My organization is thinking of conducting an employee satisfaction survey internally. Is this a good idea?

It is certainly possible to develop and conduct employee satisfaction surveys internally. However, it might not be the best decision because it comes at the price of confidentiality. To ensure adequate response rates, at least one person within the company must know who has responded and who has not. And unfortunately, the survey is no longer confidential.

Ensuring confidentiality is a sure-fire way to “loosen the tongue” because employees will feel sufficiently secure to say what they want without fear of reprisal. A supervisor’s rating is likely to skyrocket when they are the ones in charge of distributing and collecting employee responses. Unfortunately, the data from internal employee satisfaction surveys is subject to greater distortion, particularly when conditions in the organization are less than perfect. Ultimately, this can gloss over some of the more severe issues in an organization and prevent an organization from coming to grips with its most critical problems. Giving employees the ability to speak their mind in a forum that provides sufficient anonymity is critical to ensuring that opinions represent the real unvarnished truth, and not a composite of what they believe they should be saying.