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Getting the Most from Employee Satisfaction Surveys

May 4, 2017

employee satisfaction survey

Employee satisfaction survey tools may come with various guarantees but, no matter how much you spend on a satisfaction survey tool, getting positive results from one of these tools has as much to do with you, as it does with the program.

Ultimately, if you don’t do anything with the data you’re getting from employee satisfaction surveys, you aren’t getting the most from your investment.

Employee satisfaction surveys can be valuable for several reasons:

  1. Surveys make employees feel like their employer cares about how they feel, promoting retention, engagement, and enjoyment of work.
  2. Surveys make employees feel like their employer is accountable to them, promoting retention, engagement, and enjoyment of work.
  3. Surveys warn employers about upcoming flight risks for valuable employees.
  4. Surveys can identify managers and employees who have a negative effect on their co-workers.
  5. Employees may choose to air their grievances in the form of a negative survey, instead of a negative review of your company online.

Some of these benefits come with just providing employees with a non-clunky employee satisfaction survey to take. Other benefits, can only be achieved by acting on the data your employees are generating with these satisfaction surveys. Essentially, if none of the issues raised by employees in their satisfaction surveys are addressed, then their faith and engagement in this exercise will disappear and provide you with few or none of the benefits listed above.

Choosing the right Employee Satisfaction Survey Tool

Unless you are a diehard fan of paper surveys, you’ll need to use a tool for measuring the satisfaction of your employees. When selecting this tool, it’s just as important to choose one that meets the needs of your employees as well as it meets the strategic needs of your department or organization.

There are plenty of options out there for employee satisfaction tools, and an online search will bring you both free and paid options. SurveyMonkey has both free and paid versions and offers employee satisfaction and other surveys that are easy to send out through your company email and fun to fill out.

Some good paid options for employee satisfaction surveys are Quantum Workplace and Workplace Dynamics, which offer a variety of other surveys and employee engagement tools.

Whichever employee satisfactions survey tool you choose, this quick checklist will help you hone in on tools that are right for your company:

Features- Before you buy, make sure that your survey tool has the features you need for distribution of surveys, data tracking/analysis and survey customization. Whether you want to promote engagement or track a specific data point, only choose tools that have the right features for your needs, even if this means opting for the paid version. No matter what features you have or how fun the survey interface is, however, what will really engage employees is seeing their satisfaction and suggestions taken seriously.

Employee Experience- If your employees don’t enjoy the experience of taking a survey, you should invest in a different tool. Using an employee satisfaction survey that annoys your employees is counter-productive and their frustration while taking the test may even bleed into their responses. Get some of your employees to try out a trial version of the satisfaction survey tool, so you can be sure it will be a good fit for your needs. 

When to Act on Employee Satisfaction Survey Data

Measuring employee satisfaction during formal meetings like performance reviews can put pressure on employees to answer that they are completely satisfied. When taking a satisfaction survey at their leisure, however, employees are free to answer truthfully, and reveal the workplace issues that may be decreasing their job satisfaction.

You should always take the responses of employees seriously, as there’s no use using the tool if you don’t use the data you’re getting. You won’t be able to respond to everyone’s desires, but you should always take action when you start seeing trends in the data.

Take action if:

  • You see a trend of requests for a specific policy change.
  • An official policy is causing an employee to feel discriminated against or singled out.
  • An employee is having trouble seeing their future at your company or losing hope that this future will be fulfilling.
  • An individual or group is causing employees distress, annoyance or otherwise negatively impacting their work experience.
  • An employee uses the survey software to disclose an incident of harassment or another incident that may have legal ramifications.
  • An employee is exhibiting signs of mental instability such as depression or extreme anger for a co-worker.

These are common negative scenarios, but when you get positive praise in your employee satisfaction surveys, it’s important to share this fact with the world. If a high percentage of your employees say they’re engaged or happy at work or you can get some of your praise-singing employees on the record, this can be a huge draw to top talent.

No matter what your employees are saying, just be sure that you’re listening. As long as the survey tool you’re using isn’t clunky for your employees and you use the feedback you’re getting, your employee satisfaction surveys will help to promote retention and identify workplace issues that detract from the experience of your employees. 

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Founder and CEO of SkillGigs A consummate innovator, Kashif is the brains behind SkillGigs. Kashif caught the entrepreneurial bug at age 10 while visiting his father’s manufacturing facility. He developed a love for programming after writing his first lines of code at age 11 and founded his first company, an IT consulting firm at age 25 which he bootstrapped to profitability within its first year. After exiting that venture, he started three additional companies, IQTech Pros, the world's largest full service IT integration network with over 30,000 members, NursesPro, a travel nurse staffing company servicing some of the largest hospital systems in the US and TAMH a holding and investment company which he took public in the UK. Beyond growth hacking his way to success, Kashif enjoys traveling the world and is an acclaimed songwriter.
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