Employee satisfaction is critical for more than just glowing Glassdoor reviews -- it can also mean all the difference for your company's long-term growth.
Consider this: from 1998 to 2005, stock prices for companies listed in Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For" rose 14%. In comparison, companies not on the list reported a 6% increase. Coincidence? Probably not.
When employees are happy, they're much more likely to be productive and engaged at work. To produce exceptional results, then, it's critical your team feels fulfilled at the office. But, while you might think you have a pulse on your employee's satisfaction, you could be wrong.
One 2017 Gallup poll found more than half of employees (51%) are actively looking for a new job or keeping an eye out for openings. That means half of the workforce, and potentially half of your employees, feel unfulfilled in their current positions.
To find out whether your employees are truly happy and engaged at work, it's critical you send out an anonymous employee satisfaction survey. Consider asking these nine questions to gather truly helpful insights regarding your employees' happiness.
1. Do you find your work meaningful?
A 2017 Globoforce’s WorkHuman Research Institute survey found the number one reason people stick around at their companies was "My job -- I find the work meaningful". Most notably, 32% of respondents chose this as their first option, surpassing compensation, company culture, and even coworkers or managerial support.
People need to feel their work is meaningful. Ultimately, there's no amount of compensation or office perks you can offer employees to stick around, if they don't feel their work matters. To ensure low turnover rates, focus on hiring people who find meaning in your company, and work to motivate and inspire your team as often as possible.
2. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your work-life balance?
Without good work-life balance, your employees could quickly burnout, or become resentful of a company that doesn't afford them the time they need to pursue other hobbies or spend time with family. To ensure long-term satisfaction at work, it's critical you encourage a good work-life balance for all your employees.
Having a healthy work-life balance at your company doesn't just satisfy your current employees -- it also helps you attract a valuable and impressive talent pool of recruits. According to the 2017 Randstad Employer Brand Research report, 45% of employees say a good work-life balance is a key contributor to a company's attractiveness.
3. Are you inspired by the purpose and mission of our company?
If your employees' don't believe in your company's purpose or mission, they aren't going to be fully engaged at work, and won't feel motivated to deliver exceptional results. Additionally, without a strong mission statement, it's impossible to encourage strong leadership and unity across the organization. But you don't need to work for UNICEF to find purpose in your brand.
For instance, Zappos is an online shoe and apparel retailer. On the surface, it might seem like Zappos' purpose is to provide shoes and clothing. But Zappos takes a different approach -- their mission is actually "delivering happiness to customers, employees, and vendors." It's worth noting Zappos has just five percent employee turnover. Undoubtedly, their strong purpose and vision are key factors in their high employee retention rate.
You'll want to ask your employees if they are inspired by your company's purpose or mission. If they're not, consider how you can incorporate or even re-define your mission statement and philosophy, to ensure your employees' understand their work is contributing to a greater purpose.
4. Do you like our company culture?
Creating a good company culture is necessary for retaining top talent. If you don't believe me, consider this -- according to a Columbia University study, the likelihood of job turnover at an organization with high company culture is 13.9 percent -- whereas the probability of job turnover in low company cultures is almost 50 percent.
It's critical your employees' enjoy your work culture, which includes workplace environment, company goals and expectations, and company values. We've discussed already how important it is that your employees' are happy for long-term productivity and growth. Additionally, a good workplace environment can foster better relationships between coworkers, enabling higher collaboration and efficiency.
5. On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend our company as a good place to work?
Many companies offer referral incentives when an employee recommends a strong candidate for a position, and for good reason -- it reduces the cost and effort it takes to find and recruit top talent, and additionally, your employees are likely good judges of someone who would fit in well with your company's culture.
Ideally, your employees' are likely to recommend your company as a good place to work. If they aren't likely to do so, you're losing out on some exceptional candidates, and it's also an indicator your current employees aren't as happy as they could be.
6. Hypothetically, if you were to quit tomorrow, what would your reason be?
This question is a fantastic opportunity to uncover unforeseen reasons you risk losing employees' down the road. You might find employees' often feel undervalued, or believe there aren't enough growth opportunities. By identifying these issues, you can create new strategies that attempt to mitigate these problems and create a better culture for all your employees long-term.
7. Do you feel valued at work?
Feeling valued and appreciated at work is a necessary component to low turnover rates, and high employee satisfaction. In fact, 79% of employees who quit their jobs cite a lack of appreciation as a key reason for leaving.
If your employees feel valued, they will often go the extra mile -- staying late, volunteering to help other teams' complete projects, and putting optimal effort into their own work. On the contrary, if they don't feel respected by leadership, they won't feel as inclined to deliver phenomenal results.
It's critical everyone at your company, from the intern to the VP, feel valued and appreciated for their contribution to your company's goal. If they don't feel like important assets to your team, they'll eventually seek out alternative opportunities.
8. Do you feel there is a scope for personal growth such as skill enhancement?
In 2016, millennials became the largest generation in the workforce. And while there are stereotypes that millennials are obsessive "job-hoppers", a Bridge survey found 86% of millennials would stay in their current position if they were offered career training and development.
Ultimately, the more your company can nurture growth, the longer your employees' will stick around. In the long-run, it's cheaper for you to train and develop your current employees, than to consistently hire and train new ones. Career training and professional development are key motivators to employee retention, so it's critical you discover whether your employees' feel satisfied with their current growth opportunities.
9. Does your team inspire you to do your best work?
Employees' spend a good deal of time around their team members, so their happiness and productivity relies heavily on whether they enjoy spending time with coworkers. For this reason, you'll want to find out if your employees' feel inspired by the team.
If your team is able to inspire one another, it will promote increased creativity and collaboration. Additionally, it makes your job as a leader easier, if coworkers are able to find renewed inspiration and motivation from each other. If most of your employees' don't feel inspired, consider implementing team-building exercises to foster a better team environment.
How to get the best results from your employee satisfaction survey
There’s more to an employee satisfaction survey than the questions you ask -- it’s also about how you ask them. Here are a few things you should keep in mind while creating your employee satisfaction survey, according to Lauren Pope from G2 Crowd:
1. Allow employee anonymity.
The most important part of creating an employee satisfaction survey is to allow your employees to answer anonymously. If there’s a fear of backlash, your employees may avoid answering honestly.
2. Avoid using confusing language.
Leave the industry terms and complicated language out of your employee survey. You want these questions to be accessible and easy to understand for maximum participation.
3. Keep your survey’s consistent.
It can be tempting to change your survey style and questions up every year, but you should avoid doing this. Keeping things consistent year over year will help you track your data more efficiently.
4. Don’t ask too many questions.
The worst thing you can do is overload your employees with too many questions. The longer and more time-consuming your employee satisfaction survey is, the less likely your employees will want to complete it.
5. Technology is your friend.
If your company is large enough that you’ll be handling dozens of employee satisfaction survey’s, you may consider investing in an employee engagement software to lighten your workload and help streamline the process.
Originally published Oct 3, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated March 28 2019