TinyPulse was an early leader in the pulse survey space and we have a lot of respect for them and what they do. With that being said, we’d like to present what makes Friday Feedback different and a viable alternative to Tinypulse. At the end of the day, it depends on what you are looking for.
With that being said, let’s dig into the differences.
The most important difference between Tinypulse and Friday is regarding how feedback is collected, namely the contrasting views regarding anonymous feedback.
Many leaders (and Tinypulse) believe that the most honest feedback happens when a survey is anonymous. It’s an effort to keep employees from playing politics, or to be extremely positive (even when something is going wrong). If the employee’s name is attached, it means the feedback is probably filtered.
We agree with this analysis for the most part. There is a time and a place to anonymous feedback, but we don’t believe it’s the most effective way to collect feedback, especially on a regular basis.
In workplace culture, there are few mechanisms managers use to collect feedback from employees. We’ve listed the pros and cons below:
If any employee gives feedback in one of these meetings (engineers call them weekly retrospectives), there’s a high probability they are filtering feedback as they care what other coworkers think.
Managers oftentimes will say, “my door is always open.” While this is good in theory, many employees don’t want to be seen walking to the boss’ office to give feedback. It triggers office gossip. So fewer people do it.
The 1:1 meeting is one of our favorites, yet if you’re a manager, and you ask a question and put an employee on the spot, they may become worried about saying something the wrong way. It can also be tougher to give direct feedback to your boss in person. So filtering happens here too.
Put simply, all traditional methods of collecting feedback are filtered. The feedback that Friday collects is less filtered than these traditional methods because:
We recommend if you want to send an anonymous survey, do it 1-2x per year. You can use Wufoo, Survey Monkey, or Google Forms for this. We also have a pulse campaign that will allow you to collect anonymous feedback 1x/quarter. It's our belief that anonymous feedback should only happen a few times a year.
If you’re going to answer a few questions every week, it needs to have someone’s name attached.
Collecting feedback on a consistent basis (something both Tinypulse and Friday do) opens up the door for more timely and actionable feedback. For example, someone may not mention that a coworker’s headphones are a little loud in a performance review, but it’s something they most definitely say in a pulse survey.
Here’s an example of another piece of feedback:
“I had a tough time paying attention this week because Jim’s headphones were pretty loud. I asked him once, and I don’t want to seem like I’m overreacting.”
If someone’s name wasn’t attached to this, how would you know who to follow up with?
This is why we are staunchly opposed to anonymous feedback. It doesn’t help managers provide timely support to their employees, so it’s not nearly as actionable. It also doesn’t create a culture of transparency.
This may seem harsh, but feedback from the VP of Operations is very different than feedback from a customer service rep. We believe you should collect feedback from everyone inside the company (including CSRs), but if you don’t know who provided the feedback, it’s tough to determine the context of the feedback.
Tinypulse would allow you to segment feedback based on a team, but it’s tough to understand the context around “what” if you don’t know “who”.
Anonymous feedback creates a culture of “who said what?” It can very tough to focus on what the feedback says because managers can easily spend most of their time wondering “who said it.”
On small teams, anonymous feedback can be disastrous too, as writing styles can easily be detected.
To their credit, Tinypulse offers the ability to follow-up with anonymous feedback, but then what will a manager say? “Please come forward?” or “I can’t help this situation if I don’t know who you are.” For many types of situations, this is not an ideal outcome at all.
It’s easy to think of worst-case scenarios when collecting feedback, but can we propose a radical idea that not all feedback is negative? In reality, feedback can be positive too. It’s possible you may be worrying about nothing (if you spend your time thinking about the downsides to feedback with someone’s name attached).
Lastly, Tinypulse starts at $5/month per seat (update - you need to contact them regarding pricing), and you need to pay for a year upfront. This is pretty standard pricing. But there’s one problem.
If you invite one hundred people to take part in Tinypulse, and have a 70% of the 100 people who respond, you will be charged for everyone you invited. In short, you’re paying $5/month to send someone a survey, regardless of whether they are responding or not. The pricing per seat gets more expensive, because if only 7/10 respond, it’s more like $7 per seat per month.
Please note – the math varies depends on the response rate (which varies depending on the organization).
With Friday, you can see an individual’s response rate, so it’s easy to remove inactive users. We don’t want you to pay for people who aren’t using the product. It’s that simple.
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