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Running an Engagement Project with Anonymous and Non-Anonymous Participants

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About Running an Engagement Project with Anonymous and Non-Anonymous Participants

There are times where you may need part of your engagement results to be anonymized, while other parts of your results are not anonymized. For example, let’s say your company has a partially unionized workforce, and the union requires that engagement results be anonymous. You want to maintain your union workers’ anonymity, while still being able to report on your results as an entire organization. To do this, you can use a hybrid engagement project where some participants receive an individual link that identifies the respondent, while other participants receive a general anonymous link. You can place the anonymous responses in one specific part of your hierarchy, allowing you to analyze your anonymous data with the rest of your company engagement data.

Generating Your Hierarchy

For your hierarchy, we recommend using a level-based hierarchy, although you may use whatever hierarchy type you need to fit your business’ needs. When your anonymous respondents take the survey, they will answer an org hierarchy question which will place their response in the correct place in the hierarchy. More information about this setting up this question is in the following section.

Configuring Response Rates

Qtip: Before you can configure your response rates, you must enable the anonymous link in your project. If you do not see the Expected Counts field, then the anonymous link is not enabled for your project.

Since your response set will contain anonymous responses, you will need to tell Qualtrics how many responses you are expecting in order to accurately calculate a response rate.

  1. Go to the Org Hierarchies section of the Participants tab.
    navigating to the lowest level in the hierarchy and entering an expected count number
  2. Select your org hierarchy.
  3. Select the lowest level or unit.
  4. Enter the expected number of anonymous responses in the Expected Count box.

Creating Your Engagement Survey

For the most part, the content of your engagement survey will not change. You can ask the same engagement questions that you normally do. For help deciding what questions to ask, see this support page.

This section will cover the specific features you must add to your project in order to run your program correctly.

Displaying the Org Hierarchy Question to Anonymous Respondents

You will need to configure your survey so that only the respondents taking the survey via the anonymous link see your survey’s org hierarchy question. You will also need to ensure that your anonymous respondents select only the lowest level in the hierarchy.

  1. In the survey editor, click Add Block to create a new question block.
    clicking add block, then add new question, then org hierarchy

    Qtip: Rename your block so you know what question is contained in the block. For this setup, we recommend renaming the block “Org Hierarchy Question Block.”
  2. Click Add new question.
  3. Choose Org Hierarchy.
  4. Select your org hierarchy and finish setting up the org hierarchy question. For the question text, you’ll want to include instructions directing users to select the lowest level in the hierarchy. See this support page for more information about this question type.
    choosing the hierarchy and navigating to survey flow
  5. Navigate to the Survey flow.
  6. Click Add a New Element Here.
    adding an embedded data field
  7. Select Embedded Data.
  8. Move the embedded data element to the top of your survey flow.
    adding an embedded data for Q_URL at the top of the survey flow
  9. Enter Q_URL as the embedded data field.
  10. Click Add a New Element Here.
  11. Select Branch.
  12. Click Add a Condition.
    adding a condition to the branch
  13. Create the condition if Embedded Data Q_URL Contains Q_EE_ANON.
    creating the branch condition for the anonymous link, and then nesting the org hierarchy question underneath the branch
  14. Click OK.
  15. Move the block with the org hierarchy question so that it is nested below the branch.
  16. Move the branch so that it is after the embedded data element but before your other question blocks.
  17. Click Apply.
  18. Return to the survey editor and click Add new question in the block containing the org hierarchy question.
    clicking add new question and then text / graphic
  19. Select the Text / Graphic question.
  20. Type a message for your participants to see if they select the wrong level in your hierarchy. This message should prompt them to return to the org hierarchy question and make a new selection.
    adding directions to the text question and then clicking add page break
  21. Click Add page break between the org hierarchy question and the text / graphic question.
  22. Select the text / graphic question.
    selecting the text question and then display logic
  23. Select Display logic.
  24. Choose Embedded Data.
    creating a logic condition for when the embedded data field for the lowest org level is empty
  25. Enter the name of the lowest level in your hierarchy. This must match the level name exactly. This field is case sensitive.
    Qtip: You can find your lowest level’s name by clicking View Org Hierarchy Configuration in your hierarchy settings. The lowest level will be the last-listed level.
    the org hierarchy configuration. the last level is at the bottom of the list
  26. Select Is Empty.
  27. Click Save.
  28. Click Add new question.
    clicking add new question and then timing
  29. Select Timing.
  30. Enable Delay showing submit button.
    delay showing submit button is enabled and 9999 is entered in the box
  31. Type 9999 into the Display “submit” after (seconds) box
Qtip: Make sure the back button is enabled in survey options so participants can reselect the org hierarchy level if needed. This option is enabled by default.
the responses section of survey options. the back button is enabled

Collecting Demographic Data for Anonymous Responses

If you want to ask your anonymous respondents demographic questions, create a new block and nest the block with your org hierarchy question block. This way, only your anonymous respondents will see the demographic questions. For your non-anonymous respondents, their demographic information should be uploaded as participant metadata.

Once you’ve created your questions, you also need to configure your survey flow to capture the participant’s response and save it as embedded data. This way, you’ll be able to report on your demographic data later.

  1. Create your demographics questions in a new question block. For most demographics, you’ll want to create a single-answer multiple choice question to collect demographic data. This way, you will have a discrete set of answer choices for respondents to choose from that map directly to your metadata field values.
    clicking add block, creating the demographic questions, and then going to survey flow
  2. Navigate to Survey flow.
  3. Move your demographics block so it appears in the anonymous respondents branch.
    adding an embedded data element in the survey flow
  4. Click Add a New Element Here below your demographics block.
  5. Select Embedded Data.
  6. Enter the name of the field you want to capture. This name should match your corresponding metadata field name exactly. These fields are case sensitive!
    adding embedded data fields to be saved in the survey flow

    Attention: It is crucial that your field names match so you can report on your participant demographics correctly.
  7. Click Set a Value Now.
  8. Click the blue arrow and select the Survey Question that corresponds to the demographic field.
    selecting a value from a survey question for saving demographic data as metadata
  9. Click Add a New Field and repeat steps 6 through 8 for any additional metadata fields you want to capture.
  10. When finished, click Save Flow.
    the save flow button

Distributing Your Survey

To distribute your survey to any non-anonymous respondents, follow the instructions on this support page to send a participant invite.

To distribute to your anonymous respondents, you’ll need to enable the anonymous link and then send it to the respondents. The anonymous link option can be found in the Security section of Survey options.
the security section of survey options. the anonymous link option is enabled

Once you have your anonymous link, you will need to distribute it to your respondents using your own distribution system. This could include sending it via email, on fliers/posters, via text, or any other way you communicate with employees.

Qtip: Make sure to publish your survey after enabling the anonymous link!

Building Your Dashboard

Building your dashboard for this type of project is no different than other Engagement programs. See the below pages for more information about building dashboards.