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Yes, Anonymity is VERY Important for Employee Surveys


Posted by Insightlink on 04/24/19

survey design

One of the most common questions we get at Insightlink when talking with prospective clients is: "How do you guarantee anonymity for our employees?". We have a well-defined policy for doing that and we take that responsibility very, very seriously. You might think that every company would take the anonymity of employee surveys just as seriously as we do (and trust us, employees certainly do) but recent experience would suggest otherwise. Our Operations VP just published a LinkedIN article on the topic here. It's well worth a read.

DIY survey tools have opened up a whole new world when it comes to survey technology, but the one thing they cannot do is protect a person's identity the way a 3rd party provider can. If HR and management have the keys to the survey, then they can access every response and know exactly who said what. Your employees are not stupid. They know that. And if they know that, they won't be 100% honest. 

We read something recently on the website of the largest DIY survey platform in the US claiming that while their employee surveys were not necessarily anonymous, that used the right way, they were confidential and that their own research showed that employees actually had more trust in confidential surveys rather than anonymous surveys. LOL right!

1. Who are they trying to kid?

2. We'd really like to see that research. (never mind it doesn't exist)

We talk to HR professionals all the time and we hear from employees too. True anonymity is one of their biggest concerns, not some shaky concept of confidentiality.  We've also had a few clients over the years who came to us after trying to do their own surveys in-house, some with disastrous outcomes. Trust in the workplace takes a long time and much effort to develop, but only one event to diminish it or eliminate it completely. Why take the risk?

Do yourself a favor. A 3rd party provider may cost a little more than doing it yourself in-house, but the benefits of expertise and the critical requirement of anonymity is well worth the few extra dollars you might pay.

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Insightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.



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