Are confidential employee surveys really confidential?

Hey Lovelies,

Have you ever been asked to complete a “confidential employee survey” at your workplace? One thing I have been asked a million and one times is “is it really confidential?”.

Honestly, there is no way to truly know or answer this question effectively as each company could conduct their surveys differently.

Common ways employee surveys are completed:

  1. Hand written
  2. Typed and emailed
  3. Typed and printed
  4. Online survey program
  5. Confidential meeting with notes
  6. Phone meeting through 3rd party

As you can imagine, many of these could end up with access to who completed each survey. The options where a 3rd party or a specific program are conducting the survey will pride themselves on confidentiality otherwise they wouldn’t have a successful business. So you can rest assured in most cases this is secure!

It’s more when you are having to send your answers directly or hand write them, basically any way that gives the ability to identify you as the person completing the survey. In these cases, I would do everything possible to distance yourself from how it is returned to your employer, so your answers are not held against you later.

Some companies do not have the capacity or means to use a 3rd party, so it is common to use internal options instead. These surveys can be huge for a company so it’s always important to ensure you are completing these with 100% honesty. As scary as that might seem with the chance you may be identified, a company is asking for feedback for a reason and won’t be able to change or improve without the right feedback.

Don’t be afraid to ask if the surveys are confidential either, do what you need to do! If you get a follow up request on completing the survey, red flag that they know you haven’t completed one yet!

Remember, don’t include anything that you don’t want coming back to you. In any case, there is always a chance it can be identified as you – so be sure you are ready to have your name put next to it if it comes to it.

In an ideal world a company wouldn’t need to conduct these types of surveys, but these days it can be difficult for some employees to speak up especially if they have a difficult relationship with their direct manager or if senior management are not the best listeners. It can be a good sign having a company conduct these surveys as they may have come to the point where they are ready to listen and hear what their employees have to say. While it might be later, it’s better than never!

Give it your all, give honest feedback whenever and however you can – you don’t need to wait for a survey like this. Always follow up too, because it’s no good raising something if it never goes anywhere with management.

Good luck lovelies,

Love Sarah xxx


Categories: Work

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