Anonymous vs. Confidential Surveys – What’s the Difference and Why it Matters

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        I am a whole-hearted believer in the power of employee feedback to help companies understand their team members’ collective experience. It allows leaders to gain clarity on what’s working well and what is getting in the way of employee engagement and overall business performance.
Employee feedback is only valuable, however, if employees feel comfortable and safe in providing their candid thoughts and experiences and believe their input will influence positive change. The most common ways of providing this level of assurance is to conduct anonymous or confidential surveys – and yes, there’s a difference!
Anonymous Approach: Pros and Cons
What Defines an Anonymous Survey? An anonymous survey does not include any identifying information, and therefore responses can not be tied back to any individual participant.
Pros: These types of surveys are most often deployed by giving all potential respondents the same survey link, removing any administrative burden from the employer. An employer would simply send one mass email to all employees with one common link.
Cons: Since the survey link is not tied to any particular employee record, a single employee could take the survey multiple times, skewing the response rate as well as the overall results. If trying to gather demographic factors, such as their position, department, or geographic location, there is a higher likelihood of error, whether from user error or a deliberate desire to mask their identity. In addition, research indicates that accuracy can slightly diminish on anonymous surveys. In an act referred……