TSI Blog

Anonymity and Confidentiality in Employee Research

May 2nd, 2017 by Ralph Sutcliffe | No Responses

Anonymity and confidentiality has always been a contentious issue in employee research and seems to have become more so over the last year or so.

At The Survey Initiative, we frequently facilitate pre-survey focus groups, and always include a telephone number/email address in our questionnaires allowing potential participants to contact us directly, which has led to many conversations along the lines of “I’m the only bloke aged 35 who’s been here for 10 years and works in Sales & Marketing so you’ll know who I am”.

Being an ethical organisation, we conduct all of our surveys strictly in accordance with the Market Research Society’s Code of Conduct, the key applicable rules being:

Rule 26. Members must ensure that the anonymity of participants is preserved unless participants have given their informed consent for their details to be revealed or for attributable comments to be passed on.

Rule 27. Members must take reasonable steps to ensure that anonymisation is effective, with reference to developments in technology … read more »

Thinking about measuring the success of internal comms – read this first…

June 18th, 2013 by Jaime Johnson | 1 Response


There is very little academic research into the area of employee communication and Chen et al (2006) argue ‘a review of the research on organizational communication practices has been ignored.’

Before undertaking the research consider your end goal; are you looking to measure the effectiveness, reach, impact or awareness? Many fall into the pitfall of assessing the channels used or volume of information generated (the transmission)– rather than the content of the communication itself, how well it is provided or understanding.

Think about your objectives for the original communication; what was the outcome you were looking to achieve or the behaviours you were looking to modify? Create bullet points of your objectives and then ensure you measure against them.

By far the most predominant measurement tool utilised by organisations are surveys but other forms of staff research such as focus groups, interviews with the executive team and short polls are also popular.  Few organisations currently look to use internal social media as a … read more »

Why employee survey response rates are so important

May 4th, 2012 by Gary Cattermole | No Responses

Today we are closing an employee survey on behalf of one of our longest standing clients.

I thought I would share with you that, working alongside our client, we have achieved a response rate in excess of 80% (for the sixth year running).  As you can imagine our client is very happy that their survey has consistently provided an excellent response rate.

We have worked closely with them from the outset detailing the processes of maximising response rates but I just wanted to touch on ‘why’ getting as high a response rate as possible to your employee survey is so important.


From our perspective as an independent employee research organisation the very first thing a high response rate illustrates is that we have developed the survey correctly.  When large numbers of employees take part in the survey it shows that the survey has been well received and that employees feel and believe that the questions are relevant and that their … read more »

‘People join companies, but leave managers.’ How to help managers better engage your employees.

March 28th, 2012 by Gary Cattermole | No Responses

Gallup’s insight that ‘people join companies, but leave managers’ is as true today as it has ever been.

Recent research underlines the fact that a person’s immediate line manager is the single biggest influence on their engagement — and whether they decide to stay.

Given how much it costs to recruit, and the negative effects a high turnover of staff can have on an organisation, it clearly makes good business sense to help managers keep their employees engaged.

There’s a problem, though. As we found in our November blog post, research shows that line managers usually don’t act on engagement survey feedback – spending on average only two to five days a year on engagement-related activities.

And while we’ve seen a step change in their approach, we know there is a long way to go before all or even most managers take ownership of the employee engagement process.

That leaves you with a double whammy — … read more »

Communicating opinion survey results to employees

December 14th, 2011 by Alison McKinney | No Responses

The first of a series of guest blogs – today Christopher Dean from theblueballroom talks about the roll of internal communications in succesful employee surveys.

Listen, talk… then act

One of the worst mistakes managers can make is to raise employees’ expectations, then fail to follow through with a meaningful response.

When managers tell staff that their views are important and urge them to speak up, they must then listen to what their staff are telling them and act on it.

All too often, the only visible response to an employee opinion survey is the communication of very topline results alongside a short message from the CEO thanking staff for participating.

Management may well take action on issues raised through the survey. However, such initiatives often come to fruition months later and are not then identified as responses to the survey feedback.

theblueballroom has supported a range of companies in communicating employee opinion survey findings at single sites, nationally, internationally … read more »

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