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Home » State Human Resources » Workforce data & planning » OFM SHR Data Protection

OFM SHR Data Protection

The Office of Financial Management -State Human Resources (OFM-SHR) currently 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-SHR.

In order to protect the anonymity of the employee and create a safe environment for honest feedback, OFM-SHR has implemented multiple safeguards. Below is information on how the data is collected and specifics on the steps OFM-SHR has taken to protect engagement and exit survey data.

Voluntary

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”. 

For the Statewide Employee Engagement Survey, survey responses were considered anonymous before 2020; OFM-SHR did not collect identifiable information. With the addition of demographic questions, this data is now confidential. While we do not ask for uniquely identifying information, some employees might be identified through their survey responses. That’s why OFM-SHR is taking extra steps to protect this confidential data, such as creating higher data thresholds and not disclosing sensitive demographic information.   

Demographic Data

By having employee characteristics associated with responses about the work environment, organizations 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 more or less valued and a part of the team?

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

Demographic questions currently being asked include:

  • Which agency do you work for?
  • What is you 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?
  • 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)

If an employee from an organization falls within any of the group of less than 10, answers for that questions will not be published on a public dashboard.

It is important to remember that all demographic questions are optional and can be skipped. Additionally, employees have the option to select, “Prefer not to say” as a response as well.

Non-Disclosable Survey Data

While rare, OFM-SHR may receive a public disclosure request for survey data. In order to strengthen protections for state employee information, Governor Jay Inslee signed 2SHB 1888.

As a result, some data we collect from employees are non-disclosable under any circumstance:

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

Access to Raw Survey Results

Currently, the complete raw data from the engagement and exit survey is only available to OFM-SHR staff, who clean and conduct analysis.

Participating organizations do receive individual level data without demographic data. Additionally, organizations that have questions added for their employees to answer such as unit/division/department, etc. will only be provided if the group has more than 10 employees. If that threshold is not met, OFM-SHR will remove the name of the unit/division/department before sending back to the organization.

An organization may request county, job class, telework levels, supervisor status, time with state, or time with agency on a case by case basis.

Public Reporting

OFM-SHR will only widely publish summarized organization-level data if more than 10 employees responded to the survey. To see a survey score, at least 10 employees will have had to answer it.

Power BI dashboards are typically created for a participating organization upon request. These dashboards still must meet the 10-employee response threshold.

If an organization has less than 10 employees, only summarized results will be provided at most.  

Survey Platform

Currently, OFM-SHR uses SurveyMonkey. Regardless of if OFM-SHR tracked IP addresses or not, SurveyMonkey does. They collect, analyze, and store IP addresses of survey respondents for 14 months. IP addresses are used to improve the survey experience and can be combined with cookies to advertise to respondents and users. Here’s SurveyMonkey’s privacy policy. OFM-SHR is currently exploring other survey platforms, tools and methods to better protect your IP address.

In the meantime, we recommend taking the engagement or exit survey while in the office or while using the VPN. This will ensure that the IP address is associated with the state and not your personal network.

However, to be clear: OFM-SHR does not collect or share IP addresses.

Last updated
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
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