Employee Satisfaction Surveys: Measuring Employee Engagement

Do you know what your employees really think of their workplace? 
Have you asked them lately? If not, then now’s the time….and an Employee Satisfaction Survey is a great way to find out.

15 May 2018 • Written by Marion King

What you can find out from Employee Satisfaction Surveys: 

Unlocking the key

You can measure employee morale by asking questions about the culture, their manager’s performance, work/life balance opportunities, health benefits, wellness programs, reward and recognition policies and career development, to name a few. Your first survey can be broad in scope, then once your employees have told you where they think the major problems are, you can bore down deeper. An in-depth questionnaire on, for example, what they value in learning and development opportunities will give you a clear action-plan. They’ve already done the planning phase for you, how good is that? 

What’s in it for you

According to staffing agency Kelly Services’ annual survey covering 120,000 respondents globally, a staggering 48 percent of employees are unhappy in their current jobs, up from 47 percent the previous year.


The Hospitality Industry is known to have a major problem with retention rates. According to the TNS Consulting team, only 63% of hospitality employees and 57% of restaurant employees specifically reported an intention to work for their employer in the next year compared to 67% for employees in all industries. Employee Satisfaction Surveys could be seen as a high priority in this industry, as a first step to improving these statistics.

There are many advantages to conducting regular employee satisfaction surveys. They give you valuable insights into the state of your business. These are the people who know from the inside, how your business is performing. They’re dealing directly with your customers, so they hear first-hand what it looks like from their perspective too. Sure, there are other ways of determining the health of your business, but this one, if done well, will give you honest and productive ideas on how to grow and prosper.

If you don’t know what employees think of the company culture, chances are you are just motoring along, rather than capitalising on your talent to boost productivity. Chances are too, that employees may be leaving, perhaps looking for a better fit, because they feel undervalued and not recognised for their contributions.

According to the Australian Institute of Management National Salary Survey in 2016, 81% of employees left because they were seeking a new challenge and 44.4% of staff left because of insufficient financial reward. They will stay if they have a challenging work environment, good learning and development opportunities, appropriate financial reward and great people to work with. 

Employee engagement. The costs if you don’t make it your priority

Employee Engagement Graph

It’s estimated that it costs an organisation 

around 18 months’ salary for each person

 who leaves, often a lot more, to re-employ. 

There’s the job advertisements, the short-listing, the interviews, the referee checks, the on-boarding program; all very time-consuming, not to mention the decrease in productivity and frequently the loss of morale.

This adds up to a very convincing argument for finding out what employees really want, so you can retain your best talent and they in turn, can then help you to grow your business. 

Here are my guidelines for developing and delivering Employee Satisfaction Surveys, so you get the best and most accurate results:

Ensure commitment by managers. You will need their buy-in from the beginning, to ensure successful implementation of findings.

Give a trusted manager the responsibility of administration, analysis and follow-up.

Explain at the outset, what will happen to the information employees provide and how it will be used to improve the culture.

Aim for 100% participation, otherwise you won’t have a representative sample.

Make sure they are anonymous. This way your employees will be more honest and open in their responses, ensuring you get both the good and the bad comments. Both are extremely valuable, in terms of improving your employee retention rate.

Online surveys are best as they are simple to establish, administer and evaluate.

Keep it simple. Don’t ask convoluted questions and talk in jargon. You’ll lose them.

Brevity is king. If it’s too long, they’ll lose focus. Remember they don’t want to spend hours completing your questionnaire.   

Provide a summary of employee responses across the organisation, not just to senior management. Follow up on responses in a timely manner. That way employees will realise you care about their views.

Discuss successes after implementation, so it’s clear changes are being made.

Questionnaires should be administered on a regular basis, so you can measure changes over time. The frequency will depend on the size of your organisation, for example, once a quarter or once a month.

Benchmark against previous employee satisfaction surveys to check that you are creating a more positive workplace and by doing so, improving your business bottom line.  Measuring your progress is good business.

It’s important to ensure you have all the areas covered. 

Asking questions about what your employees think of management will provide insights into how good they really are. If there’s a problem, time to look at the best learning and development solutions. Leadership development opportunities, management training and/or mentoring for your managers, should be investigated. 

Do you have a Welllness Program and if so, what do your employees think of it? 

Questions on reward and recognition will give you an idea of whether your employees feel valued for their contributions. If the answer is no, now could be the time to implement a reward and recognition program to rectify this.

 A question on whether they feel you are providing them with the latest technologies, will give you an idea of whether you need to upgrade or introduce time-saving tools to improve efficiencies. Morale is likely to be low, if your employees are having to cope with outdated software and hardware. 

You’ll also want to know whether you employees feel that their work is meaningful. Surveys indicate that, especially for millennials, this can be more important than salary considerations.

You may want to find out if they enjoy working in their team. You can learn more about teamwork by attending my workshop, Building Better Teams

Check to see that your employees feel they have opportunities to learn and develop. According to the 2017 Institute of Managers and Leaders’ study, more than 18% of employees reported resigning because of a lack of professional development and training. 

Questions on how long your employees are planning on staying will give you an idea of your likely employee retention rates. Find out what they think about feedback on performance, so you know whether it should be more frequent and perhaps less formal, so you can provide them with an effective performance planning framework. Check to see if your employees feel they have a challenging environment, where they feel stretched. 

These ideas are intended to give you an indication of what to include in your Employee Satisfaction Survey. The business you are in, the size and nature of your business will be important factors. 

So, in summary….

Dollar 1702283 1280

It will save you money. When employees leave, it costs you …. not just in business but in corporate intelligence & morale. When you provide the best culture, your business will prosper!  

Contact Conocer Consulting on mob: 0458 380426 for a free consultation on employee satisfaction surveys. We're here to help you find out what your employees really think, so you can make sure they are happy to stay and work with you. And if not, what strategies you can use to improve your workplace, so your next Survey has very positive results.

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