Are Employee Satisfaction Surveys Anonymous?

Are Employee Satisfaction Surveys Anonymous?

Many companies like to give employee satisfaction surveys. They do this by explaining it helps the company identify areas of improvement. Businesses claim employee surveys are for the benefit of their employees. Moreover, there is also almost always an added statement that the employee survey will be anonymous. However, this is likely rarely ever the case.

The truth is employee satisfaction surveys or engagement surveys are hardly ever for the benefit of a company’s employees and they are almost never completely truly anonymous. Satisfaction surveys at most of today’s companies are just another piece of corporate nonsense that is both outdated and a complete waste of time.

Why do companies give employee satisfaction surveys?

Although most of the business world pretends that employee surveys asking for feedback on their company helps its workers, this is not exactly the situation in most instances. Employee surveys are really for the ultimate advantage of a company. Owners of companies, HR departments, and their leaders do want to know what problems might exist at a workplace. However, there seldom is anything really done to correct problems. The reason for this is most companies have another agenda for their survey and it doesn’t always include making things better at a workplace for the everyday employee.

The reality with employee engagement surveys is they are used to identify the people that might be a problem. Furthermore, the surveys are used dishonestly by employers to show how great it must be to work for them.

Employee satisfaction surveys are never completely anonymous.

Although an employer might claim your answers on a supposed anonymous survey are truly just that, don’t believe this for a minute. With today’s technology, an employer can identify who answers the questions on an anonymous survey. Therefore, almost all of them are done electronically. If you get a survey on old-fashioned pen and paper, you need to know that some of your answers will even likely give away your identity.

Employers will sometimes even try to use deceitful language stating their employee satisfaction survey is confidential. There is a big difference between completely anonymous and just confidential. Although this should make sense to most people, employers will often try to use the two words interchangeably claiming complete anonymity for an employee that takes a workplace survey.

It is not uncommon for an employer to claim an engagement survey is anonymous and then send it to an email address requesting the person send it back. Also, if an employee does not participate in an anonymous survey an HR representative might reach out to that employee and ask why they have not completed it. Do you see the problem here? How can a supposedly anonymous survey be just this when an HR representative asks an employee why they have not completed it or they instruct an employee to email their completed survey responses back?

It does not matter if an employee survey is filled out online, on paper, or even at a third-party website. Every employee at a company always needs to understand their answers on an anonymous survey at work are never just that.

Why do employers want their workers to fill out workplace satisfaction surveys and believe they are anonymous?

Employers use engagement surveys to identify problem employees.

First and foremost, the number one priority for a business is to protect itself. In addition, Human Resource departments are not in place to protect employees. Their role is to watch over a company and make sure everything is running smoothly with no issues. This includes identifying problem employees and preventing any possible litigation.

If an employee at a company feels their feedback on a survey regarding their workplace is anonymous, that person is more likely going to answer the questions truthfully. This is helpful to the employer because they can evaluate potential problems with an employee before they arise. Moreover, employers can measure which employees are loyal to them.

Employers use anonymous workplace surveys to show their company is a great place to work. 

Most employers honestly know that most of their employees probably will not tell the truth on a workplace survey. They know many workers do not believe their survey is completely anonymous. For this reason, an employer knows these employees that take their workplace engagement survey will answer the questions in a much more positive manner. Thus, their company will look like it is a great place to be employed even if it is not.

You will often see awards for companies for them being a great place to be employed. They will claim their employees rated them as the best employer. However, this is likely almost always not the complete truth. Employers know a good workplace survey they claim to be anonymous can be a good recruiting tool for future employees.

Employee satisfaction surveys are almost always a waste of time for the actual employee.

It is hard to believe that so many companies today still do employee surveys. This is particularly the case with them claiming many are anonymous. Workplace surveys on the pros and cons of working at a company are not for the satisfaction of the employees that take them. They are for the benefit of the companies that provide them.

Employee satisfaction surveys are so outdated that most people today realize you can only take the results with a grain of salt and this does not seem to be a secret. The surveys really do nothing for the employees at a company. The true benefits only go to the employer.

With the secret out on employee engagement surveys being just another piece of fake corporate garbage, they really do just waste the time of company employees that could use that time to be more productive.

Could you get fired for being honest on a workplace survey?

If you are honest on an anonymous questionnaire your employer sends out asking for feedback about the workplace and your answers are not positive, you could indeed be put on the list for termination. It does not matter what laws that might be in place or how anyone says you could fight an employer for wrongful termination. The fact is if an employer wants to fire someone, they do not even need a reason. If they don’t have one, they will find one or create one.

Most businesses and particularly larger corporations are pros when it comes to knowing how to get rid of people. They have the experience of how to do it while covering themselves legally.

Final Word

If you work for a company that wants you to take an employee satisfaction survey claiming it’s anonymous, you need to know that how you answer the questions could potentially have a face and name put to them. It kind of defeats the purpose of taking a workplace engagement survey. The reason for this is most people that take them will never be truly honest with their answers.

Being almost 50 years of age now, I can absolutely guarantee that any workplace survey I have taken has never done anything to truly improve the workplace. Furthermore, I am certain that most of the questionnaires I have taken on the pros and cons for a workplace were never truly anonymous even when the employer would make this claim.

Employers do not give employee satisfaction surveys to improve the workplace. They do it to protect the workplace. The only benefit is for them and not the average everyday employee. Employee surveys are just another dinosaur of the business world that quietly remains when most people realize it is all just a bunch of garbage.

If you are asked to take a supposedly anonymous employee survey at work and it is truly voluntary. Think about volunteering yourself not to take it. If you do take one, you need to know your answers are likely not anonymous and you will just need to fill in all the answers with a bunch of lies.


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