6 Vital Tips For Conducting Effective Anonymous Employee Survey In 2021
It's no secret that any rational employee would be wary of a non-anonymous employee survey.
We all know that an employee survey can be a powerful tool in defining:
- The strength and weaknesses of your company
- Why your employees' performance is on a downward spiral?
- Are your employees truly satisfied with their jobs?
- Why is Team A performing better than Team B?
… and so much more.
But here's the catch.
Unless you're putting forward an anonymous employee survey, there are high chances that the survey results will be a pile of unusable data.
And do you know what that means? A set of incorrect and unusable survey results.
So, in this article, we've decided to condense our experience as an employee survey provider into a list of handy tips for making the most of your anonymous employee surveys. Without further ado, let's get started.
6 Great Tips That'll Make Running Anonymous Employee Surveys Seem Like A Cakewalk
An anonymous employee survey is a survey that does not collect personal information from survey participants. It ensures that employees who took the survey cannot be identified later on based on their survey responses.
The logic behind anonymous employee surveys is simple.
When employees feel comfortable knowing that their responses can't be traced back, they are more open to offering honest feedback.
However, anonymous employee surveys are not as easy as they appear.
These factors can make a huge difference in how successful your anonymous surveys turn out to be.
So, if you're an HR professional or a leader, here are some must-know tips that'll turn your anonymous survey to be more effective.
Tip 1: Use Third-Party Surveys
Do you think that if you went up to an employee and said that:
Hey, we need you to take an employee survey. But don't worry! It's completely anonymous. By the way, this survey was developed in-house.
Do you think that any employee is going to treat this as an anonymous survey? Definitely not!
They will treat it as if it were any other survey, which puts us back to our original issue of receiving insincere employee feedback.
To truly make your anonymous survey— well — anonymous, you need to use a third-party employee survey tool like Vantage Pulse.
With survey tools like Vantage Pulse, employees are free to offer their real and honest feedback to survey questions without worrying about their anonymity.
But a problem that arises with anonymous surveys is the act of following up on any serious feedback. This is what we explore in our next point!
Tip 2: Always, Always Have A Feedback Loop At Hand
The major concern that most HR professionals have with anonymous surveys is that:
How to follow up on anonymous feedback given by our workers?
It's quite a legitimate question since without the proper follow-up, there is a risk of misinterpretation of serious issues.
That is why it is critical to check with your survey tool vendor about their features that'll enable human resources to follow up on employee responses.
But here's the problem:
Following up means that the anonymity of the survey respondents will be lost.
Or will it?
While building Vantage Pulse, we knew that follow-ups are integral to every survey's efficiency. But we also didn't want to compromise on the anonymous factor since we knew it was important for the employees.
That's precisely why we designed our simple yet handy "Conversation" feature.
Screenshot Source: Vantage Pulse
The Conversation feature makes it easier for survey administrators to follow up on any employee feedback through an easy-to-use chat interface. Meanwhile, the follow-up response will land directly in the inboxes of the targeted survey respondent.
The entire process is instant, easy, and hassle-free.
The best part? Both the sender and the receiver will be completely anonymous to each other!
Tip 3: Don't Start Any Witch Hunt
Sadly, in some situations with anonymous surveys, anonymity can set off a witch hunt.
When employees provide unfavorable feedback through these anonymous surveys, some managers try to find out who gave the criticism. In such scenarios, employees can go as far as
Can you envision a workplace culture where employees are frightened to use their true IP address to complete an employee survey?
We understand that anonymous surveys can bring in a lot of criticisms rather than insights. But, when you seek out employees to find out who posted a specific piece of feedback, it affects the survey results of any future feedback that they may provide.
But there are some easy solutions to help you bring in feedback that is genuine and actionable. Here's how:
- Opt for binary or scale-based survey questions over open-ended survey questions. Anonymous open-ended survey questions make it easier for employees to go off-topic.
- Keep the questions specific yet neutral. Don't ask- "Do you like your manager and peers?" Instead, ask- "Does your manager supports you?"
- Many people mess around with surveys because they believe that no one will do anything with the survey results. A critical way to show the seriousness of the employee survey is to develop an action plan immediately following the survey and communicate it to your workers. It will reflect that the survey is being closely monitored, which will inspire employees to give more honest feedback.
Tip 4: Did You Communicate It Well To Your Employees?
Open, honest, and timely communication is the lifeblood of a business. And that includes the anonymous employee surveys too.
Before sending across the anonymous employee survey to your workforce, you should clearly communicate the following points:
- What is the purpose of the survey?
- Why is the survey so important?
- When will the survey be conducted?
- How does the entire survey procedure work?
- Be clear about how the anonymous aspect of the survey will work.
When you are open about the survey's objectives, employees feel more at ease providing honest feedback.
Tip 5: Don't Skimp On The Action Plan
Employees dislike filling out surveys because organizations rarely act on the feedback they receive.
Most people see surveys as a meaningless corporate activity that does not need active participation.
To engage employees to take part in future surveys, the survey's completion should not be met by radio silence on your part. That is, your employees should understand how the survey data will be calculated, analyzed, and handled.
After the survey is over, be sure to follow through with the following tips:
- Ask people if there are any ways to improve the employee experience while filling out the survey.
- Share and discuss the survey findings with your employees, as well as your action plan for solving the issues.
- While designing the action plan, include leaders as well as team members.
- Be specific about the areas that need to be improved.
- Make a timeline and revisit it periodically to keep track of its progress.
- Assign someone to complete each milestone. Follow up constantly.
- When you reach a new milestone, remember to celebrate the tiny victories with your team.
Tip 6: Change Is A Team Effort
The success of an anonymous employee survey is based on a two-sided contribution:
- Employees who provide honest feedback.
- The leadership team who timely respond and acts on the survey results.
Research shows that regularly following up with colleagues is an influential variable in creating long-term sustainable change in leadership behavior.
As a human resource professional or HR leader, it's your job to ensure that the entire leadership team- including managers- takes on a more hands-on approach with the survey.
Management must take a keen interest in the anonymous employee surveys for meaningful change to occur. Simply put, leaders must not be passive observers. They must take an active role in the survey's success.
The human resources department should make every effort to include managers and bosses right from the start of the survey planning process.
A huge part of why this works is because most managers are more in-tuned with what employees actually want. The survey design team can use these inputs to create the optimum survey-taking employee experience.
Similarly, it enables both parties— you and the leaders— to agree on the survey's aims and bring everyone together on the same page.
As a result, once the survey results are out, leaders will have a vested incentive in acting on them.
People are more likely to engage in surveys when they are made anonymous. Then you are more likely to obtain accurate data on how employees perceive the workplace culture, employee experience, rewards and recognition program, and several other subjects.
So, if you think that anonymous employee surveys would be beneficial for your business, you can book a free demo of Vantage Pulse by clicking here.