know, I'm a black person at this company. And this is actually how they treat people here, despite what they're saying publicly. So I think the public's appetite to hear about these stories, and to really care about how employees are feeling and what their experience has been at a company has increased. And I think the expectation that companies are taking action proactively to hear from employees and to provide them with safe channels to speak up, has really significantly increased. And so I would give, you know, on average, I would give companies like a C or a D, five years ago. And I think that's creeping up, I think, for both sort of social responsibility reasons, and also, you know, desire for self preservation, I think companies and their leaders are really trying to get creative and find new ways to make employees feel safe. And they understand that that's like a good, that's being a good corporate citizen. And that's also making sure that your company, you know, can can remain successful and can retain employees and can actually, you know, sustain a healthy culture, which has a direct impact on everything from, you know, its likelihood of being sued to its market value.

Heather Bicknell  17:59  
Yeah, Bon appetit. And everything that happens there comes to mind, just as you describe that. And then even I don't know if you familiar with the podcasts reply all, who started doing their own series, I bought a boutique and the employees came forward, and we're like, wait, things aren't rosy here either. So definitely. Yeah, there are consequences.

Claire Schmidt  18:25  
Yes, employees have more of a voice than ever. And so it's about how do companies help them channel that? And do they? And how do they listen and provide opportunities for listening? And then how do they respond to and resolve the issues that are being brought up by by employees? I think that's what it really comes down to,

Heather Bicknell  18:49  
in sort of, with, with these ways that companies are sort of changing their, you know, the amount of attention they're playing, they're paying to gathering this feedback and actioning it. Do you think the pandemic sort of had any effect on either the type of incidents that are being reported, or companies willingness to act on them? I asked, because I think, at least it seems like, you know, depending where you are in the world, and what industry you're in, and whether you have the ability to work remotely or not, that at least in some industries, especially where office work was really big. There's it seems like employees have a little bit more say right now in terms of, you know, not, you know, companies are worried about things like mashup mass attrition and not wanting to lose talent. So, there's a little bit more a willingness to kind of play ball around the new like, new flexible workplace, but I guess there's kind of two questions in there. Does working remotely sort of change the Need for anonymous reporting? Or what gets reported? Like does? Are there fewer? I mean, it seems like it would set an environment where there's potentially fewer incidents of kind of gross harassment. But of course, there's always more like, subtle ways that that sort of micro aggression or whatnot can can happen in the workplace.

Claire Schmidt  20:24  
Yeah, I think it's, I think it's a really mixed bag. I think the nature of people's feedback and concerns, definitely shifts when moving to our remote first culture, remote work culture. But it doesn't mean suddenly everyone's happy and everything's working great, right? There's new wrinkles to iron out. Not being face to face can introduce opportunities for like miscommunication. You know, or, you know, less sort of ability to build social bonds more naturally among co workers. I think at the beginning of the pandemic, for example, there were a lot of customers of ours that were telling us what they were hearing from employees, and it was a lot of anxiety, anxiety around like, how is our business going to survive? Like, am I going to keep my job? I don't have child care. I you know, remote work is really challenging for x y&z reasons. And there was also this like layer of health anxiety, right? Which is like, what if I get sick? Like, what are our do? Are we like it for people who are still going into an office? Like, are we providing masks? are we providing gloves? Are we mandating that people wear them, like, for people who worked in retail environments, like customers aren't wearing masks, I'm scared when I go into work. So I think it was, especially like, kind of March, April, May, June, it was the time of like, really high anxiety and stress. And there was really more of a need than ever for all voices, but not necessarily for the reasons that all voices is needed. In a non pandemic, in office context, right? Maybe there's less sexual harassment happening because people are not physically with each other. But there's more like tierpoint online bullying and microaggressions happening because these interactions are being mediated by technology in a way that's new and different, and people haven't adjusted to. So I kind of think no matter what you need to have an option and a way for people to speak up. The other thing is like, what I've heard from a lot of our customers is because of the the sort of remote work structure. It's just not as easy to like walk out into a room or onto a floor and like, get a feeling for how things are going, like, get a sense of people's moods, kind of get a quick pulse check. You know, tap someone on the shoulder and say, how are you doing today? So because of that, there's even more of a need to give people a kind of always on listening tool so that as things are coming up, you have more visibility, and you can take action more quickly.

Heather Bicknell  23:27  
Yeah, I guess I can see, you know, both both sides of how, in a remote environment, you know, management might value having that visibility as well. And of course, a lot of folks are having conversations right now around, you know, are you are you vaccinated? Are you ready to come back to the office, and I think the value of those, you know, of having anonymous feedback to really, truly say how you feel when there can be a lot of external pressure, I think would be very valuable.

Claire Schmidt  24:01  
Yeah, also, like, as they go back into the office, like flagging health concerns or health risks, right. Like, there's people not wearing masks today, or I've been hearing people coughing all day, like those types of things that actually do need pretty quick intervention. Right? That's really important as well. And I think a lot of companies excited by, you know, the high vaccination rates and all of that are kind of rushing back into the office. But I'm hearing from people and these are not our customers, just to be specific. These are people in my like, personal network, that they're they're having, you know, small outbreaks, and, and fueling the further spread of COVID-19. So I think, yeah, it feels very risky to probably speak up directly about that, but yet there needs to be a way for people to raise their hand and say, Hey, I don't think Quarter ready at her, I don't think we have the appropriate policies in place yet to be all together in person.

Heather Bicknell  25:09  
Are there other other ways that you see anonymous feedback sort of coming into the post COVID workplace as maybe as you know, we're in some mix of remote hybrid and in person?

Claire Schmidt  25:24  
Yeah, I mean, the only other thing I'll say is that there's been a lot of conversation around, like, if employees are given a choice about whether to work from home or to be in person, what does it do to your career to be one of the people who chooses to work from home? Like, how does that affect your career trajectory, the way that you're perceived at your company? Your opportunities, right, like leadership, and promotion potential. Because when it's all remote, then everyone's kind of on the same playing field. And when it's all in person, everyone's on the same playing field. And I think that hybrid model is probably overall what employees would prefer to have, because everyone has different preferences. But then I think there's been a bit of talk about what are the sort of unintended consequences of that? how might this disproportionately affect the people who are more likely to choose to work from home. So like people who are parents, people who have disabilities, like, you have to have this kind of equity lens that you're looking at things through, and maybe even do something to overcorrect for, for some of those disparities that might emerge and and the unintended consequences of even allowing employees to make those choices for themselves, which I still think is the right thing to do. But someone needs to be thinking about making sure that those people are then not negatively affected by their decision in terms of their career. Yeah.

Heather Bicknell  27:10  
Yeah, I think that's, you know, a very, very important point, when it comes to the the ability to leverage flexible policies is that how else? What are the, you know, what are the consequences for those who maybe decide to do them and then can't play all the office politics? Or, you know, look at the cost of the meetings over coffee and whatnot? So, definitely, you know, I guess, how do you, I don't know if your platform can help address this? Or if this is more just like a, the HR leaders, you know, have ways of figuring this out? What do you what do you do when you when you identify that as an issue, right? It just seems like a hard problem to solve.

Claire Schmidt  28:00  
Yeah, I mean, I think you have to, with that particular example, and there's many, I think, in that particular example, you have to create, actively create those types of opportunities for employees. So whether it's bringing people together a certain number of times a year, whether it's for everyone who works from home, they have a mentor that they meet with, you know, once a week, even via zoom, right, like, I think there's a ton of different possible solutions, but it's about really identifying what the issue is. And if the issue is people being kind of overlooked and left out. And, you know, maybe thought of as not as much a part of the company, then your solution has to, you know, account for that and to to overcorrect for that and give those people, you know, opportunities that maybe even people in the office don't have. And I think, you know, as it relates to like, our platform, we do a lot of work with our customers around like, helping them problem solve and identifying best practices and kind of knowledge sharing and case studies and things that we've seen work across all these different types of issues that are getting brought up. And I think, over the next, you know, three to six months, we're going to be building in even more of that, too, to basically identify some of the biggest issues that companies are dealing with. and identify the the the recommendations for how those problems can be handled so that everyone's not kind of just like, floating out there on their own trying to figure it out individually.

Heather Bicknell  29:50  
Yeah, just everyone throwing their own spaghetti at the wall. Yes, exactly. So yeah, one of the notes You know, we looked at before this call was around employees being the company's most important stakeholder for long term growth. So, yeah, could you just elaborate on that thought and sort of where feedback gathering comes into the equation?

Claire Schmidt  30:20  
Yeah, I mean, more and more as, as we've shifted to sort of like an information economy or knowledge economy, those kind of like soft skills that employees have, and that people have, right that machines don't become more and more valuable. And I think the reason that I'm so passionate about like, keeping employees happy, and empowering them, and like giving them a voice, and all of that is that I actually do believe they are the greatest asset of any company. And if they're treated sort of disposable, or they're treated as if their opinions don't matter. It's, it's actually a really, it's a really expensive mistake for companies to make. Because they're just gonna have to, like, those employees are going to turn and they're gonna have to hire new people. And it's expensive in terms of like, institutional knowledge and having to like retrain people and continuity, right, like someone who remembers, oh, we already tried this last year. And here's all the reasons it didn't work. Like, if you haven't paid attention to that employee and tried to keep them around, you don't have anyone who's going to raise their hand and save that necessarily. So there's a lot of like business reasons to really focus on the employee experience. And even just for me, like sort of money making, like business first mindset, that's critical. But then also, and one of the reasons that I care so much about working in this space is we spend so much of our day at work, like we spend so much of our day, thinking about and talking about, and, and investing so much time and energy into our jobs. And so, and on top of it, our jobs are the way that we are able to pay our rent, and afford food and you know, meet our basic needs, essentially. And so, if you're experiencing like trauma every day from going into work, that's like, that's the majority of your life, that's most of your waking hours. And then if you're scared to speak up about it, or you're scared to, you know, raise your hand and say, like, hey, this isn't okay with me, or this behavior that I've experienced or witnessed is not okay. And you could lose your job and lose your ability to pay your rent and buy food and all of those things. Like, it's just very high stakes. And it's the the vast majority of our life that's being dedicated to this experience. And so when you think about like, how, for, from my perspective, when I was thinking about, like, how can I make the world a better place, I actually believe the world of work is like one of those. Those aspects of life that is so meaningful, and so impactful, and has ability and ability to kind of make your life great, or make your life really miserable. And so, I felt like there was a huge opportunity, even by helping make small changes at companies to improve people's lives significantly. And that's, you know, what drives me and what I'm the most passionate about.

Heather Bicknell  33:56  
Yeah, that that passion is really, really clear. Sorry, I'm like shouting? No, it's great. And I just thought, you know, we could get companies to care a little bit more about sort of the second half of what you explained, but I guess if it's the first half that's driving some change, you know, that's, that's better than nothing. I just, you know, thinking about I think, especially right now, the need to keep employees engaged and happy. It's, it's very much on the forefront, because people are worried about that attrition, and they should be because it's not, you know, if I lived in you know, silicon, well, you wherever you were, you don't have to work in that location anymore. So you don't you know, if part of what was keeping you around at that company was well, it was convenient for my commute, but now I can do the same job remotely for a company, you know, anywhere in the nation or, you know, let alone the whole world. Yeah, you have a lot more, you know, copper tunity is so it's definitely causing a lot of organizations to rethink benefits. And yeah, just how they court their own staff.

Claire Schmidt  35:12  
Yeah. And some, you know, some turnover is healthy and normal. And I know they were talking about how during COVID everyone was, like sheltering in place in their jobs. Who could? Yeah. You wanted any stability? Anything? Yeah, ready? Exactly. Like no more change right now, this is too crazy. But so yeah, you know, they're calling it like three, the great reshuffling now or something, I think some of it is people who, you know, just naturally want to move on and do something different and who were scared to before, I think that's totally healthy. But then you have other people who have these, like resentments, or frustrations or ways in which they're not being heard, and actually, in many cases, want to stay at their jobs, but just don't believe that, that experience can change for the better. So I think it's important to like, distinguish between those two and for companies to really focus on how do we at least, like, save the employees that that want to be here and that that we want to be here? Yeah.

Heather Bicknell  36:14  
So what what do you think this will look like in the future? What is the future of anonymous employee feedback?

Claire Schmidt  36:23  
I think, um, I mean, I'm, I'm biased, obviously. So I have to caveat that.

But I believe this is the direction that the world is going. And what I mean by that, specifically, is that I think governments are realizing that anonymous feedback or reporting is important to identifying everything from like data security, and data privacy issues, to financial, like fraud and other sort of governance issues, to, to even smaller scale things. Right. And, and I think there's a lot of legislation that's been passed lately in Europe, that has taken kind of a turn just over the last few years where, before, there was some hesitancy around anonymous reporting in the EU, and then they recently passed a whistleblower directive that basically says, it provides guidance to EU member countries that says that any company with more than 50 employees needs to have an anonymous reporting tool in place. And that is the case I mentioned the whistleblower hotline. That's one example of anonymous reporting. But I think more and more company leaders are seeing like, let's not just narrow our focus to this tiny sliver of these, this one type of issue, let's allow people to speak up about whatever is going on, because we're now bought into this idea that people can be more transparent, and can be more honest, when they have the ability to be anonymous, or the choice to be anonymous. So if you apply that across every type of experience that an employee can have at work, you're just going to get better insights, better data, more real time information that you can take action on. And so I think from sort of like a legislative and regulatory perspective, that's the direction things are going to be going in the US. And then I think on top of that, there's sort of a social and cultural shifting, where people are less scared of this concept of anonymous feedback, and more intrigued by what providing that sense of safety to employees could actually entail and how it could actually benefit their company and their culture. So that's, I see that happening. You know, in real time, as we go out and talk to companies about what we do, I see much less fear around anonymous reporting, I see a lot more excitement. And I see a lot more companies talking about things kind of from the employee perspective, like starting to understand as a leader in HR or a leader in legal like starting to understand why someone might not come forward directly to someone and I think having a sense of empathy toward employees that may not have been there in the same way before.

Heather Bicknell  39:27  
Hmm. Yes, I feel like too, with the generation shifting in the workforce that Gen Z just seems especially kind of less willing just to accept that this is how things were and that you know, the I think the willingness to speak up, maybe take that risk. And yeah, hold companies accountable is definitely changing to a sort of the word Place demographics. Absolutely.

Claire Schmidt  40:03  
I think that's such a good point. Like, what's the alternative? If you don't provide this resource or this type of resource for employees? Well, you might have people who just quit. And

Heather Bicknell  40:15  
that's not. That's not optimal, either.

All right, so last question here. If our listeners want to learn more about you, or all voices, what's the best way to follow along or get in touch?

Claire Schmidt  40:38  
So I would say the best place to go is our website. You can subscribe to our blog, and our newsletter. We have great insights there. There's webinars, there's white papers and ebooks, we have a podcast. So all of that can be found on our site, which is at WWW dot all voices.co. And then we're on like LinkedIn and Twitter and, you know, engaging in conversations regularly about anonymous feedback and workplace wrongdoing and psychological safety in the workplace and all of the topics that we touched on today.

Heather Bicknell  41:21  
Fantastic. Well, I'm definitely going to go give a follow on LinkedIn, because I am. It's a really interesting space. And I'm yeah, I'm curious to see how it evolves. And hopefully companies. Change starts to happen. So well, Claire, it's been a delight to talk to you today. And thanks so much for coming on the podcast. Thank you so much. It was great talking with you today, too. I really enjoyed it.

Ryan Purvis  41:52  
Thank you for listening today's episode. Hey, the big news, our producer editor. Thank you, Heather. for your hard work for this episode. Please subscribe to the series and rate us on iTunes or the Google Play Store. Follow us on Twitter at the DW w podcast. The shownotes and transcripts will be available on the website WWW dot digital workspace that works. Please also visit our website www dot digital workspace that works and subscribe to our newsletter. And lastly, if you found this episode useful, please share with your friends or colleagues.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


Claire SchmidtProfile Photo

Claire Schmidt

CEO and Founder of AllVoices

Claire is the Founder and CEO of AllVoices, a platform that enables anyone to anonymously report sexual harassment and workplace issues directly to company leadership. Before founding AllVoices, Claire served as Vice President of Technology and Innovation at 20th Century Fox. In 2010 she helped found and lead Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, a nonprofit organization which deploys technology in innovative ways to fight child sex trafficking. During her five years at Thorn, Claire ran all programmatic work, spoke at the White House, the State Department, and Stanford University, and led a task force of more than 30 major technology companies, including Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Microsoft. Claire graduated from Stanford with a degree in Economics in 2006. She was the curator and vice-curator of the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers Los Angeles, and in 2015 won a Mic50 award for her work at Thorn.