Employee satisfaction surveys

First published on Monday, Apr 03, 2023

Last updated on Monday, Jul 08, 2024

Employee satisfaction is an integral topic in today’s world of work. Employees content with their duties and responsibilities are more engaged and have better morale and productivity. For your business to be successful, your employees must be satisfied.

It can be challenging to get exact answers when asking employees questions about their satisfaction levels. They may give answers they think you want to hear but don't truly reflect their feelings. This could be because they fear repercussions for giving the wrong answer.

So, how can you, as an employer, get accurate information on whether your staff are content with their jobs? This is where employee satisfaction surveys come in.

What is an employee satisfaction survey?

Employee satisfaction surveys are a powerful way for employers to get unfiltered information on their employees’ opinions. It’s also helpful for learning about work life balance and other workplace issues.

A good survey is a valuable feedback tool to learn areas you can improve or keep working on. It’s also a useful way to promote employee satisfaction and retention.

Previously, employers would run employee satisfaction surveys once a year. However, employers are increasing the frequency of these surveys to get varied data at different points in employee’s lifecycles.

Why an employee satisfaction survey is important

It’s crucial to conduct employee surveys to learn your employees’ current level of satisfaction with your business. Employee satisfaction surveys are important because when employees have low job satisfaction, it negatively affects their work. Low productivity also affects the business's bottom line. Here’s why carrying out periodic employee satisfaction surveys is important.

Better productivity

Knowing whether your employees are satisfied helps employers learn ways to improve staff productivity. Engaged employees feel more valued and are more inclined to go above and beyond to complete their duties.

Improved work life balance

When staff enjoy their company culture, benefits and have a good work life balance, work feels less like work. It becomes something they genuinely enjoy. Employees who enjoy their work perform better and benefit the business more.

Enhanced employee retention

It highlights areas of concern for employees so you can manage them and change areas employees are dissatisfied with. This improves engagement and retention levels since employees are likelier to stay at a job where their feedback is appreciated.

Decreases turnover

Employee satisfaction surveys help to reduce turnover. A key part of making this work is implementing feedback from surveys in the workplace. Retaining employees means you keep their knowledge and expertise, helping your business perform better.

Promotes healthy workplace culture

A healthy work environment provides a place for employees to thrive and do their best work. Toxic work environments are bad for employee morale. It may result in employees taking out their frustrations on clients and customers, harming your business's reputation and customer loyalty.

Allows employees voice their opinions

Regular employee satisfaction surveys give employees a voice. It shows you care about their opinions and appreciate their input. It allows them to share their contributions to the business operations and growth plans. It also gives managers insights into staff perceptions of everything from company culture to benefits and compensation.

When should employers conduct employee satisfaction surveys

Most companies conduct employee satisfaction surveys annually or bi-annually. But sometimes, urgent situations may call for a quick customized survey to gain more insights into business activities.

Examples of these situations include the following:

  • Decreases in productivity.
  • A dip in business growth.
  • Growing complaints from employees.
  • Unexplained employee behavior.
  • Increased turnover.

Are employee satisfaction surveys anonymous?

Before running an employee satisfaction survey, employers must decide whether it will be attributed or anonymous. In an attributed survey, employers can see the identity of each employee on their surveys. With anonymous surveys, employers can’t see the identity of the employee.

One of the best ways to get honest and usable employee feedback is by running anonymous surveys. People are more likely to be honest when they know their answers won’t be traced back to them. It’ll allow them express genuine opinions without fear of repercussions instead of giving answers they feel you want to hear.

Before running your employee satisfaction survey, it’s important to tell employees if it will be anonymous. An anonymous survey will most likely put them at ease and improve the accuracy of their answers.

Do employee engagement surveys work

Employee satisfaction surveys can be very effective when done right. They give employers the feedback they need to enhance employee satisfaction and retention. Employee satisfaction is also vital to retention.

Using the answers employees give helps you get to the source of issues in the business. You’ll get information directly from the people who make the business work. This feedback can be constructive, making employees feel valued and driving organizational change.

Keeping your employees is better for your bottom line and much more affordable than constantly replacing talent. With proper surveys, you’ll get the information you need to keep your best staff engaged and motivated.

So, employee engagement surveys effectively boost employee satisfaction and engagement. This leads to better retention rates which is better for your business.

How to draft employee satisfaction survey questions

Many employers fumble on employee satisfaction survey questions. Poorly developed questions mean you won’t get the answers you need from your employees.

When your questions don’t properly communicate what you want to hear from employees, you get inaccurate answers. These answers will not show the true nature of employee satisfaction.

Tips on drafting questions for surveys for employee satisfaction the right way

Ask forthright questions

Each question should be straightforward and mention only one subject or idea, so you don’t confuse employees and get two-fold answers. Examples of employee satisfaction survey questions like this are - “are you satisfied with the type of work you do and the time allotted to each task?”

Questions should have one meaning

Each survey question should mean the same thing to every employee. Questions that invite personal opinions should be avoided or left open-ended.

Concise questions are better

Make your questions short, simple and to the point. Long questions can be unclear or tedious for employees to go through.

Stick with common terms

Don’t use jargon. Not all employees may be familiar with their meanings and may answer such questions the wrong way.

Don’t attempt to influence answers

Employee satisfaction survey questions shouldn’t be leading or appear to want a particular answer. They should be neutral.

Speak like a human

Phrase your questions to sound natural. Adopting a conversational tone will encourage more genuine answers.

Ask impactful questions

Don’t ask questions on things you can’t change, so employees don’t feel like their time was wasted. It’s better to focus on areas where you can use their feedback.

Avoid forcing answers

Make questions optional so employees can skip questions they can’t or don’t want to answer.

Conducting impactful employee satisfaction surveys with BrightHR

Employees who don’t feel valued or satisfied with their jobs have low company morale. Employees who feel understood, content and empowered in their roles have better retention rates. They’re also more likely to stay and grow with a business.

To avoid high turnover rates, keep employees with valuable skills and attract top talent by conducting frequent employee satisfaction surveys. They’ll help boost your company culture and provide direct valuable feedback from employees on business issues.

Successfully administering an impactful employee satisfaction survey can be challenging if you don’t have experience running one. Get answers to your questions on best practices for employee satisfaction and retention with BrightAdvice. Our highly trained HR experts are available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, to provide guidance on employment relations.

To learn more, book a demo or contact our support team at 1 888 220 4924

Lucy Cobb

Employment Law Specialist

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