Learn how to use surveys to measure morale and keep employees happy
Successful companies depend on satisfied employees. To find out how your employees feel about their jobs, you need to measure and understand their satisfaction levels. The best way to accomplish this is through employee satisfaction surveys.
Let’s take a closer look at employee satisfaction, how it differs from engagement, why you need to measure satisfaction, and what to do with the results as we delve into the world of employee satisfaction surveys.
Create better employee surveys by collaborating with your team. Plus save over individual plans.
Employee satisfaction, not to be confused with employee engagement, is a term used to describe how content employees are with their jobs, experiences, workplace, and overall organization. Satisfaction is tied to elements such as compensation, benefits, recognition, work-life balance, workload, company culture, effective leadership, etc. Ensuring that you meet both the material and intangible needs for employee satisfaction is critical for retaining top talent and improving engagement in your organization.
Satisfaction is a crucial factor in employee engagement, your ultimate goal for employees. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. A satisfied employee can be disengaged, so while accomplishing satisfaction is important, it is not the only ingredient needed for engagement. Conversely, a dissatisfied employee cannot become engaged without first becoming satisfied.
Both employee satisfaction and engagement are directly linked to customer satisfaction. Many studies have shown that dissatisfied employees are unlikely to provide good customer service. Ultimately, improving employee satisfaction is an important factor in the overall success of your business and a foundational part of your employee engagement plan.
Employee satisfaction is also linked to retention. If your employees are satisfied and happy at work, they are less likely to leave. A benefit of measuring employee satisfaction is that you’ll find out why satisfied employees stay.
Everyone wants to love their job, right? After all, if you’re going to spend the majority of your waking hours at work you should feel happy there.
Employee satisfaction is predicated on understanding how many of your employees enjoy working for you. Are your employees happy? Are they satisfied with their benefits and day-to-day demands? Stop guessing and find out with an employee satisfaction survey.
An employee satisfaction survey is a tool used by organizations to measure the contentment of their employees. The collected information is analyzed and utilized to direct actions for improvement in areas that are not reviewed positively on the survey. Employee satisfaction surveys should be administered regularly to monitor the effectiveness of your efforts to improve satisfaction and to watch for new trends.
Benefits of administering an employee satisfaction survey:
Employee surveys are valuable for learning about several topics, all of them directly related to employee morale, satisfaction, and involvement with the company.
Health benefits, wellness programs, compensation, managers’ performance, career development, work environment: These are all areas you can investigate in depth with a well-designed employee satisfaction survey.
For example, did you know that “respectful treatment of all employees” is the most important factor in job satisfaction in the U.S.? It’s true—according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management no other factor drives employee satisfaction more.
The more you know about how your employees feel, the easier it is to ensure that they are satisfied.
Take care in planning your employee satisfaction survey. Your goal is to obtain honest, authentic responses that you can turn into actionable solutions in your business. Keep that goal in mind throughout the process of planning, creating, and administering your surveys.
To obtain the best data, you need your employees to be honest and authentic in their responses to your survey questions. Ensure that employees understand that their responses will be anonymous. In fact, put it in writing on the first page of your survey. If employees trust that no repercussions will occur for negative responses, they are more likely to give authentic answers.
Questions should be brief, concise, and easy to understand. Keep your tone conversational and free from jargon. And never ask for the same information twice. Even if the questions are worded differently, only ask once.
While it’s tempting to use all multiple choice and rating scale questions because they are easy to analyze, open-ended questions will provide you with the most insightful information. A mix of question types will yield a comprehensive look at employee satisfaction.
There is no set length for an employee satisfaction survey. Find a balance between acquiring the data you need and collecting so much data it becomes too difficult to digest. You should also consider limiting your questions to avoid survey fatigue. If respondents grow tired or bored, they will abandon the survey altogether. With that said, the first survey should comprehensive and include up to 30 questions.
Your first employee satisfaction survey will be comprehensive. And, as you may know, you’ll need to check the pulse of your employees on a regular basis after that. Rather than administering the full survey each time, use pulse surveys of 1-10 questions periodically throughout the year. These can yield important insights and trends with a lesser time commitment.
Best practices for writing survey questions
You need to ask good employee satisfaction questions if you want to gauge how your employees really feel about the company and their role in it.
Once you’ve found the right questions to ask, it’s important to make sure you get as many responses as possible to get the most reliable feel on how things are going at the office.
A survey of your employees’ views on company morale is a good thing to have. You should present the results to the team and make changes to company policies if necessary.
But you know what’s better? Conducting many successive surveys that you can compare to one another over time.
Benchmark your surveys. Once you’ve done one survey, you’ve taken the first step toward understanding employee satisfaction over the long term. When you send repeated surveys, each survey will be more valuable as you compare it to previous ones. You can also make comparisons between departments to know exactly which one needs immediate attention.
Find external benchmarks, too. Maybe 67% of your employees say they are inspired to meet their goals at work. Is that good or bad? It may not be easy to think about that other 33%, but you’d feel better knowing that you are in the 99th percentile among American companies. SurveyMonkey offers benchmarks like this on the employee engagement survey template (and many more) so you know where you stand compared to your peers.
You’ll find that there are a few issues that are commonly identified in employee satisfaction surveys. We’ve put together a list, along with examples of actions that can be taken to address them.
Employee engagement has recently become a trending topic among human resources professionals. This doesn’t mean that employee satisfaction stopped being important overnight. In general, you can think of employee engagement as a deeper, multidimensional concept that encompasses other measures in addition to satisfaction.
SurveyMonkey created an employee engagement survey that aims to capture that deeper level of connection between an employee and their company.
Employee satisfaction depends on many different factors, generally related to the concrete conditions of everyday life at the office and the benefits and compensation the team members receive in return for their time and hard work.
There are many ways in which employees can love their job. If you want to be sure that you have a highly motivated team, you need to start counting those ways.
You can choose one of our templates below to get started.
To see how you can effectively measure each of the factors affecting employee morale at your company, you can check out some of our employee surveys. The following are just a few examples from our library.
Building a workplace culture that prioritizes belonging and inclusion is the best way to attract diverse and talented people, create a sustainable workforce, and—most importantly—make employees feel supported. SurveyMonkey’s inclusion and belonging survey template can help you understand what you’re doing well and where there’s room for growth.
If your employees don’t think they are paid well enough, they may start looking for another opportunity soon.
Find out if your employees feel satisfied with their plans for the future and how the company is helping them reach their long-term financial goals.
Workplace flexibility, retirement plans, paid leave, and other benefits can be key to job satisfaction.
Find out if the company’s choice of health insurance is working for its employees.
Are the managers approachable and available? How often do they give feedback to their team members? Do they improve the team’s performance with their contributions?
Find out what your employees think of your investment in training and education and the opportunities for professional growth they see in front of them.
Do employees care about diversity, inclusiveness, and work culture at the company? Ask them.
Designed by SurveyMonkey and Lean In, this survey measures employees attitudes on gender, a fundamental issue of growing importance in the workplace.
Do your employees think they are working with equally skilled and professional peers?
Employee satisfaction is a key factor in engagement. Find how your employees feel about their work, compensation, opportunities, and more by collecting data with an employee satisfaction survey. Start with any of our templates to begin understanding your company culture and what holds your business back from being a great place to work.
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