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Data protection for the surveys we administer

The Office of Financial Management - State Human Resources (OFM-SHR) administers the Statewide Engagement Survey and Statewide Exit Survey for a majority of the workforce. All survey responses from employees in these surveys are sent directly to OFM.

To protect the anonymity of the employee and create a safe environment for honest feedback, we have implemented multiple safeguards. Below is information on how the data is collected and specifics on the steps we have taken to protect engagement and exit survey data.


The engagement and exit surveys are completely voluntary. Employees can choose to take the survey or not, skip questions, or based on the type of question, select “Prefer not to say”.  Data collected within the exit survey is not use for official complaint purposes.

Demographic data

By collecting employee characteristic information and sentiments about their work environment, agencies and institutions can better align strategies to make the workplace better for all. Demographic questions could help answer:

  • Do employees in certain geographic areas feel organizational communication is better or worse? 
  • Do employees who are veterans feel their skills and abilities are being utilized properly?
  • Do employees with a disability feel they have the access to tools and resources to do the job?
  • Do employees of a certain race/ethnicity feel valued and a part of the team?

These types of questions can help us better understand where our gaps are and challenge our assumptions. 

Current demographic questions include:

  • Which agency do you work for?
  • What is your job class? (exit survey only)
  • How many days on average do you currently telework per week?
  • How long have you worked for your current agency?
  • How long have you worked for the state? (exit survey only)
  • Are you a supervisor?
  • In which county do you currently work a majority of the time?
  • What is your age?
  • What is your gender identity?
  • Are you a U.S. Veteran?
  • Do you identify as having a disability?
  • Do you identify as LGBTQ+?
  • What race and/or ethnicity do you consider yourself? (select all that apply)

It is important to remember that demographic questions are optional. Employees may skip questions or select, “Prefer not to say” as a response.

Survey Data Exemption from Public Records Requests

When OFM receives a public records request for survey data, we do not release all data. RCW 42.56.250 (11) makes the data types listed below non-disclosable under any circumstance:

  • Gender identity
  • LGBTQ+ status
  • Disability status
  • Race and/or ethnicity

The complete raw data from the engagement and exit survey is only available to OFM-SHR staff, who clean and conduct analysis. A participating agency or institution may request county, job class, telework levels, supervisor status, time with state, or time with the agency on a case-by-case basis.


Agency & Higher Education Institution Reporting:

Participating agencies and institutions will receive access to an online live Qualtrics dashboard. They may also receive individual level data without demographic data. Upon request, Power BI dashboards may be created using the requestors data. All dashboards must meet the 10-employee response threshold. If an agency or institution has less than 10 employees, only summarized results will be provided at most.

Public Reporting:

OFM will only publish summarized agency or institution level data if more than 10 employees respond to the survey. To see a question’s score, at least 10 employees will have had to have answered the question.  

Survey platform

OFM contracts with a third-party provider, Qualtrics, to administer our survey products. OFM negotiated data sharing protections compliant with the Office of the Chief Information Officer that are unique to the state’s use for the survey transaction. For more information about Qualtrics privacy protection, please let us know, and we will provide you a copy of the agreement.

In order to prevent and protect against fraud and malicious activity, as well as ensuring the security of the platform, Qualtrics may collect IP addresses from survey respondents. To be clear: OFM-SHR does not have access to any Qualtrics collected IP addresses and we do not collect or share IP addresses.

OFM-SHR recommends taking the engagement or exit survey while in the office or while using VPN. This will ensure that the IP address is associated with the state and not your personal network.

Last updated
Monday, May 15, 2023
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