Anonymous Surveys By Companies

The company I work for use a service that asks random survey questions every week. The employee can answer or skip questions, all under anonymity. The idea is to find ways to improve the company and get honest answers.

The Yes and No question are absolutely anonymous, but the text answers is a bit iffier. Even if there are no names and the answers can’t be traced back to an IP, the wording style and the answers could make it obvious at times. Many refuse to participate too afraid to say anything.

I usually don’t refrain, but take the time to make my response as anonymous and vague as possible, except this time. I’ve got to admit, I have butterflies in my belly from fear of reprisal. I need this job.

Why did I answer then? Because the question was important.

“What can the company do to improve overall wellness? (stress levels, physical or/and psychological well-being).”

Before pressing the send button, I texted my husband to ask his advice. Should I send it or not? The butterflies were getting worse. 

His answer:

“Wow. That hits a couple of people in the face. Be brave, it needs to change and sometimes one voice can make a difference.”

Did I mention how much I love this man?

This is my answer:

We understand that this is a company. We understand that profit and productivity are a priority. We understand that management doesn’t owe us anything. The reality is when you do have an issue (stress, physical or psychological) you still need to support your lifestyle/family and this job is still very much important.

How the company can improve overall wellness?

1. Managers shouldn’t discuss employees with medical issues (physical or psychological, chronic or not) in public areas saying that so and so is lying and just using health as an excuse to get what they want.

2. Understanding that employees are scared of admitting issues with stress, physical and psychological well-being is important. Fear of not being believed or belittled (see 1), fear of losing value to the employer and/or job. Fear that even if you give 150% of what you got it’s still not enough to get that raise because you can’t compete with who you used to be able to achieve. Addressing this fear and not waiting for the employee to do so could help.

3. When you are an employee with a physical or psychological problem, being reminded every time you take a time off for a medical appointment or for being ill that your days are dwindling down and that there will be consequences if you need more than given doesn’t help with stress level, physical or psychological health.

All considered, this company is much better than others, but it still has room for improvement.

So it looks like the response from management is to discontinue using the anonymous survey. I guess they didn’t want people to speak up after all…

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