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Trash surveys, not your firm

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Q: I just got an “employee satisfaction survey” from an outside consultant. While he promises the results will be confidential, my criticism will make it obvious I’m the author. What should I do?

A: Toss it. Now. Don’t give it another second’s thought. It’s amazing how employees will torture themselves over what they’re going to write in a survey. They will spend hours talking about it and drafting their comments. If you’ve got substantive criticism, then your first responsibility is to yourself: Either take bold steps to improve your job—like meeting with your boss and proposing solutions— or look elsewhere. Remember: The whole point of a survey is to help your employer, not you.

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