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  • Pavala Malar Nadan A/L Mariappan .

    October 31, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    Q: When was the last time you participated in a survey? How helpful do you think was the information you provided? How could the research have been done differently to make it more effective? Discuss.

    Latest survey I have participated was in August 2021. It was the global annual employee online survey conducted by organization’s senior management.

    Frankly speaking, I have not been honest to online survey questions that touches on the management’s policies, especially if the online survey initiated by organization’s senior management. I usually mark online survey questions as agreeing or neutral with management’s current policies.

    I have reason to do so, being in an IT industry, I have doubts on data privacy, even though I have faith and trust on the organization’s stand that it is maintaining data confidentiality but there is always a small percentage of doubts whether the survey result is indeed 100% confidential. The survey is conducted by a third-party company, they have specific survey link for each employee, and they emailed this link directly to the employee, meaning this third-party company is aware on the identity of the employee who clicked the survey link. It is not an anonymous survey. They did this to avoid spam and to track survey participation at the organization level, but the point is, the third-party company might have information on who said what in the survey.

    I am being cautious because in my earlier stage of my career, circa 2006, during daily huddle our immediate supervisor hinted us that she is aware who marked her down under “Immediate Reporting Manager” category and she is getting pressure from her upper management to improve her work quality and her rewards being denied. We, the naïve subordinates are basically sweating thinking about the consequences we are going to face by her retaliation.

    Also, online data breaching is not uncommon in Malaysia and it involve even data sensitive organization such as banks. Just like recent case on June 2021 involving RHB bank, whereby customers claim they received other customers’ bank account documents and they can open this document with their own password. [Ref 1]: “Data breach fears surface as RHB admits error in e-statements issuance”. The implications when others able to view our banking details are unimaginable.

    However, I have provided honest and productive criticism on issues that are not touching on higher management’s performance such as cafeteria food quality, office ergonomic related matters, gym issues and work from home policy. Based on previous years organization’s direction, the management indeed took our survey feedback and act accordingly wherever applicable.

    The research could be more effective if organization opted for face-to-face survey session with each employee or selected random employee (based on the departments’ workforce turnover rate data) on the topic that touches on higher management’s effectiveness. The interviewer or surveyor should have strong persuasion skill to ensure the employee opens up and being honest as possible.

    Having said the above, in my opinion, in the context of an organization, online survey is not effective to research on matters that are related to higher management’s performance. It is more suitable to collect data on facilities issues. Face to face survey activity or frequent skip level meeting will provide better data on higher management performance.

    Thank you.

    Ref 1: https://www.thevibes.com/articles/news/31489/data-breach-fears-surface-as-rhb-admits-error-in-e-statements-issuance