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How to Create an Anonymous Survey for Your Employees

Don't you want to know what your employees really think? After all, your employees are your company's best asset, and it's paramount that you keep them happy. But sometimes, they might be hesitant to share their insight when it's negative or critical. That's where the anonymous survey comes in.

At MeetingPulse, our easy-to-use platform helps you create surveys for your employees. Here's why you should and how to do it.

Related: Building A Feedback Culture

Why Use Anonymous Surveys?

As a business owner, executive, or HR professional, you have many options for tools that can help you to improve your company. The anonymous survey is a particularly effective one for achieving several different goals. It can be leveraged to make changes that will directly improve business outcomes and help keep your employees satisfied.

Empower Employees

The first reason why you should consider using anonymous surveys in your organization is their ability to empower employees. When you turn to your talent and give them the ability to use their voices and express their opinions about their jobs, workplaces, teams, and company, you give them the ability to have a say and make a difference within their roles.

These feelings of empowerment will increase job satisfaction, as employees feel that their company cares what they have to say and gives them the ability to make an impact on the organization.

Engage Employees

Another positive impact that anonymous surveys have on your employees is engagement. Asking employees to answer questions about their experiences and opinions working at the company involves them on a deeper level than just doing their day-to-day work tasks.

They get to think, analyze, and express themselves in a way that goes beyond just the demands of their specific role. Giving them anonymous surveys reminds them how much you value their voice.

Finding the Real Answers for Your Business

Finally, anonymous surveys will directly benefit your business by giving you crucial information about what is going on in the company. Even the most experienced and involved leaders with the best intentions aren't able to know everything that happens in the workplace, and that is even truer in bigger companies.

The best way to achieve an understanding of everything from employee satisfaction to productivity to manager effectiveness and more is to collect the information directly from the heart and soul of your company: the employees.

Questions to Consider Before Creating an Anonymous Survey

After deciding that you want to create an anonymous employee survey, your next step is to think about a few important questions that will directly affect the survey's effectiveness.

Will I Need to Follow Up?

First, you'll need to decide whether or not you want the ability to follow up after you receive the answers to your survey. This can be important if you're seeking answers to the kind of questions that need further investigation.

If you do decide that you want the ability to follow up, then you won't want to go with an anonymous survey. Luckily, you can create surveys that aren't anonymous just as easily with MeetingPulse. However, there are many reasons to keep your survey anonymous, especially insofar as it encourages honesty and candid answers that you may not get otherwise.

How Will I Keep the Survey Anonymous?

If you do want to move ahead with an anonymous survey, it's important to understand how you will keep the survey anonymous. It will be important for employees to trust that they can speak their minds freely without worrying about their answers somehow being tied to their identity.

To that end, surveys in which employees have to handwrite answers may not be ideal, as handwriting bears identifying marks. Instead, MeetingPulse allows employees to access a link to a survey without even having to sign in. All they have to do is fill out the survey on our secure, encrypted server and rest easy with the knowledge that it's completely anonymous.

What Format Will I Use?

While there are several format options for surveys, an online polling app like MeetingPulse gives you multiple options. You can use short answer questions, multiple choice, or a variety so that you'll have both qualitative and quantitative data to work with. You can even integrate pictures.

Unlike handwritten surveys or text-based surveys, an online app allows you to ensure anonymity, reach all your employees easily, organize your responses, and easily receive data about the survey answers. It'll also be more convenient for your employees and help assure no surveys get lost in the shuffle.

Creating The Right Questions

Naturally, the most important step in creating an anonymous survey is writing the questions, as these will determine what you get out of the survey.

Consider Survey Goals

The best way to determine what to ask on your anonymous survey is to determine what you want to achieve with it. Having specific, concrete survey goals will help to give you focus and prevent a sprawling, 100-question survey that overwhelms your employees, gets few answers, and is ineffective.

If you find that you have more than two or three goals for your survey, consider saving some of them for another one in the future.

Think About the Audience

Another important consideration in formulating your survey questions is knowing your audience. A general employee survey that reaches everybody in the organization will probably ask different questions and be phrased differently than one that is just intended for an audience of managers, stakeholders, or a specific department.

Encourage Participation

The more people that participate in your survey, the more you'll get out of it. Encourage employee participation by showing them how answering the survey will benefit them. For example, you can make it clear that the survey is an opportunity to directly ask for changes that they want to see made in the organization.

You can also write the questions in a way that highlights the employee benefit of each question or section. Timing is everything too — which is why our live integration can be a huge motivator. More on that soon.

Related: How to Get People to Take a Survey

Distributing the Survey

Once your survey is written, it's just a matter of distributing it amongst your employees. There are a few considerations to keep in mind in this step.

Find an Appropriate Time

First, it's important to think about when you ask your employees to respond to your survey. For an obvious example, a year-end survey should not be distributed any earlier than December. If you have a shorter survey, ask employees to answer it during a conference or group meeting, as this nearly guarantees 100% participation.

With MeetingPulse, you can send out a link and get results in real-time. With live PowerPoint integration, send out surveys and set aside some time for them to be completed during the meeting.

Have a Deadline

When you're creating your survey be sure to include a due date. Solidifying survey deadlines will encourage participants to complete the survey without letting it get buried in their desk or in their email.

Use an Online App

As mentioned above, the most convenient way to distribute an employee survey is through a simple web link. That way, all you have to do is send out an email or chat with a link and you can be sure that each of your employees has received the survey. You'll also be able to easily track the responses.

Create an Incentive

In order to encourage participation in your survey, consider creating an incentive for employees to answer. You can offer a small reward to each employee who participates or a larger reward that the entire company will get only if the survey receives a minimum number or a certain percentage of responses. Or you can put on a competition between teams: whichever team has the most responses will win the incentive.

If everyone completes the survey by the end of a meeting, you can organize a raffle using MeetingPulse.


Giving an anonymous survey will help empower your employees to have a voice and cultivate company growth. As we discussed there are many ways to create, distribute, and gather accurate data from anonymous surveys.

Now you have some of the tools to create a successful anonymous survey in order to meet company goals, improve outcomes, and serve the needs of your employees. Check out our plans at MeetingPulse to find out more about how it works.

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