Experience in numerous companies has shown that anonymous surveys have many disadvantages. Above all, they make it difficult to work with the results in a meaningful way. There are many advantages to transparency. The most important ones are listed here:
There are many good reasons for transparency...
- It provides a foundation for discussion and the implementation of improvements: Constructive discussion with the relevant people and concrete improvements can only take place if the feedback is transparent.
- It promotes equal rights for all: Employees and managers can view each other's feedback.
- It’s a catalyst for constructive feedback: If I know that others can see my feedback and know that it is from me, I am more deliberate and cautious in the way I present my view.
... and anonymity has many disadvantages:
- "Kill the messenger:" With an anonymous survey, the company implicitly communicates that it’s dangerous to speak out openly.
- "Witch hunt:" An attempt is made to identify the authors of negative comments. This is often quite simple (identification based on writing style, language, etc.). However, mistakes do happen and “innocent” team members might be taken into custody and held responsible for statements made by others.
- It allows someone to let off steam: Anonymity animates people to write and exaggerate the frustration from their souls. Such feedback is rarely the basis for effective improvement.