Don’t you want to know what your employees really think? After all, they are your company’s best asset, and it’s paramount that you keep them happy. But the research conclusively shows they will hesitate to share their insight when it’s negative or critical, or when they’re worried about being judged, criticized, or even penalized. The result: organizations lose employees’ best and most honest thinking. That’s where the anonymous survey comes in.
At MeetingPulse, our easy-to-use platform helps you create surveys for your employees, either within meetings or events or separate from them. Here’s why you should and how to do it.
Related: Building A Feedback Culture
Why Use Anonymous Surveys?
As a business owner, executive, or HR professional, you have many options for tools to help you improve your company. The anonymous survey is a particularly effective one for achieving several goals, including conducting insightful market research. A survey administrator can use it to make changes that will improve business outcomes and help keep your employees satisfied. With the insight you stand to gain from survey results, you’ll be able to use your team’s ideas, opinions, and reactions to make better business decisions, develop priorities, and even kickstart ideation.
Many companies appreciate anonymous surveys because they empower employees. You give the talent the ability to use their voices and express their opinions about their jobs, workplaces, teams, and company. And they get to have a say and make a difference within their roles.
These feelings of empowerment will increase job satisfaction, because employees feel that their company cares about what they have to say and gives them the ability to make an impact on the organization.
Anonymous surveys also have a positive impact on employee engagement. Asking employees to answer questions about their experiences and opinions working at the company involves them on a deeper level than just doing their day-to-day work. Anonymity features also promote the psychological safety and well-being of the respondents.
They get to think, analyze, and express themselves in a way that goes beyond the demands of their specific role. Giving them anonymous surveys reminds them how much you value their voice.
Finding the Real Answers for Your Business
Finally, anonymous surveys will give you crucial information about what is going on in the company. Even the most experienced and involved leaders with the best intentions can’t know everything that happens in the workplace, and the problem is even greater in big companies.
A great way to boost your understanding of everything from employee satisfaction to customer satisfaction to productivity to manager effectiveness and more is to collect feedback directly from the heart and soul of your company: the employees. Custom data gleaned from the survey will help you empower your team.
Questions to Consider Before Creating an Anonymous Survey
After deciding that you want to use an anonymous employee survey, your next step is to think about a few important things that will directly affect the survey’s effectiveness.
Will I Need to Follow Up?
First, you’ll need to decide whether you want the ability to follow up after you receive the answers to your survey. This can be important if you’re seeking honest answers to the kind of questions that need further investigation.
If you do decide that you want the ability to follow up, then an anonymous survey won’t work. Luckily, at MeetingPulse you can create open surveys as easily as anonymous ones.. However, there are many reasons to keep your survey anonymous. Most importantly, it encourages honest feedback and candid responses that you may not get otherwise.
How Will I Keep the Survey Anonymous?
If you want to move ahead with an anonymous survey, it’s important to understand how you will keep it anonymous. It’s vital that employees trust that they can speak their minds freely without worrying about their answers being tied to any identifying information. Employees often worry that simple demographic information or a job title might give them away.
Surveys in which employees have to handwrite answers can raise suspicions, because handwriting bears identifying marks. Instead, MeetingPulse allows employees to access a survey link without even having to sign in. All they have to do is fill out the survey on our secure, encrypted server and rest easy with the knowledge that it’s completely anonymous. Even their IP addresses are totally secure.
What Survey Types Will I Use?
While there are several survey platforms to choose from, an online polling app like MeetingPulse gives you many options. You can use short-answer questions, multiple choice, rating questions and others to collect both qualitative and quantitative data to work with. You can even integrate pictures.
Unlike handwritten surveys or text-based surveys, an online app allows you to ensure complete anonymity, reach all your employees easily, organize your survey responses, and receive better data about the survey answers. It’ll also be more convenient for your employees and keep any surveys from getting lost in the shuffle.
Creating The Right Questions
Naturally, the most important step in creating confidential surveys is writing the questions, as these will determine what you get out of the survey.
Consider Survey Goals
The best way to determine what to ask is to determine what you want to achieve with it. Having specific, concrete survey goals will help to give you focus and prevent a sprawling, 100-question survey that overwhelms your employees, gets few answers, and is ineffective.
If you find that you have more than two or three goals for your survey, consider saving some of them for another one in the future.
Think About the Audience
Another important consideration with survey questions is knowing your audience. A general employee survey that reaches everybody in the organization will probably ask different questions and be phrased differently than one intended only for managers, or stakeholders, or a specific department. Using a tool that allows custom variables will help you create surveys for your desired audience.
You want as many people as possible to answer surveys, so you’ll have high response rates. That means you’re getting higher data quality. Encourage employee participation by showing them how answering the confidential survey will benefit them. For example, you can make it clear that the survey is an opportunity to directly ask for changes they want the organization to make.
You can also write the questions in a way that highlights the employee benefit of each question or section. Timing is everything too — which is why MeetingPulses’ live integration can be a huge motivator.
Related: How to Get People to Take a Survey
Distributing the Survey
Once your survey is written, it’s just a matter of distributing it to your employees. This must be done carefully to preserve confidentiality and trust.
Find an Appropriate Time
First, it’s important to think about when you ask your employees to respond to your survey. For an obvious example, a year-end survey should not be distributed any earlier than December. If you have a shorter survey, ask employees to answer it during a conference or group meeting, as this nearly guarantees 100% participation.
With MeetingPulse, you can send out a link and get results in real time. With live PowerPoint integration, you can send out surveys and set aside some time for them to be completed during the meeting.
Have a Deadline
When you’re creating your survey be sure to include a due date. A deadline will encourage survey participants to complete it without letting it get buried in their desk or email.
Use an Online App
As mentioned above, the most convenient way to distribute an employee survey is through a simple web link. That way, all you have to do is send out an email or chat with a link and you can be sure that each of your employees has received the survey. You’ll also be able to easily track the responses.
Create an Incentive
To encourage participation in your survey, consider creating an incentive for employees to answer. You can offer a small reward to each employee who participates or a larger reward that the entire company receives if the survey yields a minimum number or a certain percentage of responses. Or you can put on a competition between teams: whichever team has the most responses will win the incentive.
If everyone completes the survey by the end of a meeting, you can organize a raffle using MeetingPulse.
Giving an anonymous survey will help empower your employees to have a voice and cultivate company growth. As we discussed, there are many ways to create, distribute, and gather accurate data from anonymous surveys.
Now you have some of the tools to create a successful anonymous survey in order to meet company goals and serve the needs of your employees. Check out our plans at MeetingPulse to find out more about how it works.
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