The Power of Anonymous Employee Surveys

Employee surveys are a routine part of most employee experiences. Maybe once a year, or during performance reviews, employees are asked to evaluate the people they work with every day, the processes that earn their livelihood and their thoughts on the company as a whole.

No pressure, right? It's easy to see why employees may be hesitant to bring up concerns. (Read about four communication issues and how HR can solve them.)

Enter anonymous surveys. Core HR software will include anonymous survey capabilities such as:

  • 360 evaluations
  • Collections of quantitative and qualitative data
  • A breakdown of reporting relationship (supervisor, peer, etc.)

Not sure it's worth making these anonymous? Here's how opportunity can power your company culture to a new level.

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Anonymous Surveys Give Employees Permission to Be Honest

Employee feedback can be tricky. No one wants to be targeted because of their negative views or for reporting less-than-desirable culture problems. With anonymity, you erase that danger and give your employees what they need: a platform to say what needs to be said, without the threat of repercussions.

Anonymous Survey Can Increase Participation and Employee Engagement

With their name attached to survey responses, employees may not think it's even worth filing out your surveys. Under anonymity, that dynamic often changes. When employees take the time to think about how to respond to your questions, they're making the choice to engage with your organization. See 12 engagement strategies that actually work.

Anonymous Surveys Encourage Communication

A Gallup study shows that employees who have more conversations with their manager are more likely to be engaged at work, but if your organization doesn’t already foster this type of communication, anonymous surveys can reveal the issue. Employees who can't have a transparent discussion with management will likely feel more empowered under the cloak of anonymity, which can identify the need to make manager-level changes in communication strategies.

Anonymous Surveys Help Set the Tone of a Company Culture

Your company culture, good or bad, makes a big impact on your workforce. When you take the step to collect anonymous feedback, you're showing you care enough to hear the truth from employees. This is part of setting a good cultural tone. It says:

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Anonymous Surveys Encourage Pro-activity as Well as Positive Reactivity

Pro-activity is a buzzword and best practice, and by asking for employee input, you're showing you want to be proactive. However, taking in the information and doing nothing with it doesn't earn you any rewards. You need to demonstrate a willingness to be reactive as well:

  • Take the feedback seriously
  • Investigate and evaluate the status quo to decide if action should be taken
  • Tell employees when you make changes based on anonymous feedback
  • Create a plan that addresses the situation systematically, not just case-by-case
  • Continue monitoring

Anonymous Surveys Can Help Small Businesses or Divisions

A common hurdle to survey success is when the people being surveyed are part of a small, close-knit group. One way to add safeguards to this process is with a survey approach that isn't only anonymous, but it's also programmed not to include answers from specific subsets unless there are a minimum number of responses. In this case, anonymous responses may still go to an HR person, where the data can be handled in a more sensitive manner.

The power of anonymous surveys can make a lasting impact on your business and company culture. To see how implementing a high-quality, anonymous feedback program could work for your organization, schedule a free demo today.

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