Measuring Employee Satisfaction

Provided by Carole Bates of Premier Performance  


High performance workplaces regularly monitor employee satisfaction and invest time in projects to improve satisfaction levels.  Research shows that higher employee satisfaction impacts positively on customer satisfaction, commitment, productivity and retention.


Satisfaction Surveys

Employee satisfaction is often measured by anonymous surveys administered periodically to gauge employee satisfaction in areas such as:

  • Management
  • Understanding of mission and vision
  • Performance and feedback
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Rewards and recognition

The factors that drive employee satisfaction will vary from company to company, so a well-designed questionnaire will cover all areas of the employment relationship that could impact on satisfaction levels.  The goal is clearly to identify what is working well and areas for improvement.  Regular re-evaluation of satisfaction levels is important to monitor improvements and identify any new problems that may have arisen since the last survey.

Focus Groups

Depending on the size and culture of the company, meeting with small groups of employees and asking the same questions verbally can be an effective way of measuring satisfaction.

Exit Interviews

You have a good opportunity when staff resign to capture meaningful feedback about the reasons for turnover and possible areas of employee dissatisfaction.  Sometimes people will talk more openly and honestly about aspects of the company that they don't like when they're about to leave.

Making Improvements

You should be aware before you embark on an employee satisfaction survey that you must be committed to taking action to address any areas for improvement.  Asking staff for their feedback and failing to follow up can actually have and adverse effect on satisfaction levels. 

The results of the survey should be communicated quickly and effectively.  The best approach to satisfaction improvement projects is to involve staff representatives.  You will get greater buy in to changes if you take a consultative approach.  Management should track progress and communicate implementation successes. 

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