Anonymous Surveys: Advantages, Disadvantages And Best Practices For Better Responses

Updated: Jun 13

Employee Experience is based on open and honest feedback, however, the problem occurs when employees do not wish to share their honest opinion. They could be afraid of saying anything against the authorities or may feel insecure about their own jobs regarding self-assessment in terms of productivity. While trying to get genuine survey responses, should your IT team depend on anonymous surveys?


What are Surveys?

What Are Anonymous Surveys?


In an anonymous survey, any personally identifiable information, such as department, employee ID number, email, or other unique identifiers, is fully removed from responses. It is impossible to identify the people who took part in the survey.


Benefit Of An Anonymous Survey


Participants Are More Comfortable Responding


Most survey participants will feel more comfortable participating if they know their personal information will not be disclosed. This is due to the fact that they are not afraid of retaliation or embarrassment.


Higher Response Rate


While the need that respondents submit some personally identifying information with their comments may have prompted some prior respondents to abandon your survey, the option to stay anonymous should boost your response rates in the future.


Relatively Accurate Feedback


Respondents are more likely to discuss difficult matters and provide more extensive and honest feedback when a survey is anonymous. It's why anonymous staff surveys are more common than ones that ask employees to disclose personally-identifying information.


Avoid Bias


When most people react to inquiries, they do so based on how they believe they will be perceived by others rather than answering genuinely. This is known as social desirability bias. If too many people respond in this manner, your results may be skewed. When participants are able to take out a survey anonymously, there is no motivation for them to lie, which helps to increase the general trustworthiness of your survey results.


Drawbacks Of An Anonymous Survey


Drawbacks of an Anonymous Survey

Unable To Conduct Follow-Ups


Depending on the goals of your survey, you may wish to take additional actions based on replies, such as adopting a specific policy or addressing a specific issue. Unfortunately, this is incredibly difficult to perform with an anonymous poll. As a result, you must be certain that you will not need to follow up on anyone's responses before deciding on an anonymous survey.


No Point of Reference For Negative Comments


It's difficult to visualise exactly what went on without any reference to what would have contributed to an unfavourable comment. For example, if someone posted a comment based on a negative experience they had with a member of your support team, it would be difficult to investigate and address without more information.


Can’t Fight False Data


There are some things that are tough to regulate, and one of them is people who have a personal grievance. They may give misleading responses in this situation in order to influence your results.


Best Practices For Anonymous Surveys In Companies


Best Practices for Anonymous Surveys

If you've decided to use an anonymous survey, it's a good idea to be aware of some do's and don'ts before putting it to the test with your staff. This will ensure that you get the most out of their utilisation. Here are a few crucial considerations to keep in mind:


Clarify That It Is An Anonymous Survey


After taking the trouble to make your survey anonymous, you'll want to make this as clear to participants as possible. Starting your survey with an introduction is a great method to explain this. Make sure people know that your survey is completely anonymous and protects their personal data and identity. You'll be more likely to get the most honest responses this way.


Double Check Your Survey Collecting Agent


You should also consider your survey collecting agents as they are responsible for distributing and collecting survey replies. You should double-check that you've enabled anonymous survey replies for each of the collectors you've chosen.


Disable Custom Variables


Custom variables don't guarantee anonymity by their very nature, as they allow you to track data about individual respondents by transferring one or more values through a survey link and onto your survey results. If at all possible, avoid using custom variables.


Ensure Your Questions Don’t Disrupt Anonymity


While it's simple to remove questions that ask for the respondent's name and phone number, other, more subtle inquiries may disclose personal information inadvertently. For example, if you asked someone what company they worked for and what job title they had, you might be able to figure out their identity. As a result, it's a good idea to double-check your survey before sending it out and remove any of these questions.


Still Struggling With Surveys? We Can Help!


Sometimes, finding the true problem hidden within a survey can be more difficult than it appears at first. On the surface, it may appear to be a simple problem to solve, but when you try to solve it, you may feel as if you're stuck in a loop. This is where the Bright Horse team comes in.


We have a lot of expertise in designing and executing customer satisfaction/user sentiment surveys, which are used to collect information about the user experience.


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