A recent conversation at a conference confirmed my suspicions: More organizations are using online, “anonymous” surveys to get feedback from their employees. This practice appears to be especially common during strategic planning or organizational assessment stages.
Typically, an employee will get an e-mail in her inbox, inviting her to complete an online survey, often using programs such as SurveyMonkey. Topics vary widely, but usually they cover some aspect(s) of employment relations or management decision making.
Multiple choice, yes-no, agree-disagree questions will predominate, sometimes exclusively, thus sharply limiting the range of feedback.
The catch (or, catches)
So the employee may be thinking, great, they want my opinion! I’m fortunate to be working at a place that welcomes what I have to say!
But hold on. Frequently these surveys are done with an underlying agenda, usually one that seeks validation for an already favored course of action. (A telltale sign is when…
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