How do you respond to requests from leadership to redact names from survey comments? We have said “Wouldn’t you want to know if someone is mentioned by name?” but wonder if others have gotten this request.
This request comes through to us at Culture Amp every once in a while. I think your response to your leaders is appropriate. I think there is a lot lost by redacting all names from comments.
In my experience, more often than not, individuals are identified by name when there is something positive to say. I do think there are cases where you might want to redact a comment (and address separately) if it is references bullying, harassment or abuse, but these comments tend to be quite rare.
Curious to hear what other’s experience is as well.
I’ve heard similar things and have worked with several organizations addressing exactly what you said. I’ve come up with a few of my thoughts:
- As Josh said, most of these comments tend to be positive. If they reference bullying, harassment, etc., I would say redact the entire comment, not just the name
- Consider who is getting access to which comments - if a manager has access to the comments just from their team, odds are they will be able to identify who the comments are about due to context, regardless of if the names are redacted.
- Similar to our quantitative data, there is a level of trust that is established in the survey process. If we redact names or certain comments, it is likely that the trust will be diminished and result in people wondering what other parts of our survey we are choosing not to report on. This can have much larger scale ramifications for creating a culture of feedback in our company.
I hope this helps! Please report back and let us know how this ends up for you!