Does it seem like your employees can’t get no satisfaction? Maybe there’s a reason for that.
As an HR professional, one of the key roles of your job is employee relations. It’s your job to know how employees feel about the company, assess the shortcomings your organization is dealing with, and offer solutions to fix things accordingly. These are all vital to your company's overall talent management strategy.
An employee satisfaction survey is just a single tool you have at your disposal to enhance your overall company culture and employee experience. In this article, we’ll review why employee satisfaction surveys are important, how you should go about conducting them, and offer you free resources and questions for your next employee satisfaction survey.
What is an employee satisfaction survey?
An employee satisfaction survey is often used as a way to take the pulse of a company’s current culture. It’s often the first step taken by a company to get a sense of where they stand on employee satisfaction and company culture. Once you’ve conducted an employee satisfaction survey, you can begin assessing the next steps you may need to take to set about improving your work environment.
What is an employee satisfaction survey?
An employee satisfaction survey, also known as a job satisfaction survey, is a tool used by human resources professionals to gauge the happiness and overall contentedness of their company's employees.
Whether or not your employees are showing signs of being unhappy at work, you should be conducting an employee satisfaction survey routinely. Most employers try and schedule employee satisfaction surveys annually and track the progress year over year.
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There are plenty of reasons why you should be measuring your employee satisfaction – the most compelling of which being that employee satisfaction has been steadily declining since 2009. [SHRM]
Unhappy employees are more likely to seek new opportunities than those who are happy with their jobs. The cost of high employee turnover can have long-term effects on your company if it goes unsolved. And if you think your employees are the exception to the rule, you may be shocked to learn the truth.
With all of this in mind, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your employees are happy with their jobs and, if they aren’t, improve the employee experience.
If you’ve never conducted an employee satisfaction survey before, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to begin the process. You may consider investing in an employee engagement software system to help monitor and track your employee satisfaction surveys.
What questions should you include in your employee satisfaction survey?
The key to a successful employee satisfaction survey lies in the type of questions you include in your employee survey. You’ll want to address a broad range of topics in order to give you the full picture of your employee’s happiness.
What topics should my employee satisfaction survey cover?
Benefits and compensation
Job clarity and satisfaction
If you focus your employee satisfaction survey too heavily on one topic, you may miss an issue that you were unaware your employees are dealing with. Once you think you’ve zeroed in on the biggest problem affecting your employee satisfaction, you can follow up with a second survey to address that issue specifically.
How to get the best results from your employee satisfaction survey
There’s more to an employee satisfaction survey than the questions you ask – it’s also about how you ask them. Here are a few things you should keep in mind while creating your employee satisfaction survey:
1. Guarantee employee confidentiality
If you want your employees to be honest in their employee survey, you need to guarantee their anonymity. There is a chance that the fear backlash from management may prevent people from leaving their honest opinion on a survey. Giving your employees the chance to express themselves without fear of repercussions will go a long way.
2. Avoid buzzwords and confusing terminology
Your employee survey should be accessible to everyone in your company for maximum results. This means avoiding industry buzzwords, corporate lingo, and difficult to understand vocabulary that your employees might not understand. Be less concerned with sounding intelligent in your survey and focus on having it read the way a normal conversation would.
3. Keep it consistent
As you begin rolling out your employee survey program, you may be tempted to change things to avoid coming off stale. It’s important to resist this urge and keep your language, questions, and wording consistent year over year. This is important to ensure you’re measuring the same aspects of your company culture at all times.
4. K.I.S.S (Keep it simple, stupid!)
The worst thing you can do is overload your employees with too many questions. The longer and more time-consuming your employee satisfaction survey is, the less likely your employees will want to complete it. Try keeping your employee survey to no more than 10 questions per topic.
5. Technology is your friend
There are hundreds of online survey and employee satisfaction software systems that you can use to ensure a high level of employee participation, as well as tracking and analyzing data. If your company is large enough that you’ll be handling dozens of employee satisfaction survey’s, you may consider investing in an employee engagement software to lighten your workload and help streamline the process.
When you take the time to listen to and address your employees wants and needs, you can almost guarantee that good things will come. Don’t be discouraged if you find that your employee satisfaction stays stagnant at the beginning of the process.
It takes time and thorough planning to implement changes to your company. This is just one part of the process towards creating a more enjoyable work environment.
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Lauren is a Content Marketing Manager at G2. You can find her work featured on CNBC, Yahoo Finance, and on the G2 Learning Hub. In her free time, Lauren enjoys watching true crime shows and spending time in the Chicago karaoke scene. (she/her/hers)