In most places, the grapevine works overtime – though its practitioners might not.

It’s human nature to gossip and complain, agree most psychologists.  Yet what’s not so humane are the times that management either doesn’t know or ignores the issues.

And if frequent enough, those bitches and moans just might lead to anonymous reviews on, to workplace incivility, higher absenteeism (and lower productivity), and retention issues.  Not to mention legal actions.

New software provider Memo has it solved (it thinks).  It’s designed an anonymous e-forum to vent – and yes, management reads and responds.  Major employers like Amazon and Deloitte have subscribed.  Later this year (pre-IPO), Memo will launch tools that collect data on employee sentiment, moderate comments, and engage with workers.

Which is where we, as marketers and communicators, gotta step in.  Software that interacts with employees?  Seriously.  How about leaders who share issues, validate that problems are real and that solutions are in the works? 

Today, working for companies with a purpose is more than a candidate request.  Balancing (or blending, the word we prefer) work-life demands is not just the fervent wish of millennials.  And transparency, very soon we predict, will be mandated by potential new hires.  And why not?  Those companies with the highest morale and greatest collegiality, research shows, are also those where employees can respectfully complain.

Where is your company on the kvetch scale?