Employee Satisfaction Surveys

First published on Monday, Apr 03, 2023

Last updated on Monday, Jul 08, 2024

As an employer, the happiness of your employees is key to running a successful business. So, it's important you find out how satisfied your employees are.

Conducting an employee satisfaction survey is a great way of getting honest feedback from them about how happy they are in their working life. Not doing so can lead you to losing your best staff.

In this guide, we'll discuss what an employee satisfaction survey is, why they're important, and what questions to include in yours.

What is an Employee Satisfaction Survey?

An employee satisfaction survey is a method of measuring employee satisfaction within the company. Also known as job satisfaction surveys, they are used by employers to gain valuable insight and constructive feedback regarding the company, culture and job.

Usually carried out by HR professionals, they should be used as a way to improve the overall employee experience within your company.

However, it's important that you understand the different types of employee satisfaction surveys available to you.

Different Types of Employee Surveys

There are three different types of employee surveys that you can provide to your staff, each unique to the others. It's important you become familiar with them so you select the correct one for your business.

Let's discuss each of them in more detail:

Standard Survey

A standard survey is made up of questions set into different categories. This is the most common form of survey used by employers.

360-Degree View

A 360-degree survey allows you to conduct a company-wide satisfaction survey. This form is more general than standard surveys, with questions regarding the company as a whole rather than specific management teams.

Pulse Survey

Pulse surveys are more simple and short than the previous two, however they can be more powerful. They are useful for quickly measuring the mood and morale of your employees.

Different Types of Answers

As well as there being different types of surveys to measure satisfaction, you can also use different answer types throughout.

Having the correct answer type is almost as important as asking the right question. Often scaled answers are more useful to you than a simple "yes or no".

The following are different ones that you can use in your survey:

  • Sliding scale.
  • Yes or no.
  • Multiple choice.
  • Dropdowns.

Elements Your Annual Employee Survey Should Cover

You may not be aware of all the elements that your survey should include. However, not all the elements need to be covered every time. Ensure you alter your survey to fit your company.

The following areas can be covered in each survey:

  • Workload and job responsibilities.
  • Communication.
  • Management (mentoring and support).
  • Employee recognition and appreciation.
  • Company culture.
  • Employee benefits and perks.

You can add new elements from one survey to the next, especially if you spot an issue that needs sorting. For example, an increase in absences.

When Should You Carry Out Employee Satisfaction Surveys?

There are no specific guidelines regarding how and when you should provide your employees with satisfaction surveys. However, companies typically choose to send out annual surveys to their staff.

But, you can offer them more frequently if you wish. For example, if you have noticed more employees are leaving your company - you can use a survey to try and get to the bottom of the issue.

You don't have to send an annual survey with loads of questions. Instead you can just send one or two to gain insight into a certain issue.

However, sending frequent surveys can lead to your employees suffering from survey fatigue.

Benefits of Measuring Employee Satisfaction

Job satisfaction surveys give your employees a chance to provide you with honest feedback about many areas of the business. So, you should never ignore the benefits that conducting employee satisfaction surveys bring.

Let's discuss them in more detail:

Helps to Identify Issues

Arguably the most important benefit of an employee satisfaction survey is that they help you to identify issues you weren't previously aware of.

For example, unsatisfied workers may create a toxic and negative workplace over time. This could lead to a decrease in employee morale and in your workplace culture.

But on the flip side, once you identify the issues - you can make changes to improve employee satisfaction.

Provides Honest Employee Feedback

Employee surveys are a fantastic way in allowing your staff to speak honestly and freely about your company. Receiving honest feedback can only be a good thing for your business.

You'll gain valuable insight into how your employees truly feel, whilst also giving your new ideas to help improve things. It's important to encourage your employees to be as honest as possible.

Helps Retain Your Best Staff

Carrying out employee satisfaction surveys are a great way of improving retention within your company. You may previously be unaware of why employees are choosing to find new employment, so a survey will aid you with that.

It may be a minor issue that you can fix quickly, or it may be a wider one that you need to invest time and money in. However, this will be worth it when you start to keep the best employees in your business.

Improves Productivity

These surveys aim to increase employee satisfaction and engagement. And the more engaged employees are, the more productive they'll be.

Once your employees see you're willing to make changes to your company as a whole, the more likely they'll start to become more productive.

You should constantly look at new ways to improve productivity, and an employee satisfaction survey is a good way of doing so.

Enhances Your Company Brand

Using satisfaction surveys correctly is a great way of improving your overall company brand. If your staff can see you're willing to make changes on the back of employee feedback, your reputation will be enhanced.

This will also help you to keep your best employees if you're being proactive about making changes.

Improves Your Decision Making

The answers you receive from the surveys can help with your decision making. Especially if it's regarding something you've been thinking about for a while.

For example, you may have previously discussed introducing a statutory right to request flexible working but were unsure if it's the right idea. However, some employees may have said they'd like the option so it helped you make a final decision.

Helps to Spot Any Training Requirements

The surveys can be used to help you find any gaps in your training programmes that need to be filled.

Improving your employees' skill set should be one of your top priorities, and the answers you get may help you create the best ones for your staff.

Helps to Improve Employee Engagement

Satisfaction surveys are an excellent way to help improve engagement in your company. It shows you care and value them not just as employees, but also as people.

You should never underestimate the importance of employee engagement. Engaged employees are more likely to see an increase in morale, productivity and quality of work.

Improves the Employer-Employee Relationship

Carrying out surveys will lead to you making changes to your company which will improve the relationship between both employer and employee.

If employees feel like you're willing to make changes on the back of their answers, the relationship between both parties will be improved.

Tips to Effectively Measure Employee Satisfaction

As an employer, it's vital you measure employee satisfaction effectively. You should try and make the most out of any opportunity you have.

So, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure you're doing everything you can to improve the situation.

Let's discuss them in more detail:

Ask all Employees to Complete a Survey

To get the most out of your surveys, you should ask all your employees to complete one.

However, you should reassure employees and team members that their answers are completely confidential. Making them aware of this will encourage them to be more honest and open in their feedback.

Don't Take the Answers Personally

Although you're looking for honest answers to the questions you ask, this doesn't mean you can act incorrectly. It's important you don't take the comments and answers personally, but as a way to improve your company moving forwards.

Don't take the honest responses as an attack on you or the business, instead take them as constructive criticism. These surveys are a great way to improve the working life and happiness of all your employees.

You should never decide to treat your employees differently because you disagree with their thoughts or with one of their answers. Doing so is unfair and will ruin the strong working relationship you have previously built.

Use the Survey Results Wisely

It's important you use the results and survey data wisely. There's no point sending the survey out to your employees if you aren't going to use the results to make changes to your business.

You should analyse all the answers you get. Try to spot any patterns that have formed, and act accordingly. Acting on the results could be the difference between employees staying and leaving the business.

Examples of Employee Satisfaction Survey Questions

When you're conducting a job satisfaction survey in your company, it's important to include questions on a range of subjects.

Remember, you need to get the most out of the surveys to properly make changes to how your company is run.

So it's important you become familiar with some example staff satisfaction survey questions that you can include in yours. Let's discuss the different areas you can cover in your survey:

Questions Related to Company Culture

It's important to ask questions in relation to your company's culture. Your culture and work environment plays an important part in employee happiness and satisfaction. Below are some questions you can ask regarding your company culture:

How Do You Find the Culture of the Company?

Finding out how your employees see your company culture is vital. It plays a massive part in the overall happiness of the people who work for you.

If the answer to this question is negative, you need to work to put it right. Creating a positive work environment for your employees is key to them feeling happy and satisfied in their job.

How Open Are We to Change?

This is an important question because if employees feel that you're adaptable and willing to make changes, they'll believe you're a proactive and dynamic employer.

You should be willing to make changes to the company on the back of employee suggestions. You don't need to make a raft of changes, however a couple can go a long way.

How is Your Work-Life Balance?

Work-life balance is a key aspect of employee satisfaction. The better the work-life balance, the more satisfied employees are in your company.

This question should be included in each employee satisfaction survey you provide to your employees. Having a bad work-life balance doesn't just affect an employee's job but it can affect both their personal life and health.

Questions Related to Management

As an employer, your management and leadership team have a responsibility to ensure the satisfaction and happiness of your employees. So it's important you include questions regarding your management within your employee satisfaction survey.

Let's discuss some of the questions you can ask in more detail:

Do You Feel Management Communicate Effectively?

Communication is key to the success of any company. You should be able to trust that your management team is communicating effectively with their employees.

This question will help make you aware of any problems in communication from management that you weren't previously aware of.

Do You Feel Managers Value Your Feedback?

It's important both you and your managers listen and take on board any feedback you get fromyour employees. Responding to feedback will make employees feel valued by the company and will only strengthen their opinions of you and your company.

Your managers shouldn't take any feedback the wrong way and act unprofessionally. It should always be seen as constructive and a way to improve your company as a whole.

Questions Related to the Job

You can't truly measure employee satisfaction if you don't have some questions in your survey surrounding an employee's job. You need to find out how they feel about their job, their daily responsibilities and how they manage their workload.

Below are a few questions you can ask about this subject:

Are You Happy in Your Job?

This question is vitally important to the outcome of the employee survey. At the end of the day, your employees spend a lot of their life at work carrying out their job - so you need to find out if they're happy and satisfied whilst doing so.

How Do You Find Career Development in the Company?

It's important you help your employees with their professional and personal growth during their time with you.

The answers to this question will make you aware of any gaps in your employee development that need to be plugged. Developing your employees' skills leads to many benefits, such as an increase in output, quality of work and workplace culture.

Not supporting career growth can lead to employees seeking a new job.

Do You Feel the Job Responsibilities Are Clearly Explained?

Your employees should know what their daily, weekly and monthly responsibilities are - and a survey is a great way of finding this out.

It will make you aware if they're unsure of their responsibilities and tasks. As well as giving you the opportunity to communicate with them if needed.

Do You Have All the Resources Required to Do Your Job?

Including this question in your survey is a no-brainer. You may assume thatk all your employees have the correct resources available to progress and do their job.

The answer to this question will allow you to provide any resources to your employees that they need.

Do You Feel Valued in the Company?

This question is an important measure of how your employees perceive the business. An employee who feels like they're valued by management and the company is more likely to show pride in working for you.

You should make sure all your employees feel valued by both you and their line manager.

Questions Related to Compensation and Benefits

Pay and benefits are one of the most common reasons why employees choose to find new employment. So finding out your employees' thoughts about this subject is a crucial part of conducting a survey.

Below are some questions you can include:

Do You Find the Package We Offer Competitive?

Offering the correct pay and benefits package can go a long way in improving employee motivation.

You should never ignore the importance of this question when going through the results.

Do You Feel the Pay is Enough?

Although most employees may answer no to this question, it still makes up a vital part of your survey. On the back of the answers, you should carry out industry research to see if you are paying your employees enough.

If it turns out you're not paying them correctly, then make a change to ensure you are.

What Would You Change About the Current Package?

You may have had your current reward package in place for a while. So ask your employees what could make it better.

For example, some employees may feel it's beneficial to add wellness programs within the compensation package. Focusing on your employees' wellbeing is a great way to improve satisfaction.

Get Advice on Employee Satisfaction Surveys with BrightHR

When running a business, it's important your employees remain happy and satisfied whilst at work. Conducting an employee satisfaction survey is a great way of measuring how satisfied they are.

Not doing so can lead to higher employee turnover, extra hiring costs and a toxic workplace culture. So it's important you measure satisfaction when you can.

If you need any advice on what questions to ask, we are on hand to help. Our BrightAdvice helpline is the best place to get any advice you need. Give our friendly and helpful team a call on 0800 783 2806.

Lucy Cobb

Employment Law Specialist

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