In a perfect world, says blogger and director of content at OfficeVibe, Jacob Shriar, employee surveys wouldn’t need to be anonymous. Unfortunately, most corporate cultures don’t allow for full freedom of expression, so anonymity is important.
And respondent concerns around remaining anonymous are the biggest reasons for a low response rate, and/or inaccurate data.
For example, if I’m worried that the responses won’t be anonymous, chances are I will not do the survey, I’ll report something other than what I truly feel when I have strong feelings, or I might not respond to select questions at all. This is particularly true of open ended questions, where people do worry their stories will identify them.
Here are a few of the benefits of having anonymous surveys, according to Jacob.
Honest Feedback For Your Company
The biggest benefit is that employees will be more open and honest.
The anonymity will make employees feel safe, so they’ll be more comfortable saying what’s truly bothering them.
Without that anonymity, employees might fear that they’ll get into trouble.
Employees Feel Listened To
When you offer anonymous surveys to your employees, they will feel like they’re listened to. You’re letting them know that it’s okay to give feedback, and that they have a say in what happens at their organization.
By making them feel listened to, they’ll is evidence that they will be more engaged at work. When employees are engaged, they’re more productive (12% more productive to be exact).
Improves Employee Retention
If you’re acting on the feedback that employees give you, then in theory, you should be making them happier, which should lead to retention.
One of the biggest mistakes companies make with surveys (anonymous or not) is that they don’t act on the feedback that’s come in.
Not acting will have the opposite effect and lead to employees being disengaged, angry, and if the problems persist long enough, they’ll leave.
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