Did you know that 3.6 million people quit their jobs in the US this year? This staggering number reflects the high level of employee dissatisfaction and turnover in the current labor market.
Implementing effective employee retention strategies can help reduce attrition and increase overall job satisfaction.
The question is, how would you get the insights needed to reform your strategies?
One key tool you need in your stack for this is Employee Satisfaction Surveys.
These surveys help you dive into your employees’ experiences and take targeted actions to improve the overall satisfaction and create a positive work culture with thriving loyalty.
In this blog post, we’ll provide a complete guide to creating and conducting effective employee satisfaction surveys, including the latest industry statistics, best practices, survey examples, and more.
Let’s dive in!
What Is an Employee Satisfaction Survey?
An employee satisfaction survey is a commonly used tool to gauge employee satisfaction related to their work environment, company culture, and overall job experience.
This survey entails questions designed to provide insights into the specific factors driving employee satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
By analyzing the results from this career satisfaction survey, managers can identify the underlying issues impacting employee morale and take corrective measures to address them, thereby improving employee engagement, retention, and overall organizational performance.
Why Should You Conduct Employee Satisfaction Surveys?
Here are a few beneficial reasons why companies track employee satisfaction using surveys and why you should include them in your strategy:
Measures Level of Satisfaction
Employee satisfaction surveys are conducted to determine and measure the level of satisfaction among employees.
These surveys focus on collecting insights on various work-related issues, such as compensation, benefits, appraisals, policies, retention, politics, and other factors.
For instance, you can gauge how employees feel about their benefits and which ones they prefer.
Determines the Reason Behind Employee Turnover
Exit surveys provide valuable insights into the reasons behind employee departure and offer a glimpse into the organization’s work culture.
There are several reasons why an employee may want to leave the organization, and it’s important to understand these reasons to address them effectively. The chart below outlines some of the most common reasons for employee turnover:
Gives Insights Into Employee Sentiments
Employee satisfaction surveys can be an effective tool for you to gain insights into the sentiments of your employees.
By leveraging employee sentiments, you can uncover the thoughts and attitudes of your employees toward new changes in the workplace. This information can help you identify pre-existing problems within the organization.
Here’s a helpful read: Sentiment Analysis: Guide to Understanding Customer Emotions
Identify Roadblocks in the Workplace
Another way businesses leverage employee satisfaction surveys is to determine roadblocks in the workplace. When employees are able to voice their opinions about their challenges, they feel valued and heard, leading to a positive change in their satisfaction levels.
Studies have shown that even a small increase in employee happiness, say a single point on a 0-to-10 scale, can lead to around 3.36 additional weekly sales. That’s a 12% increase from a base of 25.
So, keeping your team happy and motivated is important to help them perform at their best.
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 employees who do not participate in 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, management also needs to be proactive in making organizational changes.
The 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.
These surveys help management devise practical training and development programs for the employees to overcome any weaknesses and influence growth.
Online LMS platforms like ProProfs Training Maker are great for streamlining your training process. The tool offers a library of professionally-designed courses on various topics, allowing you to quickly identify relevant training materials and personalize learning paths for each employee.
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 discard 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.
Recent research shows that 47% of people say they’re most likely to abandon a survey if it’s taking them too long to complete it.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule for how long a survey should be, an ideal employee survey should take at most 10-14 minutes of an employee’s time and should have anywhere between 5-10 questions.
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. 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 dissatisfied with the changes.
Add an NDA Agreement
Your employees are more likely to give honest feedback if you assure them that 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, enable you to collect anonymous employee feedback by default using survey links.
Make the Objective of the Surveys Clear
When employees understand the “why,” they feel more motivated to participate. This 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.
Communicate the Results
If you inform your staff about the results and actions you took 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.
Compare the data collected in past surveys 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 improve employee morale.
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
You can collect overall and contextual feedback using question branching. It allows you to show 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 they are not satisfied with the work benefits, you can lead them to a different question asking their 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 requirements.
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.
On the other hand, Qualitative data and open-ended questions 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 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.
Read More: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 as a reminder to those who didn’t respond the first time.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 it annually, you’ll understand where you’ve improved and what areas you need to improve.
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 is effective.
This approach allows for a comprehensive understanding of employee experiences while 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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