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The team I am in is made of a 10+ member. In the last semester, in two different anonymous surveys on the engagement/satisfaction, 1 team member has expressed that they are not happy with the team, the communication, the role clarity and generally with the company, while the rest of the team is very satisfied with all those aspects.

Our manager has both times shown the results to the team and asked this person to better explain their struggle, if not in the team meeting at least in the face to face routine so that corrective actions can be taken.

Apparently this is not happening, and I am wondering if, by showing the results of the survey, we aren't just making this person feel more isolated in the team.

How can the team help this person voice out their struggle?

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    If you're asking someone to give up the anonymity, what's the point of having the anonymous survey in first place? Oct 22, 2021 at 14:58
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    What is wrong with your management team? They send out an anonymous survey and then they betray that anonymity. Not good.
    – joeqwerty
    Oct 22, 2021 at 15:02
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    I am wondering if, by showing the results of the survey, we aren't just making this person feel more isolated in the team. - You're betraying their trust and the trust of everyone on the team, who now know that you'll do the same to them. Good luck fixing this mess.
    – joeqwerty
    Oct 22, 2021 at 15:03
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    Why do you need to know who is unhappy to take corrective action? There must be a way to get clarification without the need to reveal the identity (as mentioned in my answer). Oct 22, 2021 at 15:09
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    Yes. Letting the group know there is an outlier is a pretty sure way to make the outlier feel isolated. Oct 22, 2021 at 15:41

3 Answers 3

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Our manager has both times shown the results to the team and asked this person to better explain their struggle, if not in the team meeting at least in the face to face routine so that corrective actions can be taken.

Please DO NOT do that.

This is a serious breach of trust, as you're asking to give up the anonymity, which was guaranteed by the anonymous survey in the first place.

The best you (or the management) can do here is to re-issue the survey, with request to elaborate on the specific concerns, honoring the same anonymity. Then, do not just show the survey result to the team (they know what they've already written), have an action plan prepared to tackle the concerns which were raised, and show some progress on that.

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It is an anonymous survey, so you should not rely on identifying the individual in order to find a suitable solution.

Instead, what you need to do as part of the "management team", is to identify some potential actions that could solve the concerns and then make a decision on which one to implement.

Your ideas should range from "doing absolutely nothing" to "bending over backwards to improve every concern raised" and a bunch of ideas that fall in between two points.

Once you have your list, then you evaluate each one to weigh up a time/money vs risk/reward value. Then you (or somebody higher up than you) should make a decision on which one to implement.

Then, in say 6 months time, you re-run the survey and you see if you have been successful. This then gets repeated forever and ever... each time finding an acceptable level of action to take for potential concerns.

Also, keep in mind, that these complaints may just be from a person who is unhappy with their situation in general. Be prepared to accept that for some people, you just can't fix the problem.

The bottom line is: you need to work with the feedback that you have been given. If the feedback really isn't enough to act upon, then consider asking more specific questions next time you send a survey out.

For me, there is already enough information for you to take action. Perhaps review your process for how you distribute workloads and ensure that tasks are assigned with clear and specific requirements.

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Even if the survey is anonymous, you never claim there is a person in the group who is an outlier, as it will make them feel isolated.

You should feel free to solicit ideas from all members of the group. You never know. Even people that are satisfied may indicate WHY they are satisfied, and that gives you extra info.

Time for another anonymous survey with follow up questions.

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