My department’s HR people have started running an employee engagement survey, and they expect everyone to participate. This is the first one they’ve administered since I started last year. Although it doesn’t ask for my name or email address, it asks me to identify my group of teams and say how long I’ve worked there. Based on those two questions alone, they could probably trace my response to me.
I really love the job and believe that the department's management is doing a great job. I also feel a significant sense of calling to that kind of work, this organization, and the projects that I work on. I feel like I could work there for a very long time, as many of my colleagues there have.
But I had to take a significant pay cut to work there. My pay is barely enough for a tight budget now, and it may force my spouse or me to get a second job if we have kids. Some of the job's most important benefits also fall short of my previous job's.
Only one question on the survey discusses pay, and only a few discuss benefits. I don’t know how I can honestly “Strongly Agree” that the pay is good - or even enough. I feel like putting “Neutral”, all things considered (they’re a large nonprofit, they’re paying me “what they can” in light of that, etc.). I’m concerned that if everyone says the pay is great, we’ll never get the raises we need and we’ll have difficulty recruiting and retaining staff.
Fortunately, there are about 100 other questions where I can speak glowingly - and totally honestly - about the organization and department. There are also written questions where I can give additional feedback about anything.
Should I participate this first time or wait until I’ve seen how this plays out? If I do participate, how should I approach the topics of pay and benefits?