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Administering Manager Feedback Surveys in Qualtrics

The Voice of the Manager

When we think about an organization’s listening program, we usually start with listening to the voice of the employee. However, many organizations also want to listen to the voice of the manager to gain an additional perspective in their employee listening program. This could be the manager’s voice as it relates to an employee in regard to the quality of hire, the onboarding experience, or the exit process.  

Creating a Clear Pathway for Data

Collecting this data in a way that attributes responses back to the respective subjects can often be tricky. Unlike an employee onboarding or exit survey, where the qualifying criteria and subsequent response data are attributed back to the actual employee, manager feedback is not contingent on their own qualifying criteria. This means that in order for Manager A to provide feedback on Employee B’s onboarding experience, the system function has to know Employee B’s hire date which does not directly correlate to Manager A. Additionally, the system function has to be able to tie Employee B to the appropriate relationship with Manager A. Neither of these data ties is intuitive in any system. An additional challenge relates to the need for a manager to provide multiple responses. The manager may have multiple employees that need feedback. Fortunately, the Qualtrics EX platform can manage these nuances in a few different ways. 

One solution for this type of data collection is to administer an anonymous survey. Using an anonymous link allows any person to click on the link and provide response data as many times as necessary. This makes data collection easy, but there are some adverse impacts in reporting when using this method. The responses collected do not have any data to tie them back to specific employees or managers and the distribution of this link is manual by the internal organization.

Another option is to use the anonymous survey with the addition of self-selected identifying questions as part of the survey itself. These questions could ask for an employee’s name, email, department, etc. as well as the manager’s name, email, etc. This option would make the reporting a little more robust while also allowing the manager to provide feedback multiple times. There is always some risk to data integrity when allowing participants to provide their own reporting data. This could be unintentional through typos or errors, but it also could be purposeful by a disgruntled employee.

The option that WSA likes to recommend is using the employee’s data to qualify them for the respective survey and then using an anonymous link plus an authenticator to have the manager access the survey. In this method, the manager would use the employee’s unique identifier for authentication. This ensures accuracy and accessibility in the dashboard report to specific attributed data as it relates to the subject of the survey.

Some additional options to enhance WSA’s recommended approach would be to include fields such as Manager Name and Manager Email in the data for each participant. Not only can this data be used for reporting, but it can also be used for triggering specific emails to each individual manager. As an example, if a new employee takes an onboarding survey to provide their perspective on their experience, their respective manager could then receive a subsequent email notifying them that the new employee has provided feedback on their experience with a link asking the manager to provide feedback on the employee as their manager. This could also be a follow-up action to an exit survey by an exiting employee’s manager.

Regardless of which strategy is used, WSA is committed to helping organizations get the most from Qualtrics and their employee listening programs. To learn more about how we can serve and support your organization, visit our performance lab at


Karrie Rosa, Implementation Service Leader, WSA

Average Increase in Client Engagement

of the Fortune 50 are WSA Clients

Projects Completed Annually

C-Suite Dialogues Annually

Years of Experience