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Confidentiality

Who sees my responses and comments?

Your results are aggregated with others received and reported at the unit and University-wide levels. Specific rules are followed to ensure the confidentiality of individuals. The entire survey is administered by Aon Hewitt, an external third-party provider that operates completely independently from Northwestern, and only the aggregate results are shared with Northwestern. The only exception to this is that written comments will be provided to leaders exactly as submitted. We ask that you do not provide any identifying information when filling out the open-end comment section. Answers will not be filtered in any way.

What happens with the comments that staff members provide in response to the open-ended questions in the survey? Who will have access to read those responses?

Comments in response to the two open-ended questions will be reported as provided by respondents, so please do not include any names or other identifying information. Managers of schools/units with more than 30 staff members who respond to the survey will receive comments grouped by several major themes in their reports.

Can anyone identify me from my responses?

When the results are completed, individual responses are combined at the unit level, using specific rules to protect the confidentiality of the individual. Only aggregated results for groups that meet the minimum sample size will be provided to selected managers. Please note that comments in the two open-ended questions will be reported as provided by respondents, so do not include any names or information that can identify you individually.

Can my supervisor see my answers?

When the results are completed, individual responses are combined at the unit level, using specific rules to protect the confidentiality of the individual. Only aggregated results for groups that meet the minimum sample size will be provided to selected managers. Please note that comments in the two open-ended questions will be reported as provided by respondents, so do not include any names or information that can identify you individually.

How are my answers being kept confidential?

All individual responses will be collected by Aon Hewitt and will be kept strictly confidential. Northwestern will only receive a summary of responses in consolidated form, not your individual responses. Please note that comments in the two open-ended questions will be reported as provided by respondents, so do not include any names or information that can identify you individually. Get additional information regarding confidentiality.

Will anyone at Northwestern University know if I participated in the survey?

No. Aon Hewitt will only provide Northwestern with a rate of completion, but Northwestern will never see or know which staff members took the survey. Aon Hewitt will monitor which participants have or have not responded to the survey and will send reminder emails throughout the open survey period.

What types of reports/information will Aon Hewitt share with Northwestern University leadership?

Aon Hewitt will analyze and provide University leadership with high-level aggregate summary reports that reflect the key themes and trends in engagement results across Northwestern. The company will also provide a report to selected managers with at least 7 to 10 staff members who respond to the survey. These reports will provide an aggregate summary of the response data for the staff in the manager’s unit. Managers will not be provided or have access to individual staff response data, with the exception of responses to the two open-ended questions. Reports provided to selected managers of schools/units with more than 30 staff who respond to the survey will receive comments grouped by several major themes. As long as staff do not provide any identifying information in the comment fields, managers will have no way of knowing who has provided which comment.

Will all managers get a report?

No. At a minimum, managers will see a report of aggregated results only if at least 7 to 10 of their staff members respond. However, leaders in each school/unit have collaborated with the survey designers to determine at which level managers will have access to results.

Where can I get additional information on the confidentiality of this survey?

The Staff Survey website has a page dedicated to additional information on confidentiality. If you have any concerns or want to speak to someone directly, you may email the staff survey human resources team, and they will connect you to the appropriate person.

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