Forum Navigator

    Popular Tags

    advice age change children cnet college collegenet culture dating death eball education family food friends fun future ginger god happiness health job kids love marriage mljay money parents people politics pulsar raelo relationship relationships religion school sex sleep slynch8686 society thecrimsonactuary think time tobias travel wanderer women work world

    Are “confidential” surveys really anonymous?

    created by EmanJenkens 28 days 19 hours 57 minutes ago

    Category: World

    Are “confidential” surveys really anonymous?

    Hey Good morning!

    My mom was asked to complete a “confidential” employee survey at work. She was afraid to complete it honestly due to fear that it wasn’t truly confidential and afraid of retribution.

    Do you think those surveys are really 100% confidential? Would you or have you ever completed them?

    What do you think:
    Are “confidential” surveys really anonymous?

    Have a great day.


    Re: Are “confidential” surveys really anonymous?

    Hey good morning, Ethan.

    I wasn't sure how to answer your question, so I looked some info up on line. Here is an article I hope you find helpful:

    Here’s what to consider, in the short- and long-term, to make sure you’re implementing an effective anonymous survey.

    Whether it’s a brand new engagement initiative or you’re working to improve an existing strategy, make sure employees understand the difference between anonymous and confidential responses. A confidential survey is one where responses can be combined with other data that’s been gathered, such as demographics, for example. By combining data, efforts are made so that you can’t connect results to one individual.

    “On the contrary, an anonymous survey ensures that responses cannot be connected to individual people,” says Talmetrix CEO Chris Powell. Many organizations choose anonymous (or confidential) surveys to encourage employees to give more honest feedback.

    “Anonymity really gets down to the level of reporting you’re after. The question to be answered is: How fine will we report the data?” Anonymous data allows you to look at the macro trends of data versus individual responses. There can be trade-offs when choosing an anonymous survey. “The areas where anonymity become less effective is if you’re trying to tease out specific things, for example. The more specific you want to get, the less anonymity really helps you get there.”

    While results gathered can be more honest by using an anonymous survey, you’ll want to setup your survey so that it ensures validity and reliability.

    Have a great day!


    Re: Are “confidential” surveys really anonymous?

    Hi Eman,

    I have mixed feeling on "confidential" surveys and am hesitant to take them when my place of employment is involved. I feel that my employer would always be able to find out the source if they really wanted to and that keeps me from being brutally honest!

    Last year, we were asked to give our opinions on our boss as her leadership ability comes into question often. That, of course, was dicey and most people refused to so unless it was totally anonymous. That meant no online survey and typed notes that were dropped off. The problem with that was that the reliability and validity was questioned. The Superintendent couldn't guarantee that all of the opinions didn't come from one disgruntled person or group. A few brave souls stepped up and put a signature on their letters. I wasn't one of them as my boss is known to hold a grudge!

    Interesting question!


    Re: Are “confidential” surveys really anonymous?

    Hey Eman,

    My dad got caught up in that a couple of years ago, and he was called out on it. It was supposed to be "confidential" but it wasn't and he almost lost his job over it. Why would you do a survey in the first place if you don't want anyone to be honest about it, and you don't want to hear the bad things with the good? Makes no sense to me.

    It's too bad that the bad managers or policies can't be changed because those in power don't want to hear it, and "take it out on" the employees who take a chance and reply honestly, or good employees are afraid of backlash for bringing it to their attention. Yet another culture change that is overdue..........

    Thanks for the forum, and have a good one!