Best practice in employee satisfaction surveys

A happy workforce is generally a more productive workforce – research shows happy employees work harder in their roles, are more likely to remain in their job for longer, and are more willing to go the extra mile to try and win promotion opportunities.

But how do you track the overall happiness of your workforce? Employee satisfaction surveys are one option, but you need to make sure you get them right if you want the results to be actionable.

Good employee satisfaction survey design

Time spent designing your initial employee satisfaction survey will save you time in the long run – you might think you can tweak the questionnaire later, but that risks leaving you with data that you cannot compare with the previous time you carried out the survey.

Invest some time into creating a set of questions you can ask to all employees, and which will remain relevant in six months or a year or beyond, and you’ll start to build up a picture of satisfaction levels throughout your organisation and over the course of time too.

While it’s good to have multiple choice questions or satisfaction scales from 1-5 or 1-10, which you can analyse numerically and calculate averages and anomalies from, make sure to include some open questions too so people can write in any extra feedback they want to give you.

Net Promoter Score

One question should ask: “How likely is it that you would recommend this company to a friend or colleague?” with a scale from 0 to 10 for the answer.

Anyone who responds with a score of 9-10 is a ‘Promoter’, anyone who rates you 0-6 is a ‘Detractor’ and those in between are ‘Passive’.

Take your percentage of Promoters and subtract the percentage of Detractors – the result, from -100 to +100, is your Net Promoter Score.

It’s a simple calculation but firms with a higher Net Promoter Score tend to outperform their competitors and the market as a whole – and if your competitors calculate their NPS too, it’s a chance to make a direct comparison.

Like the rest of your employee questionnaire, it is the ability to compare the results – between different individuals, different points in time, or with your competitors – that really delivers the insight you need to improve, allowing you to increase employee retention rates and productivity.

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