What If They Don’t Believe It’s An Anonymous Survey? #trustissues

Confidentiality is a huge deal, and an anonymous survey can be the ticket to candid responses — and lots of them. We’ve seen response rates skyrocket when clients roll out a real live Anonymous Survey, and they’re the perfect solution to collect real answers on sensitive topics like Employee Engagement or Performance Evaluations.

In some cases, though, I hear this response: “But what if they don’t believe if anonymous? After all, we’re sending it to their email address, we’re sending reminders, and — really — there’s a lot of anxiety about the whole thing to start with.”

I’m with you. We’re with you. But when trust is an issue, technology isn’t the only solution. Here’s a quick look at how we can help, how you can help, and how we can bring it all together.



We can help…

  • Anonymity is easy to enable. There’s literally one switch to toggle on, which is about as close as you can get to the oh-so-easy one-click solutions that sales teams dream about.
  • Participants are warned. A footer image and message are automatically enabled for every anonymous survey with details on what it’s all about.
  • You’re safe from temptation. From distribution through reporting, you’ll have zero access to who-said-what connections. The ethics are baked right in!
  • Reminders still work. Even though you don’t know who’s responded, our system can tell which links have been used, so everyone else gets reminders.


You can help…

  • Communication counts. Let people know the survey is coming, and answer any questions in a team meeting to keep everyone on the same page. Don’t put all the pressure on the invitation or survey itself.
  • Purpose provides power. Be totally clear about why you’re collecting these answers. If you don’t have any ‘gotcha’ tactics in mind, say so.
  • Really read (and act on!) results. When people see that you’ve used their answers to make a positive difference, they’re more likely to be motivated to participate next time.
  • Cultivate consistency. Speaking of next time, use anonymity consistently if you’re repeating the same survey so there are no back-to-the-start-again surprises.


And here’s an idea… #passwordparty

I really got excited about this idea on an onboarding call with a new client last week, leading to the blog you’re reading now. Again, it’s an organization that wants to survey its employees, but is concerned about trust issues. Here’s the idea:

  1. Tell your team the survey’s coming. Let them know well in advance, through all of your normal channels of communication. No surprises here!
  2. As needed, involve key team members in developing the questions to expand understanding.
  3. Enable Anonymity on the survey.
  4. Set up survey access through Passwords — single-use and randomly generated. Print these all out and snip them into tiny slips of paper.
  5. On the morning of the launch, have the CEO/HR VP send out an email including the link to the survey access page, along with support and encouragement to participate.
  6. Later on the same day, host a team meeting/party where people can ask any questions they need to have resolved before they respond.
  7. Once everyone’s gotten their answers (and enough donuts, I’m thinking), shake up a hat filled with those tiny slips of paper and stand by the exit door to ensure everyone randomly draws a randomly generated password before they go. Untrackable!
  8. You can’t send reminders through passwords, but you can keep the conversation going through all your normal communication channels to get those responses in!


Sound good? I’m excited to hear about these password parties — and see pictures, too… unless they turn out to be masked costume parties… ?? Take it to the next level and let’s see what you’ve got!