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Employee satisfaction surveys are becoming common practice in companies that want to be at the top of their industry. That’s because it’s no longer enough for employees to simply show up for work, they have to also be satisfied and engaged with the work they’re doing to perform at a high level.

Specifically, employee satisfaction is the extent to which your employees are happy with their jobs. Various factors like motivation, career growth, compensation, and team morale influence how satisfied your employees feel.

Today’s leading companies understand that the only way to improve employing satisfaction, and by so doing improve employee productivity, is to continuously gauge it. In fact, 89 percent of HR leaders agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins are key for successful outcomes in an organization.

An employee satisfaction survey is a useful tool for collecting and acting on employee feedback to create these successful outcomes in your organization.

Why employee satisfaction matters

Employee satisfaction is more than a buzzword or a trend, it’s the key to growth and improvement in any organization.

When your employees are satisfied with their jobs, they’re more engaged with it. This results in improved customer experience, low turnovers, increased productivity, fewer accidents, and more profits for your company.

Which is why it’s a terrible thing that about half of U.S. employees are unsatisfied with their jobs.

Given these numbers, it’s no coincidence then that more than half of employees (51 percent) are actively looking for a new job or watching for openings, and 35 percent of these workers report changing jobs within the past three years.

The turnover and decreased productivity caused by dissatisfied and unengaged employees cost businesses between $450 and $550 billion a year.

How employee satisfaction surveys can help

Employee satisfaction does matter but the path to improving it isn’t always straightforward since companies and individuals differ.

For example, most employers think a salary increase is the best way to make their employees more satisfied, but 83.6 percent of working professionals in the UK believe that enjoying their jobs is a better measure of career success, than having a high salary.

Another survey, this time carried out by Udemy found that 42 percent of millennial employees consider learning and development as the most important benefit when deciding where to work.

The only way to know what the employees at your company want is to ask them, which is where employee satisfaction surveys play a critical role.

Employee satisfaction surveys give your employees a safe platform to tell you about what you could do to improve the work environment, increase productivity and decrease turnover rates.

What makes a good employee satisfaction survey

Follow these guidelines to ensure your survey is efficient:

  • Keep it anonymous: Your employees need to know that they won’t face repercussions for giving honest feedback.
  • Send it out regularly: As your work environment and employees change so do their satisfaction levels. The only way to keep in touch with what your employees want is to get regular feedback.
  • Make it short: When conducting your survey it’s important that you only ask for information that you can use to drive meaningful change in your organization.

Questions to include in your employee satisfaction survey

We’ve covered why employee satisfaction surveys are important, but you can only get quality feedback when you ask good questions.

Here are ten questions you should consider for your employee satisfaction survey. Keep in mind that your survey needs to be short, so try out different questions at different times to figure out which ones are most valuable to your company.

1. How defined are your responsibilities at work?

Employees who know what their roles and responsibilities are in an organization are more likely to be satisfied because they have clear metrics for measuring how successful they are at their jobs.

2. How meaningful is the work you do?

The more meaningful your employees feel their jobs are, the more likely they are to be satisfied with the work they do.

In fact, 9 out of 10 workers will trade 23 percent of their earnings–an average of $21,000 a year–for more meaningful work. Not to mention that employees who feel that they do meaningful work stay longer at a company and even work longer hours.

3. How satisfied are you with the salary you receive?

While salary isn’t the most important aspect that influences satisfaction for most employees, it is still an important one. The people that work for you want to be compensated fairly for the work they do.

In fact, 55 percent of full-time employees rank fair compensation as the first or second most valuable employer attribute.

4. How often do we provide you with opportunities to get promoted?

According to a Gallop poll survey, one of the most common reasons why employees leave an organization is because of a lack of career growth opportunities.

When your employees feel like they’re in a dead-end job their satisfaction levels take a hit. Gauging how employees rate their promotion opportunities in your company is an excellent way to know how satisfied they are.

5. How likely are you to recommend our company as a good place to work?

One of the best ways to gauge how satisfied your employees are is to ask them a Net Promoter Score (NPS) style question. If employees are satisfied with their work environment they’re more likely to ask others to join.

6. How connected do you feel to members of your team?

The work environment is social by default. When your employees feel connected with the people they work with, they tend to be more motivated and record higher levels of satisfaction.

This is one reason why employees at small firms feel far more engaged in their work than their corporate counterpart because the workplace is often more intimate.

7. How often do you receive recognition for your work?

There’s a correlation between recognition and employee satisfaction. The more recognition people get for what they do the more likely they are to put in more effort.

85 percent of HR leaders say an employee recognition program has a positive effect on organizational culture and 27 percent of employees cite lack of recognition as a reason for leaving their jobs.

8. How large is the opportunity to learn and develop your skills at work?

As the Udemy study has shown us, people are increasingly seeking jobs that can make them better at what they do and not simply to earn a high salary.

In fact, offering career training and development would keep 86 percent of millennial employees from leaving their current position.

9. If you were to quit your job tomorrow, what would your reason be for leaving?

This uses a practice now found in most business circles, known as the premortem. Where a project is thought to have failed and the team has to work backward to determine what could’ve caused it. Asking your employee this, makes them think about all the burning issues that would’ve otherwise gone unnoticed and caused them to leave.

10. Are there any changes you can suggest that would improve your job satisfaction levels?

Finally, ask your employees what you can do to improve their satisfaction levels. Collecting and acting on these suggestions show your employees that you care about their input.

A Salesforce report found that employees who feel their voice is heard at work are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.

Employee satisfaction survey template

Here’s a handy employee satisfaction survey template you can use to gauge employee satisfaction at your company.

You can adjust the questions, branding, and length of your employee satisfaction survey to match your needs.

Wrap up on employee satisfaction surveys

Employee satisfaction isn’t a buzzword and will only grow more important as work becomes more knowledge than labor intensive.

An employee satisfaction survey is the best way to gauge how satisfied your employees are and helps you generate useful insights that can improve job satisfaction, decrease turnover, and increase productivity and profits in your organization.