Why is Confidentiality Important for an Employee Engagement Survey?

Employee Engagement Survey Confidentiality

In order for an employee engagement survey to have the most value, it is essential that each participant’s responses remain totally confidential.

This level of confidentiality will encourage employees to be more open and honest in their responses. Even the suspicion that their responses to a survey question might be connected back to them personally can dramatically affect the data retrieved from the survey in a number of negative ways. If employees are overly concerned with how managers will react to their feelings and observations about the company, this can inhibit their volunteering valuable and helpful insights – information that could foster needed changes. This would be counterproductive, and ultimately make the employee engagement survey considerably less valuable. The last thing you need is an employee engagement survey that is nothing but overly positive comments or thinly veiled self-congratulatory statements on past achievements.  Review this article to see what would make an employee feel unmotivated.

Conducting an employee engagement survey internally can provide some potentially valuable information. However, it is most likely that whoever collates the information gathered by the survey will be aware of the identities of the respondents. Respondents aware of this flaw will likely want to protect themselves from any negative effects that inflammatory statements could have on their future careers. Studies indicate that a survey, done internally, is not valued by employees to the same degree as one overseen by a third party that protects the confidentiality of all data. If your aim is to foster the most trusting environment and you want to ensure participants’ anonymity, outsourcing the survey to a third party is recommended. Not only will the employees respond in greater numbers, they will do so more openly, without reservations.

By having a trusted third party perform the employee engagement survey, you can take full advantage of their many years of experience gained by conducting professionally construed surveys. The third party provider will also be able to use their skills to tailor a survey to your company’s specific goals and requirements. This will allow you to target the survey to suit your needs to ensure you get the desired information. Moreover, preparing an employee engagement survey in house requires time and that could otherwise be deployed towards more direct profit generating activities.

If you are considering executing multiple employee engagement surveys annually, or semi-annually, working hand-in hand with a third party provider will ensure consistency as well as maximize the insights gained over each survey period. Maintaining this consistency creates a failsafe means to guarantee that theresults are meaningful and will be acted upon. This is a vital aspect of any survey that is conducted.

In summary, should you be about to conduct an employee engagement survey, remember that your employees need to be certain that their responses will be kept in strictest confidence. Anything short of this will not garner the desired data that you need to improve the business and retain valuable employees.