Happy employees outperform those who aren’t. It’s a no-brainer.
Happy employees have a high level of engagement and even contribute to a more positive workplace culture, which in turn sparks more engagement.
In fact, a study conducted by Gallup also states that organizations with engaged employees deliver 50% higher sales, 50% higher customer loyalty, and 38% above average productivity.
But how do you identify unhappy employees to start working on improving their engagement levels?
There are a number of ways but collecting employee feedback is arguably the most impactful one. Feedback helps you identify how your employees feel and what impacts their level of satisfaction.
This is where employee satisfaction surveys prove themselves important.
Surveys have long been a staple for every successful business owner to solicit feedback and assess the satisfaction and level of engagement. Successful companies are built on the backs of satisfied and happy employees, so it would only make sense that organizations should focus deeply on satisfaction surveys.
But most organizations shy away from conducting employee satisfaction surveys, costing them significant time and financial resources in mending up the damage.
If you’ve also been second-guessing the role of employee surveys in your organization, we will help you get a better perspective of employee surveys, along with solid reasons why you shouldn’t miss conducting them. Stay tuned!
What is an Employee Satisfaction Survey?
Simply put, employee satisfaction surveys stand for 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 primarily exist to outline employees’ problems so that the managers can act upon them and provide employees with the ideal working conditions to boost their productivity.
This is where a well-designed employee engagement survey will prove to be beneficial.
It will allow the 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.
The best part of employee satisfaction surveys is that they can be conducted without sacrificing the focus from your customers. There are plenty of other benefits as well, let’s have a look at them.
Related Read- To get a more clear understanding of when to survey users, have a look at When To Survey Users: The Best Times to Ask
What Are the Benefits of an Employee Satisfaction Survey?
Employee satisfaction survey has been the go-to method for the organization to determine the behavior of employees for decades now. This is because it offers benefits that no other method can. Here are 5 of them:
- Creates a Portal for Feedback
Employee surveys act as a vehicle to collect feedback. This is done simply by organizing a list of employee emails and sending them feedback once the NDAs are signed.
Circulating an online company-wide survey allows everyone to voice their opinions. This avenue to voice opinions in the form of feedback may not have existed previously. However, it now opens up a portal for your employees to share their thoughts about the organization.
- Measures Level of Satisfaction
The most apparent purpose of employee 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 benefits they would rather prefer.
According to the employees, these surveys highlight the problematic areas, which the management can then focus on to deliver optimum benefits and fair working conditions to the employees.
Determines the Reason Behind Employee Turnover
A very common employee satisfaction survey purpose includes exit-intent surveys. Exit surveys are an accurate way of understanding the reason behind employees’ departure and gaining 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:
The gathered data will allow human resource managers to accurately identify the elements that resulted in employee turnover and make necessary changes to policies and procedures to prevent that.
- Surveys Show That You Care
When employees are committed to their organization, they also expect their opinions and ideas to be heard.
If the employees feel their presence isn’t appreciated, they will end up leaving sooner or later.
Employee engagement can be elevated when the senior leadership is considerate enough to accept employees’ opinions and take action. Research states that employee engagement increases significantly when senior management takes necessary actions on survey results.
Conducting employee satisfaction surveys on a regular basis makes the employees know that their opinions and voices are being heard and that you are counting on their feedback to make necessary improvements in the organization.
To do this, there are several types of surveys that you can conduct within your organization. For instance, at ProProfs, we conduct a variety of surveys, such as:
- Annual Employee Satisfaction Survey: An NPS survey that asks them about their overall satisfaction with the organization and how loyal they are to the organization is deployed for this. You can also have lengthier surveys that ask about every aspect of their work experience and environment.
- Please rate if you agree or disagree: “I am satisfied with opportunities for professional development growth that my company offers”.
- Please rate if you agree or disagree with the following statement: “I am satisfied with the career advancement opportunities that my job offers”.
- Please rate if you agree or disagree with the following statement: “I look forward to going to my job every day”.
- Please rate if you agree or disagree with the following statement: “At the end of my workday I feel that I used my time well to help the company achieve its goals.”
- Please rate if you agree or disagree with the following statement: “I enjoy working with my co-workers at my company.”
- Please rate if you agree or disagree with the following statement: “I am satisfied with the job-related training the company offers”.
- To what extent are you satisfied that you have the opportunities to apply your talents and expertise at your company?
- To what extent are you satisfied with the professional challenges that your job presents to you?
- To what extent are you satisfied with your overall compensation compared to your job requirements?
- All things considered, based on your current job duties, do you plan to stay with the company as an employee
- Post Training Survey: This type of survey can be sent to the employees to gather feedback regarding how effective a certain training session was and get insights on how future training can be improved.
- To what extent did the actual training match the pre-registration description of goals and content for this training?
- How many times have you attended this type of training in the past?
- To what extent did the training match your expectations?
- To what extent have you personally used what you learned at the training after your departure?
- To what extent have you shared what you learned or experienced at the training with others?
- Based on your experience at the training, what has been of value to you after the training?
- In what area has your attendance at the training benefited you?
- If this type of training is conducted again would you plan to attend?
- If this type of training is conducted again would you recommend this training to others?
- Workshop Survey: This type of survey can be in questionnaire format to ask employees about the type of workshops they would like to participate in from time to time.
- A Driver for Change
If you are looking to change the culture in your organization for good, then employee surveys act as an excellent first step in doing so. Employees quite often do not share feedback with the management after a negative experience. They just end up leaving on a random day.
The employee satisfaction survey purpose is to allow managers to initiate addressing the prevailing problems in the workplace and make it a habit for a better future.
Best Practices For Your Employee Satisfaction Survey
An employee satisfaction survey won’t have a high response rate or be incomplete if it misses the essential elements of the survey. Here’s a list of 5 elements that you need to include in your employee satisfaction survey:
1 . 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.
2. Create a Future Roadmap: If your employees know where the information is going and how their feedback will affect the organization’s work culture for the better, they will be even more motivated, to be honest with their feedback. Therefore, satisfaction surveys do not end at collecting feedback. Creating a roadmap to act on the responses is also a major part of it.
3. 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 some hurdles or bottlenecks with the survey due to device or browser incompatibility.
Therefore, it’s best to leave a set of instructions in the survey to overcome those challenges and ensure maximum participation.
1 . Communicate 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 their honest feedback in the following survey. Regularly undertaking surveys and communicating results is the best way to improve the feedback loop.
2 . Benchmark: Use the data collected in the 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.
Before we move to the reasons to conduct employee surveys, let’s quickly look at how employee satisfaction surveys are conducted
Read Also: How to Write Good Customer Survey Questions
Watch: How to build surveys effectively
How to Conduct an Employee Satisfaction Survey
Understanding how to conduct employee satisfaction surveys is extremely crucial before you start 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.
What to ask
Here is a list of employee satisfaction survey questions that you should ask:
Questions 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 openly communicate 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?
How long should an employee satisfaction survey be?
The length of the employee satisfaction surveys is also an important consideration. Even though there is no set rule for how long a survey should be, an ideal employee survey should not take more than 20 minutes of an employee’s time and should have anywhere between 30-50 questions.
Watch: How you can use Qualaroo templates to ask the right questions
But there are a couple of other important considerations as well that you should keep in mind 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- When sending out employee surveys, make sure to always avoid the holiday season to maximize the response rate. Therefore, you can choose to send surveys during the organization’s historically slow periods when employees have the most time on their hands.
Always try to avoid sending out surveys during an organizational slump or reorganization and downsizing. This is because such factors may skew the results negatively from the employees being disgruntled by the changes.
Step 3- Collect Data
Once you have prepared a questionnaire, you need to decide how to approach the data collection part. Even though online surveys are the most effective way to gather information, there are other ways as well. These are:
- Phone surveys
- Feedback boxes
- Postal surveys
- Face to face surveys
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:
- Reasoning etc.
The quantitative data on the other hand would include the following on a rating scale:
- Learning opportunities
- 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 because it’s the only way of ensuring the employees that their opinions matter and 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.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is another way to do that by giving employees the support they need to manage and resolve interpersonal conflicts both at work and home.
Related Read- To get a more in-depth look at the surveys, take a look at The Marketer’s Guide to Surveying Users
12 Reasons to Conduct Employee Satisfaction Surveys
There are plenty of reasons to conduct employee satisfaction surveys regularly. Check out this list to understand why they are so important:
1. To Get Insights Into Employee Sentiments
The purpose of employee surveys is to unveil how the employees are feeling towards 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. This is why satisfaction surveys are gaining more traction because they can help management make decisions that align perfectly with the employee’s and organization’s needs.
Management should always pursue employee sentiment analysis as it helps them take the necessary step towards the change. It also allows them to encourage transparency and have more open communication.
2. Determine Roadblocks in the Workplace
Another very apparent purpose of conducting employee satisfaction surveys is to determine any 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.
Less satisfied employees generally face problems in the workplace, and management can determine those roadblocks and implement new changes to get rid of those.
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 proper understanding of common challenges and putting processes in place will allow managers to make work a better place for the employees and improve engagement.
3. Encourage Honest Feedback
When acquiring feedback, organizations primarily focus on a higher response rate to have a more robust data representative of the population. Although, when it comes to satisfaction surveys, the quality of the data matters more than the responses.
A high response rate will never prove beneficial if the employees feel they cannot act honestly in the environment they work in.
This is why satisfaction surveys are kept confidential so that employees can be candid about their feelings towards the organization. With good quality data at disposal, management can use insights as a basis of business decision-making and make further improvements to give the best-in-class work environment.
Fact: A good employee survey response rate is considered to be 70%, but the average employee survey response rate is only 30%.
4. A Great Predictor of Behavior
Using surveys to ask the employees how they feel is still much better than using AI or machine learning to do the same.
Both the intended and unintended actions of employees say a lot about them. Even if the employees participate in surveys and voice their opinions, employees who do not 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. It’s also helpful to the human resources managers as they can predict which employees are on the verge of leaving the firm.
They can use this data to prevent attrition in the first place by working on the reasons as to why employers are leaving. The reasons can vary from issues with the management, lack of proper training, lack of expected benefits to improper onboarding, and more.
Knowing what affects employees from the collected feedback can give an accurate idea of the measures to implement.
Read Also: Best Customer Feedback Tools
5. Reduce Employee Turnover
Another extremely important purpose of conducting employee satisfaction surveys is to retain employees for a longer period of time.
Companies invest a lot of time and financial resources in their employees right from the recruitment process till the time they leave the organization. This is why losing employees in the early stages can be devastating.
6. Allow Employees to Voice Their Opinion
Conducting employee surveys at regular intervals sends a clear message to the employees: you care about them and their opinions.
Participating in a survey gives employees a specific channel for expressing their opinions.
Employees do take the surveys seriously and want to be heard. In fact, employees prefer having a say in the decision-making even if they don’t get their way.
This way satisfaction surveys pose a great opportunity for the employees to be heard and also for the management to make substantial changes.
7. Assess Workplace Climate
You can easily use satisfaction surveys to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the company from an organization-wide perspective. Workplace climate surveys are crucial in determining how employees feel about their workplace.
Organizations that restructure themselves or go through joint ventures and mergers often use these surveys to determine if the newly created workplace has an ideal working environment or not.
8. Help Management Become Proactive
When it comes to dealing with certain aspects of an employee’s work, employers tend to fall into a reactive mode in some cases. This leaves the employees vulnerable and their problems can potentially have damaging effects in the workplace.
Proactive behavior from management can easily tone down individual differences in the organization and bring out the best in employees and increase productivity.
But as we discussed above, employees prefer being heard even when they are not a part of the decision-making process.
This is still a positive sign.
When employees are so proactive in voicing their opinions, the management can also make good use of that and be proactive in making organizational changes.
Proactivity is always recommended from a business perspective because it allows the management to have better control of the environment and it provides an opportunity to resolve problems before they escalate.
9. Improve the Level of Communication
Surveys are a great way of facilitating ongoing communication and improving employee engagement.
The best satisfaction surveys provide actionable insights and open up a two-way communication street between employees and the management.
Interestingly, conducting employee satisfaction surveys shows your employees that you are invested in communicating with them, making them feel valued. This also makes employees an active part of the communication process where they can go the extra mile for the organization.
Effective manager-employee communication is also known to boost employee engagement and drive business success. Conversely, poor communication can cause irreparable damage to the organization in some cases. This is the reason why open communication is one thing that can never yield a negative result.
10. Encourage Change in Behavior
When you ask your employees for their input and insights, you are not just learning from them; you’re also influencing them. Psychologists say that asking questions is an extremely effective way of changing behavior.
For instance: A survey was conducted to ask people if they would like to volunteer three hours for the American Cancer Society, and the volunteering rate jumped from 4% to 31%.
Part of the success comes from consistency. When employees answer ‘yes’ to multiple questions consistently, it increases the probability of them following up with it.
Therefore, management can get employees to be more engaged and approachable by simply asking questions based on the same behavior at regular intervals. Once the employees start answering ‘yes’, the productivity and workplace climate will see a direct impact.
11. Focus on Organizational Growth
Information gathered from employee satisfaction surveys can be used to direct and guide organizational growth. This data can be used to check the validity and effectiveness of the leadership model followed by the organization and how the long-term policies will support organizational growth.
The purpose of employee satisfaction surveys is to help the management compare different departments, spotting trends, and double down on the measures that work towards organizational growth and those that don’t.
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 look at some of the reasons why they leave and how you can fix that.
12. Aid the Learning and Development Process
Employee surveys are an effective way for employers to uncover the individual weaknesses or knowledge gaps of the employees. These surveys provide useful insights to the HR managers about the weak areas of employees for the organization to grow.
Managers can leverage these insights and to help individual employees learn specific skills and stay up to speed with the industry trends.
When employee surveys are conducted regularly, they help management devise effective training and development programs for the employees to overcome any weaknesses and influence growth.
Related Read- If you are looking for the best online survey tools, consider reading Best Online Survey Software & Questionnaire Tools
Why Employees Ignore Satisfaction Surveys and How to Improve Them
Participation will always be a problem in surveys, even if you are surveying your employees. Employees are often reluctant to participate in surveys due to several reasons. Here are some of the reasons and what you can do about it:
- There is No Such Thing as Anonymous
Are satisfaction surveys really anonymous?
It’s quite hard to tell if you’re on the participating side. Most of the surveys ask respondents about their personal information, their department, and how long they have been with the company in some cases.
This makes it really easy for the employees to suspect that the managers can figure out who the respondent is, and negative responses may also have some unfair repercussions. This is why employees mostly do not participate in the first place to avoid any further drama.
Anonymity gives employees confidence. According to the statistics, employees are 75% more likely to respond to a survey if their identity is kept confidential.
How to fix: An easy way to fix this problem is by binding your survey to a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), which will allow the respondents to stay completely anonymous while sharing their honest opinions and views.
- Sound of Cynicism
Organizations work increasingly hard to conduct surveys, but the same cannot be said when acting on them.
Employees are often cynical about participating in the surveys because their general perspective suggests that management cannot possibly use it to make significant organizational changes.
When employees undermine the importance of surveys as a catalyst to make necessary changes, they stop participating in them.
How to fix: You need to begin your surveys with an internal communication campaign that will entirely be based on communicating the importance of surveys and how you will use them to make necessary adjustments in the organizations. You can use the same survey software that you bought for your organization for deploying your communication strategy.
- Previous Feedbacks Never Made Any Difference
Maybe nobody had time to crunch through the survey numbers last year and analyze the data, so you’re back again this year. It’s not that simple.
If the employees experienced previous feedback not yielding any results, it’s very unlikely that they will participate in a survey this time around. Employees will not participate in surveys if they know that it’s not going to make any difference and that their efforts will go in vain.
How to fix: The results gathered from employee satisfaction surveys need to be put in front of the change influencers like the senior management and policymakers. When sufficient noise is made about the needed changes, management will implement new policies and rules to instantly address the issues raised by the employees.
- Surveys Are Too Long
If you are repeatedly being told that the surveys are too long, it’s best to revise your survey strategy and design new surveys.
Short surveys will allow you to focus only on the important bits of information while keeping the respondents engaged.
Employees often skip the surveys that take too much time because most of them are already on time-bound targets, which means that investing significant time in surveys will always be secondary.
How to fix: You need to plan your survey objectives beforehand and ensure that you do not focus on more than 3 to 4 objectives. With the objective in place, make sure that every question in the survey is pulling its weight by bringing in crucial information. Change your survey design if you have to and use skip logic to screen out the respondents you are not interested in.
- The Questions Are Not Relevant to the Role
When your employees come across survey questions that do not fit their role or find it hard to relate with, they will most definitely skip the surveys and often form a perception of irrelevancy and non-participation towards the surveys.
How to fix: You can deploy online survey software like Qualaroo, which offers 100+ professionally built templates and 12+ question types to cater to all your survey needs. It will allow you to keep the surveys completely relevant by only asking the right questions to the right users at the right time.
It also offers advanced targeting to single out the respondents based on different parameters to ensure only the right people receive a particular survey.
Drive Engagement with Employee Satisfaction Surveys
Satisfied employees have been a cornerstone of every successful business, which leaves us with no reason not to conduct employee satisfaction surveys.
Even though behavioral recognition technology has caught a significant pace in the past few years, opinion-based surveys are still one of the most effective ways to single out barriers in the organization.
However, the success of your surveys will always depend on how you choose to structure and administer them. But it’s safe to say that employee satisfaction surveys will always yield good results.
If you are looking for a perfect online survey tool, Qualaroo is just the right option for you. It’s highly capable feedback and research tool that can conduct customer satisfaction surveys with ease and analyze results effortlessly.
Want insights that improve experience & conversions?
Capture customer feedback to improve customer experience & grow conversions.