When was the last time you thought about employee satisfaction?
If you have a solid team that regularly produces high-quality work, you may take for granted that leadership still needs to make an effort to ensure workplace happiness. One of the top ways to get honest feedback from employees is to keep it anonymous.
“Most employees are afraid they'll be reprimanded or put on watch if they voice their opinions, so they tend to lie,” says Christa Reed, head of job market research at JobSearcher, a job search website. “But an anonymous survey protects their identities, so they're more open to being honest.”
Below, learn more about conducting employee satisfaction surveys, the right questions to ask, and expert insight on ways to get valuable feedback.
Smart Tips to Conduct Your Employee Surveys
Surveys are one activity that most people don’t want to do when prompted. Most people forget to do them or don’t feel incentivized enough to respond. Before pulling together resources to conduct a survey, consider ways to make it a more valuable experience for both parties.
For more powerful feedback, consider these tips:
- Conduct surveys regularly - This will give employees multiple opportunities to weigh in. It also allows new employees to offer their insights, too.
- Offer a variety of format options - Whether you send an anonymous survey via SurveyMonkey, leave a comment box in the breakroom, or conduct in-depth surveys or interviews from an outside firm, multiple options are available and should be used.
- Provide an incentive - Employees can be motivated to take surveys if given the proper incentive. Ask them in a meeting how they would like to be incentivized to take a survey that helps the company. It can be as easy as getting a $25 Amazon gift card or as exciting as half a day off of work after an in-depth survey is completed.
- Slowly incorporate change - For any feedback that is incorporated, slow and steady are key. That way leadership can see what’s working and employees can also note that suggestions are being taken seriously.
Lastly, consider skipping on a 1-10 points scale of satisfaction type of survey. Instead, provide open-ended questions and ask employees for their specific suggestions on what the company should start or stop doing. This provides more detailed and actionable feedback for leadership.
Expert Advice for Successful Employee Satisfaction Surveys
Do you know if your employees are happy at work?
Before you put together surveys for workers to take, it’s important to think about how your workplace operates. Do you believe that empowering your employees can make even the most mundane job exciting? Do you know why the last three people quit your company? Understanding those answers can help you formulate solid surveys.
We also reached out to other entrepreneurs, leaders, and CEOs to gather their wisdom on how to tackle these types of surveys with ease.
Here’s what they had to say:
Offer a Balanced Employee Satisfaction Survey Approach
“We run a short satisfaction survey once a month. It’s a balanced approach ensuring regular insight into employee satisfaction without consuming too much of their time. Also, every three months, we do a longer survey that goes into more detail about specific areas of employee satisfaction, including work equipment and feelings of appreciation. It’s the perfect sum-up of our HR goals for that quarter.”
— Karolina Kijowska, the Head of People at PhotoAiD
Consider a Regular Survey Schedule
“Companies should conduct employee satisfaction surveys on a quarterly basis. Businesses change with the seasons, and the employee experience can shift with those changes in the business. Your survey questions should veer from being black-and-white, and should rather be open-ended, giving your employees room to expand on their thoughts and feelings and using verbiage that will allow them to feel comfortable sharing those thoughts and feelings.”
— Brad Hall, Co-Founder and CEO of SONU Sleep
Try a Focus Group Setting
“Regularly holding focus groups or one-on-one meetings with employees can provide a platform for more in-depth discussions and allow for more specific feedback to be gathered. It's also important to make sure that the feedback is being acted upon and that employees can see the results of their feedback in action.”
— Rafael Veloz, Entrepreneur and Founder of Share It Studio
Use Survey Forms To Gauge Remote Employee Satisfaction
“Survey forms help me gauge the satisfaction levels of my remote employees. Because I want employee surveys to be private, personal, and genuine, I create survey forms with a combination of closed-ended and open-ended questions, alongside employee ratings, to explore the feelings and thoughts of my team members.
Here are some examples:
- What things can you suggest to improve your morale and productivity in the workplace?
- How do you describe using the latest tool in performing your tasks?
- Why do you stay working with us?
- Do you feel your efforts are appreciated by the company?
Face-to-face virtual or in-person communication can be difficult when you’re managing a remote team. With survey forms, remote employees can express themselves better because they have the option to remain anonymous. Without divulging who they are, I obtain more honest answers, helping me determine the gaps, problems, and corresponding potential solutions.”
— Simon Bacher, CEO and Co-founder of the Ling App
Take Time to Review the Feedback
“It's critical to evaluate the feedback you get in order to ascertain the significance of the problem, its urgency, an approximate estimate of the time and resources required to solve it, and the outcomes of altering whatever has been raised. Once you've created a preliminary priority list, you'll also need to compare it to your personal management objectives and the objectives of the entire company.”
— Min Tom, the CEO, and Founder of Happy Hong Konger
Share the Outcomes of the Input
“You must let your employees know exactly what was done in response to their comments, regardless of what occurs as a consequence. Regardless of whether your response to their suggestions leads to action or not, you should at least recognize that you did so and that they didn't waste their time. Even though you might not always have the time, money, or good reason to act on the feedback your team gives you, by demonstrating that you are paying attention to and evaluating their feedback, they will know that even if not every issue is resolved, you have heard them and have considered what to do about it.”
— Eleanor Fletcher, CEO and Founder of The Best Brisbane
15 Pressing Questions to Ask on Employee Satisfaction Surveys
The best way to get validation for the way your leadership proceeds with policies and procedures is to ask your employees their thoughts. Doing so anonymously will offer the best and most honest insight. Now that you know how to conduct them and what to do with the details, it’s time to create your own survey to bring to your workers!
Questions to consider:
- How happy are you with the current workplace culture?
- How can the workplace setting be improved upon?
- Do you feel connected to your colleagues? Why or why not?
- Do you feel managers value your feedback? Why or why not?
- Do you feel valued for your workplace contributions? Why or why not?
- Do you believe work is distributed evenly across your department or team?
- How transparent do you believe management is on a regular basis?
- Do you feel you are growing professionally?
- What are the top three things you value in the workplace?
- What changes could make you more satisfied with your position?
- Do you feel you have a satisfying work-life balance? Why or why not?
- Do you have all the resources necessary to succeed in your position?
- What do you enjoy most about working for our company?
- What stresses you out when you are at work?
- Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years in this company?
Even if your company thrives and your team gets along, there is always room for improvement. This is especially true in an era where employees are demanding more from their employers. Not everyone will be 100% satisfied, but if the majority of your team is, you’re doing something right.
How often does your company conduct employee or job satisfaction surveys? Why did you select that particular cadence? Share your thoughts down below!