Employee satisfaction can be described as the extent to which employees are happy with their jobs and content with the work environment. It plays a big role in the employee morale levels in your organisation and overall productivity.
Given the fact that happy employees outperform those who are not, employers should look to interventions that increase employee satisfaction. These include; recognizing and rewarding top performers, improved job perks, offering competitive wages and opportunities for growth.
To measure employee satisfaction and check the impact of said interventions, employers can conduct employee satisfaction surveys. Below we discuss more reasons to conduct these surveys.
To get insights into sentiment
A customer satisfaction survey will let management know how employees are feeling. Sentiment analysis will reveal thoughts and attitudes to recent changes in the company and also help in uncovering existing problems.
A lot of stock is being put into sentiment, with some companies developing software to help companies measure it. It can help to show how employees feel about decisions and help management make choices that will be more aligned to employee and business needs.
Give employees a voice
There is a real fear of expressing negative views to a boss. Employees often have to think about the pros and cons of telling a boss something she or he may not want to hear. When the cons outweigh the pros, then that feedback will most likely not get to the boss.
But when companies conduct employee satisfaction surveys, they give a platform for their staff to speak up safely in an honest and yet confidential way.
Reduce staff turnover
One of the most important reasons to conduct employee satisfaction surveys it to retain staff for longer. Companies invest a lot in employees, right from recruitment to training. So losing them is a cost; financially and time wise. Efficiency and productivity can also take a hit when skilled labour leaves.
Through a survey, management will learn what staff considers their biggest pains in the workplace and what can be done to eliminate them and keep staff from leaving. It is no secret that retaining staff is cheaper than hiring new people.
Helps predict future turnover
Results from a survey will give management an understanding of what will trigger the exit of their staff. It will also seek to understand their future plans. Management will be able to learn if more employees see themselves in the organisation long term or if they are in it for the next few months.
According to an article on the Harvard Business review by Scott Judd, head of people analytics at Facebook, even not filling out the survey was a predictor for an employee who would leave the organisation in the near future. A well-crafted survey will prompt employees to share what management could do to make them change their minds.
Focus on organisational growth
When companies conduct employee satisfaction surveys, they are able to get information that will direct organisational growth. This information will let you know if your leadership model is working for your teams, if employees have the right tools to succeed, if the company culture is healthy and how you can make it better to get the best results from employees and so much more.
Results from employee satisfaction surveys can also help companies make comparisons between different departments, observe trends and double up on measures that work while phasing out those that do not.
Encourage behaviour change
When leaders get feedback from their teams on some of their methods, they are more likely to change and adopt methods that work for the people they lead. The behaviour change can also come up if practices or leadership styles are different across departments.
The survey might show that one department performs better than another because of the leadership style and that its adoption across the board will have better organisation wide results. This was the case with the 1990 GTE survey.
Increase employee engagement
An engaged employee is one who is deeply invested and involved in their work. When employees are engaged, they stay at jobs longer and are more productive. They will refer clients, exceed goals and innovate ways to make the workplace and the organisations product better. To measure and increase employee engagement, companies should conduct employee satisfaction surveys.
In the survey, management will be able to find out if the measures in place to increase employee satisfaction are working. These will typically be steps like increasing advancement opportunities and recognition and increasing pay. A satisfaction survey will show if they are working and to what extent and also, if there are more effective ways to increase engagement.
Encourage individual reflection
When companies conduct employee satisfaction surveys, they give their staff a moment to pause and reflect on their work, what they are happy about, what they could do to make it better, what management could do to make it better.
A paper titled Learning by thinking emphasizes the importance of reflection in improving performance.
How to effectively conduct effective employee satisfaction surveys
It’s not just a haphazard process. Companies can follow a few tips to increase staff participation and get the best results out of their surveys:
Communicate to the employees that the surveys will be anonymous and ensure that this is the case. This will give employees the confidence to respond honestly.
Send reminders about the survey and encourage staff to participate.
Keep the surveys short. This way, you will receive complete responses and employees will not look at them as inconveniences.
Be transparent and announce the results of the surveys. Follow that up by acting on the feedback you receive. This will show employees that there is a benefit in answering the survey.
In order to be able to actually gauge satisfaction to see if it is improving or deteriorating, conduct employee satisfaction surveys periodically.
There are numerous reasons to conduct employee satisfaction surveys, but they all lead to better output in the organisation.
The success of your surveys however, will depend on the structure and content and on frequent administration. Businesses can only gain certain insights by doing the survey more than once.