What is an employee satisfaction survey?

An employee satisfaction survey is a questionnaire that measures the contentment level of personnel regarding the various components of their job. The purpose of the employee satisfaction survey is to provide actionable data to improve the employee experience. An employee satisfaction survey can include various answer types, such as checkbox, rating scales, and open-ended answers.

Why should HR leaders care about employee satisfaction surveys?

An employee satisfaction survey can provide valuable insights into how the organization can enhance the employee experience and nurture business growth. By strategically designing the survey, HR leaders can glean beneficial information to support:

What can HR leaders do to implement effective employee satisfaction surveys?

These practices can contribute to developing impactful employee satisfaction surveys:

  • Identify the ultimate goal of the survey. Each question should directly support the central objective. For example, to determine how to improve employee wellbeing and work-life balance, the survey can include questions such as, “How often do you feel stressed at work?” Or, “Do you feel your work promotes a healthy lifestyle?” Also, communicating the purpose of the survey to employees beforehand encourages personnel to answer each question carefully. Staff will probably provide more accurate, candid answers if they know they can influence the state of their work life. 
  • Determine frequency and length.  Generally, people tend to answer questions more thoroughly if they know there are fewer questions. If a company runs a routine monthly survey, employees will more likely have enough patience to read through and respond to 10 questions than 35 questions. 
  • Include strategic questions. Asking similar questions in each survey can expose trends in workforce satisfaction levels, providing applicable data for HR and data analysts. Moreover, using simple, straightforward wording in each question ensures that employees can fully understand and answer accurately. Including inquiries that the organization can realistically commit to addressing is essential, illustrating company credibility while contributing to employee engagement.   
  • Commit to confidentiality. To encourage employees to provide their honest opinions, the organization has to ensure employee anonymity. Bringing in a third-party service to run the survey establishes a standard of professionalism and confidentiality, so employees can feel comfortable and unthreatened sharing their opinions with their employer.
  • Analyze results and create an action plan. Separating the answers according to department, demographic, or employee tenure, for example, can help HR leaders discern crucial workforce patterns. An advanced HRIS software can accurately and efficiently analyze data, helping HR leaders examine the results. After collecting and analyzing the results, HR leaders should explain the results to the staff and develop an implementation plan. 

How can employee satisfaction surveys improve company culture?

Intentionally designed employee satisfaction surveys can assist employers in better understanding employee needs. Employees’ honest survey responses can provide valuable information that enables HR to improve the various elements of the employee experience. Ultimately, data from employee satisfaction surveys can nurture greater workforce happiness and healthier company culture.