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  • Employee Satisfaction Surveys: A Complete Guide To Boost Turnover

    The strength of a team lies not only in its collective talents but in the passion and loyalty of its members.

    If corporate is the ocean, your employees are the sails driving your organization forward. And what happens if you don’t manage the sails in time? They can lead your ship astray.

    You can analyze metrics such as employee turnover, but it won’t offer you the whole picture as gauging employee satisfaction would.

    That’s where Employee Net Promoter Score (NPS) and employee satisfaction surveys come into play, serving as a compass to navigate the turbulent waters of workforce engagement. 

    But wait, you might ask, “What sets eNPS surveys apart from regular Net Promoter Score surveys?” 

    The answer lies in their focus; NPS surveys measure customer loyalty, and eNPS surveys zero in on your employees, unraveling their dedication and likelihood to endorse your company as an exceptional workplace.

    So, let’s move on with this exhaustive guide on employee satisfaction surveys and how to leverage them for your business.

    What Is an Employee Satisfaction Survey?

    Simply put, employee satisfaction surveys are a set of questions that provide insights into how the employees of an organization feel about their company and experience their work environment. 

    Employee satisfaction surveys allow managers to get a glimpse of the overall morale in the organization and pinpoint any prevailing issues to make necessary adjustments for keeping the employees happy.

    Why Should Conduct Employee Satisfaction Surveys

    Here are a few beneficial reasons why companies track employee satisfaction using employee satisfaction surveys and why you should include it in your strategy too.

    Measures Level of Satisfaction

    The most apparent purpose of employee satisfaction surveys is to determine and measure the level of satisfaction.

    These surveys are specifically designed to collect insights on different work-related issues like compensation, benefits, appraisals, policies, retention, politics, and many other factors. 

    For instance: these surveys also highlight how employees feel about their benefits and which ones they prefer.

    Determines the Reason Behind Employee Turnover

    A ubiquitous purpose for employee satisfaction surveys includes exit-intent surveys. Exit surveys are an accurate way to understand the reason behind employees’ departure and gain insight into the organization’s work culture.

    There are several reasons why an employee may want to leave the organization. The below picture highlights the top reasons for the same:


    To Get Insights Into Employee Sentiments

    Employee satisfaction surveys are also great for unveiling how the employees feel toward the management. Using sentiment analysis, the management can uncover the thoughts and attitudes of the employee towards new changes in the organization. 

    Employee sentiments are an accurate determinant of the pre-existing problems in the organization.

    Here’s a helpful read: Sentiment Analysis: Guide to Understanding Customer Emotions

    Determine Roadblocks in the Workplace

    Another way businesses leverage employee satisfaction surveys is to determine roadblocks in the workplace. When employees voice their opinions, their level of satisfaction will indicate how satisfied they are with the functioning of the workplace. 

    Studies have shown that happy employees are 20% more productive and generate 37% more sales, which is a concrete enough reason to ensure that employees are always in their best state of mind.


    A Great Predictor of Behavior

    Both the intended and unintended actions of employees say a lot about them. Even if the employees participate in employee satisfaction surveys and voice their opinions, those who don’t participate in surveys teach us a lot too.

    For instance: Facebook says that employees who do not participate in either of their two annual surveys are 2.6 times more likely to leave the organization.

    Predicting employee behavior is always important because it makes up for better company culture. Companies can use this data to prevent attrition in the first place by working on the reasons why employers are leaving.

    Reduce Employee Turnover

    Companies invest much time and financial resources in their employees from the recruitment process until they leave the organization. 

    It is why losing employees in the early stages can be devastating and why conducting employee satisfaction surveys is crucial to retain employees for longer. Simply asking employees if they are happy in the workplace or not will go a long way in improving the internal processes.

    Help Management Become Proactive

    When employees are proactive in voicing their opinions, the management can also become proactive in making organizational changes.

    And a primary objective of the employee satisfaction survey is to help organizations become proactive in reducing employee turnover.

    Proactive behavior from management can quickly tone down individual differences in the organization, bring out the best in employees, and increase productivity. 


    Aid the Learning and Development Process

    Employee surveys are an effective way for employers to uncover the employees’ weaknesses or knowledge gaps. Managers can leverage these insights and help individual employees learn specific skills and stay up to speed with industry trends. 

    When employee surveys are conducted regularly, they help management devise practical training and development programs for the employees to overcome any weaknesses and influence growth.


    Focus on Organizational Growth

    The purpose of employee satisfaction surveys is to help the management compare different departments, spot trends, and double down on the measures that work towards organizational growth and those that don’t. 

    The feedback can be used to check the validity and effectiveness of the leadership model in the organization and how the long-term policies will support organizational growth.

    Conducting satisfaction surveys is one thing, but making people take them is another. Employees often ignore satisfaction surveys for multiple reasons, defeating the purpose of surveys. So let’s see how you can fix that. 

    Best Practices to Boost Employee Engagement With Surveys

    If a low response rate on your employee satisfaction surveys is what you fear, there are a few things you can do. Follow these employee engagement survey best practices to create surveys that engage your employees.

    No One Likes Long Surveys; Keep It ‘Only Necessary’

    The length of the employee satisfaction surveys is also an important consideration. 

    Although there is no hard-and-fast rule for how long a survey should be, an ideal employee survey should take at most 20 minutes of an employee’s time and should have anywhere between 30-50 questions.

    It’s better to keep it shorter to 5-10 questions if you survey on a half-yearly basis.

    But there are a couple of other essential considerations to remember before conducting employee satisfaction surveys. These are as follows:

    • Frequency of surveys: While some companies conduct employee surveys every 6 months, some conduct surveys every 2 years. But the sweet spot for employee surveys is once every year, as recommended by most experts. 
    • Timing of surveys: Always avoid the holiday season to maximize the response rate when sending out employee surveys. Therefore, you can send surveys during the organization’s historically slow periods when employees have the most time on their hands.

    Pro Tip:

    Try not to send out surveys during an organizational slump or reorganization and downsizing. It is because such factors may skew the results negatively from the employees being disgruntled by the changes.

    Add an NDA Agreement

    Your employees are more likely to give honest feedback if you can assure them their identity will remain confidential. A non-disclosure agreement is the best way to guarantee anonymity.

    You can also create anonymous surveys to encourage employees to take the surveys. Employee satisfaction measurement tools like Qualaroo, a survey software, enables you to collect anonymous employee feedback by default using survey links.

    Bonus read: 10 Best Anonymous Feedback Tools to Collect Unbiased Insights

    Make the Objective of the Surveys Clear

    When employees understand the “why,” they feel more motivated to participate. It is why you should clearly communicate the purpose of the survey and how their input will drive positive change. Emphasize the value of their feedback and how it contributes to shaping a better work environment.

    Give Troubleshooting Advice and Contact Details

    Online surveys are the best way to gather feedback because employees can take them anywhere and anytime. However, some employees could still face hurdles or bottlenecks with the survey due to device or browser incompatibility.

    In order to avoid survey abandonment, it’s best to add instructions in the survey to overcome those challenges and ensure maximum participation.

    Communicate the Results

    By letting your staff know about the results and actions taken based on the past survey, they will gather more confidence to participate and leave honest feedback in the following survey. 

    Regularly undertaking surveys and communicating results is the best way to improve the feedback loop. 

    Set Benchmarks 

    Use the data collected in past surveys to compare it to the present survey data. The analysis will give you a proper understanding of whether your employees are happier than before or not. 

    You can also make tangible efforts to improve the workplace based on the data to get the morale of employees up.

    Use Clear Language

    Avoid using buzzwords and corporate language that employees may not understand. Your surveys should read like a human conversation to invite sincere feedback.

    How to Conduct an Employee Satisfaction Survey

    Understanding how to conduct employee engagement surveys is crucial before conducting them. Here are the series of steps that you need to follow to do it accurately:

    Step 1: Understand Employee Satisfaction Survey Requirement

    Every survey is different. Even though some surveys have commonalities, each survey needs to be designed, implemented, and analyzed as per the requirement. Understanding the key requirements of the survey will allow you to set parameters in the early stage and save significant time. 

    The prerequisites to be decided for survey deployment include:

    • Type of feedback to be gathered 
    • Overall budget
    • Number of employees
    • Type of data to be collected
    • Mode of data collection

    Step 2: Create a Questionnaire

    The next step is to create a questionnaire. The purpose of employee satisfaction surveys is to mix both qualitative and quantitative questions to obtain a transversal overview of the employees. 

    Step 3: Collect Data

    When it comes to collecting data, there are a couple of smart tricks that you can use to gather relevant data that is more meaningful to you. It includes:

    • Advanced Targeting: To target only a specific group of users who fit your pre-defined criteria, including age, gender, location, and many more factors, to give you a higher level of granularity of who should be receiving your survey.

    For instance, if you are conducting a survey to assess workplace safety, it will be ideal to target female employees who have been with the organization for some time to get an honest opinion on their perception of safety.

    • Question Branching: It allows you to offer different questions to the respondents based on how they previously responded to a question in your survey. You can utilize this feature to lead the respondents to different questions to gather specific information.

    For instance, while conducting a satisfaction survey, if an employee says he/she is not satisfied with the work benefits, then you can lead them to a different question asking his opinion on what changes can be made to the employee benefits.

    Step 4: Analyze Results

    Analyzing the data is a key step of this process. The data collected can be both quantitative and qualitative based on the questionnaire and the survey requirement. 

    The qualitative data collected from employees would include:

    • Intent
    • Opinions
    • Suggestions
    • Reasoning, etc.

    The quantitative data, on the other hand, would include the following on a rating scale:

    • Satisfaction
    • Learning opportunities
    • Remuneration
    • Policies
    • Work culture, etc.

    Basic statistics and advanced statistical approaches can be used to analyze the quantitative data that will help you give context to the information collected. 

    Qualitative data and open-ended questions, on the other hand, require a more time-consuming analysis where the analysts will categorize the data and spot trends and patterns. 

    Even though qualitative data analysis is not the most straightforward, it will give you a more detailed and candid overview of the employee’s perspective.

    Step 5: Act on the Results and Make Necessary Changes

    Finally, you have the results in hand, and you know where the problems lie. Acting on the feedback is paramount for long-term business success. 

    It’s the only way of ensuring the employees that their opinions matter and that they are an active part of the decision-making process. 

    For instance, if an employee survey states that interpersonal conflicts are a major issue in the workplace, the management should establish a conflict resolution team to oversee and resolve future conflicts beforehand.

    Related Read: To get a more in-depth look at the surveys, take a look at The Marketer’s Guide to Surveying Users

    What Comes After Collecting Employee Feedback?

    By following the steps above, you’ll get the feedback data you need to reduce employee attrition. But, what comes after? Here are the steps you should take after conducting the employee engagement surveys.

    1. Shower Them With Appreciation

    First things first, take a moment to appreciate your employees’ participation. Send a heartfelt email, drafted by senior management, to thank each individual for their contribution. 

    Make it clear that their feedback is valuable and that you’ll analyze the results to develop an action plan. Share the results and action plan timeline with the entire company.

    2. Dive Into the Data

    Now it’s time to immerse yourself in the survey data. Dive deep and uncover the patterns and trends that await. 

    Don’t forget to pay attention to the open-ended responses from the employee satisfaction survey, as they often reveal insights you may not have considered. 

    Make sure to analyze the data thoroughly, avoid hasty conclusions, and look for critical themes highlighting pain points and improvement areas.

    3. Follow-up With a Pulse Survey

    If necessary, send out a quick pulse survey to gather additional information to address the identified themes in the feedback.

    It will help you fill in gaps and gain a more comprehensive understanding of the issues. Remember, the more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to take action. 

    You can also send follow-up employee satisfaction surveys to employees who didn’t respond the first time as a reminder.

    4. Develop an Action Plan

    Now that you clearly understand the themes and pain points, it’s time to develop an action plan.

    Focus on the few areas with the most immediate and significant impact. Avoid getting overwhelmed by a long list of improvements. Keep your plan concise and targeted, ensuring each action contributes to positive change.

    5. Share Results and Action Plan

    Here’s a vital piece of advice: always stay true to your word! Once you’ve gathered the survey results and developed an action plan, it’s time to share them with the entire company. Transparency is the name of the game here.

    Remember, sharing the results and action plan isn’t just a formality. Let everyone in on the goals and plans that have been set based on their valuable feedback. By involving every single person, you create a sense of unity and purpose.

    6. Execute the Action Plan

    Now comes the exciting part—putting your action plan into motion. Once you have your action plan, you need to assign responsibilities and form teams if necessary.

    Encourage collaboration and provide the necessary resources and support. Remember, it’s not just about planning; it’s about taking concrete steps towards improvement.

    8. Repeat the Process Annually

    Make employee feedback a part of your internal processes. Repeat the survey process on an annual basis. When you start doing annually, you’ll start to understand where you’ve improved and in what areas you need to improve.

    Employee Satisfaction Survey Questions to Ask for Insightful Feedback

    Here is a list of employee satisfaction survey questions that you should ask to get the most insightful and precise feedback:

    Employee satisfaction survey template related to organization relations:

    • Are you clearly able to understand the organization’s objectives?
    • Do you have clarity about your role and responsibilities?
    • Do you believe that you are given a fair opportunity to grow in the organization?
    • Will you be working with this organization in the next three years?

    Questions related to teamwork:

    • Do you enjoy being a member of your team?
    • Does the team inspire or motivate you to perform better?
    • Are you able to receive proper support from your team members?

    Questions related to relations with superiors:

    • Are you able to communicate openly with your managers and seniors?
    • Do you feel you are rewarded for your hard work and dedication?
    • Do you think your superiors hear your opinions and views?
    • Do you feel there is an opportunity for personal and professional growth?

    Questions related to fairness at work:

    • Are you treated well by your managers and supervisors?
    • Have you ever felt discriminated against by your superiors?
    • To what extent do you think the organization offers fair policies for the promotion of all employees?

    Drive Engagement With Employee Satisfaction Surveys

    All in all, employee satisfaction surveys offer valuable insights into your organization, allowing you to address concerns, boost engagement, and foster a positive work culture. 

    These surveys contribute to growth by guiding leadership models, benchmarking departments, and aiding development. 

    For best results, follow the best practices advised above and create surveys that engage employees to get actionable insights.

    But it doesn’t end with surveys; you need to analyze results, develop action plans, and execute them. Besides this, you should also evaluate progress, communicate transparently, and take concrete steps based on feedback to see positive results. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Employee satisfaction refers to the contentment and happiness an employee feels in their work environment. It is a measure of their overall job satisfaction. 

    On the other hand, employee engagement goes beyond satisfaction and focuses on the emotional connection, commitment, and active involvement an employee has toward their work and the organization.


    Engaged employees are passionate, motivated, and fully invested in their roles, resulting in higher productivity and performance. While satisfaction is about how employees feel, engagement reflects their level of involvement and dedication to their work.

    An employee satisfaction survey serves the purpose of collecting feedback from employees to assess their satisfaction levels and identify areas of improvement within the organization. 

    It helps organizations make data-driven decisions to enhance employee well-being, engagement, and overall success.

    To create an employee survey, follow these steps: 

    • define employee satisfaction survey objectives, 
    • determine key areas to assess, 
    • select appropriate question types, 
    • design clear and concise questions, 
    • consider anonymity and confidentiality, 
    • pilot test the survey, 
    • distribute it effectively, 
    • and lastly, analyze and act upon the survey results to drive meaningful change.

    The most effective type of survey depends on the specific goals and context. However, a well-designed survey that combines both quantitative (closed-ended) and qualitative (open-ended) questions tends to be effective. 

    This approach allows for a comprehensive understanding of employee experiences, while also providing numerical data for analysis and comparison.

    Employee surveys can be conducted through various methods, including online surveys, paper-based surveys, mobile app surveys, and in-person interviews or focus groups. 

    Each method has its advantages and considerations, such as ease of administration, accessibility, anonymity, response rates, and cost, which should be tailored to suit the organization's needs.

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