I am a manager in a not for profit driving lots of much needed change to ensure we survive a tough economic climate. The trustees instructed the ceo to carry out a staff survey to try and get a feel for how staff are feeling about the changes. Intended to be an annoymous vehicle my boss has identified everyones survey and scrutinised their answers. A junior manager who reports to me rated the organisation as poor for training oppotunities. My boss is very angry about this and is insisting that I speak with my direct about this. A particular bugbear for my boss isthat the org has invested heavily in this person's training and this is true. My reservation about the feedback to my direct is that the survey was intended to be annoymous. my direct is performing well with caviate that he is young and inexperienced. Any suggestions on how best to approach this problem?

duplicate_account_MarkAus's picture

All I will say is this - if your direct gets any hint that his "anonymous" answers have been traced back to him....  Well, you can forget about your organisation ever getting honest answers to a staff survey ever again.  Your boss isn't the only one who talks...

First, Let boss cool off and, in confidence, outline the risks of doing this.  As a manager, you should at least say your piece.  

If your boss is giving you a direct order- and you've got no way out, and nobody who can talk her out of it?  Then use your O3s to bring up the notion of staff development and training (without referencing his answers in the survey) and see what you can learn.   Not easy.

delete_account_per_reacher_145083_dtiller's picture
Training Badge

Here's what I would do.  Announce at your next staff meeting that there were interesting summary findings of the survey.  Pick a few topics as I am sure there is more to talk about.  Then in each of the O3s, ask if they have any concerns on each of the topics.  With this direct you can focus a little more on training to see what the underlying issue is.  They may be concerned about a colleague.  A little probing may reveal the true concern.

Let us know how it goes.

Dani Martin's picture
Licensee Badge

MisterKinixys -- We have a podcast about how to handle input about your team from other people in the organization. You can find it here:


Dani Martin
Manager Tools