Measuring Employee Satisfaction – Survey Your Workforce
The more you know about how employees feel, the easier it is to keep them happy and satisfied, and ultimately retain them for longer. If you want to know how your employees feel about their role, the company as a whole, their managers, you name it, it’s no good guessing. You need to actually ask them, and ask them in the right way.
- See when things are going downhill – Regular employee satisfaction assessments matter because the working landscape can change remarkably quickly, leaving you unaware that things are going downhill. Maybe you set up a new initiative that everyone hates, and as a result a mass exodus is on the cards. Perhaps a new manager’s communication style is making people unhappy, or their roles and responsibilities have altered without enough prior consultation.
- Reveal positive improvements – Our surveys also let you know when there’s good news, of course! Say you’ve put in place a new system or initiative that’s boosted everyone’s confidence, or made their working lives easier, or made them feel more appreciated. A series of surveys will reveal improvements in morale, in happiness, in satisfaction, in loyalty.
- Save money – Because it’s usually cheaper to keep an existing employee than find, interview and take on a new one, there’s also a vital financial element to employee engagement surveys.
Are employee satisfaction and employee engagement the same?
Employee engagement has overtaken employee satisfaction in popularity, simply because it’s deeper, more complex and therefore more useful. It explores the quality of people’s everyday working life, the financial and other rewards they get in return for their work, and more.
Thanks to our surveys you can capture and analyse the many different and often unexpected connections between employees and the company they work for.
Why every business, big and small, should conduct employee satisfaction surveys
Happy employees who love their job perform better than unhappy people who don’t enjoy their work. When someone is happy they’re more motivated, creative and enthusiastic, and the overall level of morale is higher. They are more likely to share ideas, collaborate positively, and be supportive of colleagues.
Thanks to the employee feedback data you collect via our surveys, you can pin down your employees’ views on more or less any matter, analyse the results, present them to everyone, and bring about change designed to make your workforce happy again.
The aims and objectives of employee engagement surveys
Employee surveys are an excellent way to identify employee workplace morale, job satisfaction and emotional involvement. But to get actionable answers and gauge how employees really feel about your business and the role they play in it, you need to ask the right kind of employee happiness survey questions.
What you can learn from employee surveys
Employee satisfaction covers everything from everyday demands on their time and expertise to benefits packages, salaries and the impact of various management styles on morale. You can survey people at departmental level, company level or team level, and collect all manner of useful metrics that help to identify patterns and understand what they’re thinking.
Here are some example survey questions employers ask their employees via our popular survey tools.
- Does your work contribute to your professional growth?
- How easy is it to get promoted?
- Are you thinking about leaving us to work elsewhere?
- Are your work health benefits good enough?
- Do you fully understand your workplace pension?
- Are your everyday tasks meaningful to you?
- Do you feel challenged enough?
- How frequently do you feel work-related stress?
- Are you paid fairly?
- Do your colleagues take your opinions and ideas seriously enough?
- Do you think our wellness programme is helping you?
- Is your career developing in the way you expected?
- Does your working environment suit the work you do?
- Are you planning to be here in a year’s time?
The very fact that our surveys are designed to be short means you’re much more likely to get good response rates compared to long surveys with loads of questions. Short, sweet surveys invariably deliver the best results. And simple incentives can help you increase response rates even more, for example a prize or a gift voucher.
Get it right and your people might actually start to look forward to the next survey, which means you get even more informative data to delve into. And that’s really important because you can’t draw empirically sound, statistically reliable conclusions from a small data set. You need to analyze lots of data to draw accurate conclusions.
How often should employee feedback surveys be conducted?
If you only do one survey a year, you’re only taking a snapshot of the way your employees are feeling at that particular point in time. On its own, it doesn’t mean much. But carry out regular surveys, for example monthly, and you can compare and contrast the latest results with previous data, giving you deeper, more textured, useful insights than just one complicated annual employee feedback survey could ever hope to achieve.
You can’t make intelligent comparisons without first creating benchmarks, and they can be internal or external. Either way they’ll help you figure out how you stand in relation to this time last year, your competitors, even teams that operate in different regions.
Then there’s AB testing. You can divide up your employees and ask them different questions in a straight head-to-head test, to see which questions deliver back the most useful answers or the highest number of responses.
What is the best format for an employee happiness survey?
The best way to get the maximum number of responses to your question is to keep it simple. But it’s also crucial to let those you survey know that their answers are fully confidential, otherwise you risk them not wanting to answer in case they incriminate themselves. They may even feel the need to give dishonest answers to please you. Ideally you’ll make every survey completely anonymous.
Avoid using jargon and corporate language. They’re off-putting, can be confusing, and don’t hit that essential human-to-human mark you need in order to make people feel safe when responding. Plain English is your best friend, just as it is with any other type of communication. To get the best results, structure your questions in the same way you speak.
One last tip – if you want to roll out the same survey multiple times so you can make comparisons, you’ll need to use the exact same question, otherwise you won’t be comparing ‘like for like’.
Employee satisfaction survey practices to avoid
There’s also plenty you can do to avoid making basic mistakes.
- Make sure your employee data is up to date in the first place.
- Don’t send multiple reminders – If someone doesn’t want to complete the survey, it’s their choice.
- As soon as you’ve analysed the feedback, share the results. Otherwise people might feel you’re not interested in what they have to say.
- Remember to brief Management about each survey so they’re aware that they might need to take action of some kind once the results are in.
- Always carefully read and digest comments made by employees, even if there are lots of them. They tell the stories that lie behind the data, and can deliver exciting extra detail and insight.
- Give a deadline for survey responses, otherwise people might delay responding: maybe one, two or three days. If you give people too long to respond, they can be forgiven for forgetting about it altogether.
A short, carefully crafted staff satisfaction survey can provide all the knowledge you need to ensure your employees are enjoying their time with you, and feel happy and fulfilled. It can pinpoint whether they’re suitably enthusiastic or feeling worn down, and tell you when people are encountering workplace issues that affect the quality of their work and their attitude to it.
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