Employee satisfaction is critical to the long-term success of your company. The happier your employees are, the harder they’ll work and the longer they’ll stick with their jobs. If you’ve never had to measure employee satisfaction before, you might be wondering where to start.
The simple answer is employee surveys.
A good employee satisfaction survey can give you a comprehensive review of what your company is doing right and what it needs to improve. Employee surveys are typically anonymous, so you’ll get more open and honest feedback than asking your team members directly.
When you’re evaluating the happiness of your employees, it’s best to take several approaches to ensure you won’t miss anything. We’ll discuss a few strategies to measure employee satisfaction besides surveys.
Once you gather feedback, you can start the real work. Managers use data from employee satisfaction surveys to determine how the company can improve employee satisfaction and, ultimately, become more successful.
The importance of measuring employee satisfaction
The best employees are happy employees. Measuring employee satisfaction will give you an idea of how many of your team members are satisfied with their job, but it also has a range of benefits if you act on the results.
Focusing on improving the fulfillment of your employees will benefit these critical aspects of business success:
Satisfied employees don’t usually leave their jobs. By using various tools for measuring employee satisfaction, it will shed light on how many discouraged team members you might have, and give you an idea on how many are at risk of leaving.
Knowing that your company has low employee satisfaction should motivate you to make improvements to hang on to your talent.
High satisfaction among your team members reflects positively on your company’s image. We're experiencing a job seekers' market where skilled applicants have the advantage of carefully selecting their next professional opportunity, and if they see that your team members love their jobs, they’ll be more likely to want to work at your organization.
If someone is unhappy with their job, they might feel discouraged at the idea of heading into the office. A stressed workforce might lead to an uncomfortable work environment, so by monitoring employee satisfaction you can address the situation before it worsens.
Employee satisfaction relates closely to employee engagement: happy employees are more likely to care about the company’s success, and they’ll work harder to achieve its goals.
According to Gallup’s 2021 State of the Global Workplace survey, only 20% of employees are engaged at work. The survey found that businesses with higher employee engagement had higher productivity and lower turnover, among other positive outcomes.
Feedback is essential for your company's growth. If most (or all) of your team works remotely, you’ve probably realized that you miss out on impromptu comments from chatting with your coworkers face to face.
You’ll gain valuable insight when you measure employee satisfaction with surveys and discussions with your team members. When replies are anonymous, as they usually are with surveys, you’re more likely to receive genuine answers.
How to measure employee satisfaction
Whether it’s through detailed surveys, simple pulse surveys, meetings, or other feedback channels, the best way to measure employee satisfaction is by asking questions. You’ll only know how your employees are feeling if you give them the opportunity to express themselves.
Some people feel more comfortable discussing their thoughts in person, and others prefer to write their opinions anonymously. Having more than one way of measuring employee satisfaction will ensure that you capture a representative picture of your team’s happiness.
Let's dive in to several strategies for evaluating employees satisfaction.
Employee satisfaction surveys
There’s a saying, “Don’t miss the forest for the trees.” In other words, don’t focus so much on the details that you miss the bigger picture. However, taking a closer look at the proverbial trees can help you examine a problem from different angles.
Employee satisfaction surveys can give you an in-depth look at how your team feels about different work-related issues. Whether it’s an annual survey on benefits or a biweekly questionnaire on employee engagement, asking your employees questions regularly keeps your finger on the pulse of your team’s happiness at work.
Common topics include:
- Company culture
- Job satisfaction
- Career development
A good survey will be focused, easy to comprehend, and short enough that your employees can complete it without taking too much time out of their day. It’s essential to ask the right questions in an employee satisfaction survey so you don't miss the details that matter.
Officevibe’s pulse survey tool is used by thousands of managers every day to gauge their teams’ engagement within their organization. The questions provide quick, easy-to-read results that you can use to make the right decisions for your company.
Employee net promoter score (eNPS)
The employee net promoter score is an excellent tool for looking at your company’s overall employee satisfaction. To calculate your score, you need to ask one simple question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend [company name] as a place to work?”
Using the results, you’ll sort your employees into three groups:
- Promoters (answered 9 or 10)
- Neutral (answered 7 or 8)
- Detractors (answered 0 through 6)
Promoters are your company’s cheerleaders; they love their job and will tell everyone about it! They’ll be an excellent resource for finding new hires and getting positive feedback.
Neutral employees probably feel this about your company: meh. They probably aren’t going to sing its praises, but it’s unlikely they will talk badly about it, either. You have the opportunity to turn them into promoters by asking them how the company can improve and then acting on it.
Detractors are likely not satisfied with their jobs. These employees might leave the company or hurt office morale with their negative attitude. It might not sound good, but they’re valuable for improving employee satisfaction. If they’re unhappy with the job, they’re probably full of ideas for how to improve it.
Now that you know how to group your employees based on the survey question results, it’s time to calculate your eNPS. Simply subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. You’ll get a number between -100 and 100.
A positive score is a good score, even if you get a 10. If your score is negative, you’ll know to start working hard to find ways to improve employee satisfaction.
Employee satisfaction index (ESI)
The employee satisfaction index measures your team’s satisfaction with their workplace. You can calculate it using values from your employees’ responses to the following questions:
- How satisfied are you with your job? (On a scale of 1-10)
- How well does your job meet your expectations? (On a scale of 1-10)
- How close is your workplace to your ideal job? (On a scale of 1-10)
You can adjust these questions to evaluate employee satisfaction with specific topics like work environment and salary.
The formula to find the ESI is:
ESI = (question mean value/3) x 100
The result is your ESI, a number between 1 and 100. A higher number means greater employee satisfaction. The score itself doesn’t explain the data, but combining it with a detailed survey can provide deeper insight.
While anonymous surveys are great for getting honest feedback, one-on-one conversations with your team members are vital for connecting with your employees. Rather than looking at the company as a whole, a one-on-one meeting brings you closer to understanding an individual’s job satisfaction.
Data from Officevibe pulse surveys reveal that 32% of employees must wait over three months for feedback from their manager.
Meeting with your employees regularly is vital for making them feel seen and heard in the workplace. Even if the meeting is less than 30 minutes every few weeks, it can give your team members the chance to voice their issues and concerns directly.
Whether it’s a physical box or a virtual one, allowing your team members to give anonymous feedback through a suggestion box will provide you with a simple overview of problems that might be less obvious to you.
Employee surveys are generally about a specific topic and get sent out infrequently, meaning you’re getting good information, but only when you ask for it. Suggestion boxes allow your team to give feedback about something as soon as they think of it, and doesn’t limit them to a specific topic.
The amount of positive versus negative suggestions you find in the box will help you measure employee satisfaction. It’ll also provide you with an opportunity for an immediate boost to employee morale by acting on their suggestions.
Indirect indicators of employee satisfaction
You can find indicators of employee satisfaction without asking your team members directly through meetings or surveys. Quantitative data like your company’s absenteeism rate and employee turnover rate can serve as employee satisfaction metrics. A satisfied employee will make an effort to be at work every day, and they presumably won’t consider leaving for a different job.
Perusing online company ratings on sites like Glassdoor can also reveal valuable insights into the employee experience at your company. A business with high employee satisfaction will have high ratings and glowing reviews from former employees.
Ways to improve employee satisfaction
It’s time to look at why you’ve spent all this time gathering data: improving employee satisfaction.
Good business leaders want their employees to be happy working at their company, partly because it significantly affects their success. High satisfaction leads to higher engagement, which means better team performance.
Improving employee satisfaction means more than just higher salaries or better benefits; it means using employee satisfaction metrics to analyze how your company’s decisions affect the happiness of your employees.
Let’s go over some of the ways you can use employee satisfaction data to help your team members thrive at work.
Act on employee satisfaction survey results
Employee satisfaction survey statistics showed that 27% of managers never reviewed the results, and 52% of managers reviewed them but took no action.
Gathering data is only helpful if you use the feedback to make informed decisions that improve employee satisfaction.
Good managers will study the survey results and compare them to past surveys to spot trends in employee satisfaction levels. They’ll keep track of which of the company’s decisions affected satisfaction and take that data into account in the future. A solid record of qualitative and quantitative data will help you create a well-informed action plan.
Company culture is the personality of your organization. If you work on presenting an engaging personality, people will want to work with you.
Your company’s culture and work environment are clear indicators of employee satisfaction. You’ll find that satisfied employees form strong work relationships with their colleagues, and positive relationships lead to decreased employee turnover, increased productivity, and happier team members.
Good company culture will also attract new employees, giving you the opportunity to further attract dedicated likeminded individuals.
Rule one of team-building activities is to not call them team-building activities. Your employees are likely to groan at the thought of team activities if they've had disappointing experiences with generic and underwhelming icebreakers. Your team is more likely to get excited if you frame the activity as an excursion from the office, especially during the 9 to 5.
Informal, low-pressure activities can build camaraderie and open communication among teams. Following up with a survey after the event will help you determine which activities help your team members the most.
Give employee feedback
According to Officevibe pulse survey data, 96% of employees think receiving feedback regularly is a good thing, and 86% appreciate feedback, whether positive or negative.
Most people want to know how they’re performing at their job. If you give your employees feedback regularly, you’re giving them a constant source of motivation and encouragement.
One-on-one meetings are a great way to give feedback. They allow your team members to voice their opinions about how they feel they’re doing and talk about how satisfied they are with the company.
Recognize and reward employees
You would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t glow when they receive praise. Recognizing your employees when they do something well not only makes the individual happy but also boosts the morale of all your employees. Making recognition and rewards a part of your company’s culture will ensure that your employees feel valued at work.
Prioritize professional development and growth
Creating career opportunities for your employees to develop their skills and grow in the company will prevent them from feeling stagnant in their job. You can offer additional training or reimbursement for outside classes, which will show your team members that you care enough to invest in their careers.
You can assess your employees’ feelings about their careers with regular surveys, allowing you to prevent burnout before it happens. A clear path forward will keep your employees engaged and motivated.
The relationship between employee satisfaction and employee engagement
The terms employee satisfaction and employee engagement seem interchangeable, but they have separate meanings. Satisfied employees can have low engagement, but engaged employees will rarely be unsatisfied with their job.
Employee satisfaction is how happy your team members are, specifically whether they feel fulfilled at work. Satisfied employees are more likely to perform better and champion your company’s mission.
You can think of employee satisfaction as one aspect of employee engagement, but the term also encompasses the employee’s attachment to their job, their coworkers, and their company. High employee engagement means higher productivity, decreased employee turnover, and better team performance.
Start measuring and improving employee satisfaction
Now that you know how to measure employee satisfaction, you can use tools you’ve found to gauge your team members’ feelings about their job and make improvements as needed.
Officevibe provides an easy-to-use platform for monitoring the engagement of your team members. You can receive real-time feedback from your employees, giving you regular insights into their thoughts and feelings. Officevibe’s science-driven surveys result in meaningful reports that are easy to understand and share across the organization.
Your employees will appreciate your effort to make their lives better at work.