We’ve all worked with that guy/gal – the one who talks too much or not at all, monopolizes the meetings or doesn’t contribute anything, and generally isn’t the most productive person you’d rather share a cubicle with. But most of us have also passive-aggressively dealt with the annoying co-worker by not saying much either. We can all use a little feedback from time to time and now technology comes to the rescue with an app that lets you give it freely and anonymously.
Being called the “Yelp for employees,” Knozen is an app being developed by former CEO of TheLadders.com Marc Cenedella. It compares co-workers against each other asking questions like, “Who is more assertive?” or “Which one is more likely to leave work early?” to assess the work habits of you and your colleagues. The app will then show you how many other folks at the job agree or disagree with your assessment. The people being rated have access to the data as well with results being shown anonymously on their profiles.
Right now, Knozen is free and only available for iOS and you’ll need your company email address to sign in. To protect everyone’s identity, you can’t start rating co-workers until at least seven people sign up for the app. Cenedella says that the app serves as a “personality API” that helps people understand how they represent themselves to others, but he also see the app being used in recruitment as well. He assures users that feedback will remain “positive and upbeat” leaving things like appearance out of the line of questioning. Other companies are taking notice, with Knozen recently receiving $2.25 million in funding.
So what would you say about a co-worker if you could do it without fear of retribution? How well do you think you’d respond to that type of anonymous critique from the people you work with? If used in the spirit in which it was created, Knozen could be very helpful for using feedback from others to make positive personality changes that could help you in your career. But I also see the app going in a negative direction as well, with biased ratings based on personal feelings that don’t have anything to do with performance. Will managers start taking your Knozen ratings into account when it’s time for your annual review? For now though, hopefully some honest feedback will at least stop that guy from stealing your food from the refrigerator!