It is a common saying that any company is just as good as its employees. I would add that only a company that has satisfied employees can be considered a good company.
But what is it exactly that makes your employees (dis)satisfied? And how satisfied are they at the moment? There’s only one universal answer to those two questions – you need to do an employee satisfaction survey.
Why It’s Important to Survey Employee Satisfaction
Whether you’re a business owner, an HR specialist, or a project manager, it’s vital to let your employees and coworkers know they are an integral part of the company. Not paying enough attention to your employees’ individual needs can lead to working with a group of uninspired and unmotivated people just looking for a way to kill their time from 9 to 5.
Having satisfied employees may have an even more significant influence on your company than you realize. Studies have shown that happy and motivated employees can be up to 12% more productive.
Still, Gallup has found that a mind-boggling 70% of US employees are not achieving their full working capacity, thus slowing down the economic growth of the entire country and causing losses in the range of $450 to $550 billion a year.
In case you had any doubts so far, the numbers above show that it’s much easier to achieve your business goals and full working potential if you have a satisfied group of employees motivated to grow together with your company.
Of course, before you even start thinking about what can be done to improve your employees’ overall satisfaction and motivation, you need to assess the current state of their satisfaction with the everyday working environment. And there are few better ways to do it than an employee satisfaction survey.
What Makes a Quality Survey?
Companies and businesses find surveys extremely useful because they enable them to easily get in touch with their desired audience and quickly obtain their answers on a topic of interest. Even though surveys can still happen over the phone, 1-on-1, or using print materials, in the age of digital, it makes the most sense to do them online.
Why Online Surveys?
For several reasons – they are relatively cheap, do not require a ton of logistics, they can reach a lot of people, easy to make and take, and finally, they are engaging, flexible, and reliable.
- A clear, concise, and non-deceitful title.
- Engaging and thought-provoking questions.
- A combination of multiple-choice and open-ended answer options. While multiple-choice questions enable the takers to complete the survey quickly without being too bothersome, open questions allow them to give an elaborate opinion on a topic, without being in any way limited by predefined short-form answer options.
- Option to leave additional feedback and comments.
To create a quality employee satisfaction survey, you should first ask yourself about how you intend to use the results you gather using the survey. Keeping in mind the exact goals of your employee satisfaction survey while creating it will make choosing and coming up with questions for the survey a breeze.
Last but not least, it’s important to consider the number and length of the survey questions. In the age of the internet and rapid information exchange, an average person has an 8-second attention span. The same thing might be true of your employees, so you don’t want to bore them with an unreasonable number of ridiculously long questions.
Aim to keep your questions fairly short – one or two lines of text tops. Plus, experience with quizzes, surveys and other types of interactive content used to obtain data online has shown that the ideal number of questions could be 8-10.
10 Employee Satisfaction Survey Questions That Reveal a Lot
1. What Do You Think about Our Company Culture?
Company culture is a mix of your company goals and values and the overall workplace environment. Studies have shown that the probability of job turnover at a company with a high level of company culture is just 13.9%.
2. Do You Find Your Work Meaningful?
Finding meaning in life, as well as in the work you do, is key to satisfaction. People need to feel their work is meaningful. No office benefits or high company culture can keep your employees around for long if they don’t think their work matters.
3. Do You Fully Comprehend Your Career or Promotion Path?
Naturally, most employees want to advance their careers sooner or later. It helps if your company has a clear policy on promotions, bonuses, pay raises, and any other means of motivating your employees.
4. Do You Feel There’s Enough Room for Personal Development?
A study by Bridge has shown that almost 90% of millennial employees would like to grow their careers within companies they’re currently working for.
5. Do you feel inspired by working in your current team?
Since your employees spend a great deal of their time around their team members and coworkers, their satisfaction, motivation, and productivity largely depend on whether they enjoy spending time with the team and whether they get inspired by the team.
6. Do You Feel Valued for Your Contributions at Work? How Often Do You Get Recognition from Your Supervisor?
A high level of employee satisfaction is in direct correlation with the amount of recognition they receive for a job well done. According to O.C. Tanner Learning Group, 79% of employees who left their job posts, state that the lack of appreciation was one of the critical reasons for quitting.
7. How Would You Rate Your Work-life Balance?
Not having a proper work-life balance can cause your employees to quickly burn out and become bitter at your company as it interferes with them spending time with their family or pursuing their hobbies/interests.
8. How Likely Are You to Recommend Our Company as a Good Workplace?
Your employees are the best judges of who would fit in well with your current team and your company culture. That’s why it’s no wonder many companies offer referral incentives to employees who recommend a quality candidate for a job post.
9. If You Were, Hypothetically, to Quit Tomorrow, What Would the Main Reason Be?
By knowing an answer to a question like this, you’re more likely to keep it at a level of hypothesis.
10. Do You Believe the Management Takes Your Feedback Seriously?
It’s important to make sure your employees know that you take their feedback seriously. And there’s no better way to do it than to act upon the feedback you received.
Make Sure You Act upon Employee Feedback
Studies have shown that 80% of employees (4 out of 5) don’t think their manager is likely to act upon the survey findings. If your employees belong to that 80%, you need to make sure to prove them wrong.
That’s why, after you’ve had your employees fill out their employee satisfaction surveys, it’s essential to communicate the results and, even more importantly, take necessary action based on the gathered data.
In most cases, before they even start taking the survey, your employees are likely to be skeptical about the seriousness of your intentions to take their feedback into account. This makes your job twice as difficult. First, you need to persuade them that the survey is not merely a dead letter and then, more importantly, you need to justify that by taking action.
Surveying the satisfaction of your employees just for the sake of doing it will lead nowhere. So, once you’ve identified potential causes of employee dissatisfaction, you need to dig deeper into those and try addressing them, as it is sure to benefit your company.
Let’s say one of the challenges your employees face is excessive noise at their workplace. It wouldn’t be too difficult to address such a concern and act upon the feedback – a small gesture such as buying a set of noise-canceling headphones for everybody in the office would show them that you do listen to their complaints and are willing to do things that would increase their overall job satisfaction.
The entire purpose behind surveying employee satisfaction is to find out what are the challenges and issues (if any) you’re employees might be facing and find a way to deal with those. Taking such action is expected to increase the overall productivity and motivation of your employees and consequently benefit your business.
Of course, to obtain such data, you need to make a quality employee satisfaction survey and, hopefully, the ten questions we suggested above will prove to be a good starting point.