One of the key questions we get asked is around whether people should collect anonymous or identifiable information from their respondents. The answer is it really depends on what you want from your data and also how much trust there is in your questions and surrounding the purpose of the survey.
Many people believe that anonymous surveys will produce more honest responses but that is not always the case and anonymity does have its disadvantages…
Anonymous respondents are less likely to see their specific issues addressed and this can be frustrating if their colleagues around them are having their problems solved publicly. If you know who the individual is – you can help them. This should be the core message in your pre-, during and post-survey internal comms.
If you can generate buy-in and trust in the program, more people are likely to provide identifiable feedback. In fact, where given the choice – we tend to find over half of individuals choose to be anonymous in the first pulse, but often switch to being ‘known’ in later pulses. As they begin to become familiar with the survey and the way the data is being used, they are more comfortable giving frank feedback in person.
Ultimately it is up to your business and dependent on the nature/topic of the survey. Just consider that giving respondents the choice can be a really good way to build trust for the long term.