Employee satisfaction surveys are now the norm in most modern companies. It has been proven over and over again that a higher level of satisfaction leads to greater productivity and innovation. Many companies use a blank survey to assess employee satisfaction, sending it out to all employees of a certain level. In many cases, the responses will be collected in an anonymous way, but is that really the best way to garner employee feedback?

Many managers support the anonymity of employee satisfaction forms. It encourages people to give honest feedback about their work without fear of any repercussions in their working life. For example, many people would feel uncomfortable criticising their manager if they knew that the manager in question will read the feedback. Anonymous suggestions from lower-level employees may also be taken more seriously than those given in a non-anonymous situation where company politics come into play.

Is openness best?

While there are advantages to the anonymous survey. There are also arguments in favour of an open survey where employee responses are identifiable. In the first place, anonymous responses in smaller companies may not be all that anonymous. Given that everyone works with each other. Some responses may be easy to match with a particular employee, which poses the question; why not make it all open from the start?

Secondly, employees often don’t take satisfaction surveys very seriously. Assuming (with justification in many cases) that they are just a management gimmick. A named survey adds an element of accountability to the whole thing. Forcing mployees to think more carefully about their answers and it diminishes the temptation for inflammatory criticism.

Another positive effect is that management gets the chance to follow up on feedback received. For example, the survey may identify employees who are struggling and need extra support or a change of pace. A satisfaction form may also give rise to excellent suggestions for changes in the work environment or policy. By matching the idea with the employee that offered it; management can involve the author of the idea in its implementation and also assign credit for a successful result.

The appropriateness of an anonymous, as opposed to a named employee satisfaction survey, can often depend on the company in question. Your final decision must be based on your knowledge of your company culture and the results you are hoping to gain.

In either case, Netigate can offer as much or as little help as needed with setting up your employee satisfaction form.