The Importance Of Anonymity In Employee Surveys

Philip Cleave
November 19, 2012

Among surveys conducted to yield data on diverse aspects of products, services etc., employee survey types are important as they establish the satisfaction of employees – the building blocks of a company. When a company strives to keep the level of employee satisfaction and relies on the employee survey method along with other measures, greater productiveness is achieved, which is instrumental in enhancing company profits. And vice versa, with dissatisfied employees, the benefits for a company are decreased.

Anonymous employee satisfaction surveys are of primary significance. With anonymously filled surveys, respondents do not have to worry about retribution. Therefore they can be expected to provide truthful answers. They can be sincere about rules and measures introduced by their employers that do not enjoy popularity among the staff. Without employee survey anonymity, respondents would worry about expressing their negative or critical opinion, lest that would lead to negative reactions on part of their employers. When employees are directly asked about their opinions on company rules they do not approve of, they either make up lies as evasive replies or praise these rules. Opinions that are not sincere are not beneficial in an employee survey.

On the other hand, anonymous surveys enable people who are otherwise not confident to come up with their suggestions and criticism to express their opinion and provide views that are of immense benefit for the company. No matter what employees’ position in a company or their age is, everyone can provide useful insight into the status of the company and thus contribute to the improvement of its level.

To ensure employee survey objectivity, there is another method – employers can ask a third party to conduct the survey for them. The disadvantage is that such services cost money, and then the processing of the survey data remains for the company.

The most popular method of achieving anonymity in employee surveys is by relying on online survey software companies which enable the conduct of anonymous surveys, as a cost effective method of learning employees opinions and obtaining candid feedback without their worrying about any unfavorable reactions.

In all cases, employers who conduct employee surveys should make certain that their employers realize their intentions and goals – learning employees’ opinions, ideas and suggestions, not hearing praise that is not candid. By ensuring employees that their anonymity will be observed in surveys, companies prepare them to feel free to express their true opinions, in candid answers which are of real benefit for the company.

With the vast number of companies which use the employee online survey method to gage their employees’ satisfaction, as well as recruit top prospects, or create new internal policies, it is important to make employers aware of the need for observing employee anonymity. Before starting to survey respondents, researchers should reassure them about their anonymity and point out how important their candid opinions are. Employees who are going to take part in employee surveys should be made aware that their input, their concerns and their suggestions are truly important.

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