My boss is pressuring me to reply to a project engagement survey.   I have been told that the replies are annonymous but people in this organization  have in the past tried to pierce that veil of secrecy and determine who said what negative things.

I brought this up with the current project manager and he said not to worry.  There are only 70 people taking part in the survey.  Can I be candid without repurcissions or should I just tell them what they want to hear?  Or at least water down my comments?

TNoxtort's picture

 Ask this question: how do you benefit by being candid, and what are the risks? Then how do you benefit by telling them what they want to hear, and what are the risks there? 

I've been tempted like you because I think my responses could promote change. They didn't.

Solitaire's picture

We have an employee survey which is anonymous, but if anyone leaves any comments these are all fed back to the senior management team and they then try to work out who said what. The intentions are genuine, i.e. to find out who has an issue that needs to be addressed. But I would imagine this is not always the case in other businesses. In some cases it's easier than others to work out who said what.

The gradings that are marked for each question are confidential. These are the type of questions like "I would recommend this company as a great place to work" and you have to answer "Strongly agree", "Agree", "Neither agree nor disagree", "Disagree" or "Strongly Disagree". Although again if there are only a handful of respondants in one area and the responses are broken down by area, again sometimes it is easy to work out who responded in which way.

Therefore I would suggest that whatever you type in your written response firstly is worded in a proessional manner, which you would be comfortable saying to the person face to face. So don't use aggressive or negative language. Secondly I suggest that whenever you criticise something, that you also suggest at least one viable solution to the problem.



maura's picture
Training Badge

Hmm, if it was so anonymous, how did your boss know you haven't replied?  I think as long as you give your feedback in a CONSTRUCTIVE way, you should reply and be as honest as you are able to.  The next project won't go any better if nobody acknowledges how this one went.  Perhaps you can rely on the idea behind MT feedback, and give mostly affirming feedback around what went well, but just one or two pieces of adjusting feedback?