The key to a successful business is happy, engaged employees. While so many other factors influence the way a company functions—budget, teamwork, management—employees are the ones doing the daily tasks that keep a team afloat. According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, respectful treatment of all employees is the most important driver of employee satisfaction.
A culture of positivity and support is crucial to making your employees want to come to work and then keep coming back as the years go by. If you’ve worked somewhere that’s had a turnover problem before, you know how disruptive it can be to have a rotating door staff, which is detrimental to company culture. By checking in with your employees and monitoring their job satisfaction with an employee feedback survey, you’ll be able to improve every aspect of the employee experience.
1. Identify key measures
Before you start designing your employee feedback survey, you need to decide what you’ll be checking. Is it an overarching survey covering everything that employees experience? Is it only covering one or two aspects of office life? Decide your scope first and then dive into specifics. One huge survey could yield big-picture issues and ideas about the office, especially if there’s an overall morale problem, but if the survey gets too long, your employees might become fatigued and pay less attention as the form goes on. To avoid this, think carefully about what you most want to learn, whether that’s about management, job responsibilities, or benefits.
2. Ask the right questions
Without carefully considering the questions you’re asking, your survey will not be as effective as you want it to be. Avoid leading questions that presuppose a certain feeling or response and use language that is not emotionally charged yet specific enough to make the survey understandable for everyone. Your team members want to let you know how they really feel, so give them the space to do so in your employee satisfaction survey. Consider open-ended questions like these, which avoid the yes vs. no trap:
- How challenging do you find your work?
- How meaningful do you find your work?
- What does it mean to be successful in the office?
- Do you feel comfortable expressing issues or difficulties?
- What makes you feel valued at work?
- If you could change anything in the office, what would you do?
3. Guarantee anonymity
While you could require that all employees sign their feedback forms, you’d be endangering the integrity of their responses. It’s natural—employees want to look good to their bosses and to HR. If they want to voice unpopular opinions or express feelings of dissent, they could feel like they are in danger of retaliation or unfair treatment. To avoid this sticky situation, send out the form and do not track names. They will be so much more likely to be honest about their job satisfaction than they would be otherwise, giving you the best chance to use their honest responses to improve the office.
4. Use technology well
Services like Google Forms, SurveyMonkey, and Typeform each allow you to create custom surveys that can be analyzed on the back end. Each platform comes with its own benefits. Google Forms is the most recognizable of the three, which makes it easy for you to use and more familiar to your employees. SurveyMonkey gives you the opportunity to ask different types of questions, including ones with a 1-10 response, in a package that is geared toward business. Typeform is the most modern and aesthetically appealing of the three services, which might make your employees feel more comfortable answering. It takes each user through questions one by one, which makes it less likely that they will respond out of order.
5. Evaluate and adapt
Even if your workplace seems like the perfect environment, employee feedback surveys can uncover hidden issues that you’d never see otherwise. While this might seem like a burden, it’s really a blessing in disguise; you get to look past your blind spots and solve any lingering issues that might be hindering work. Once your employees have filled out the survey, gather your management team and go through the results question by question. What did you expect? What surprised you? Where can you change your business practices to improve job satisfaction? Now put your new plan into place, keeping in mind the importance of employee satisfaction. It’s imperative that you survey your employees yet again in a few months to a year so that you get a sense of how general morale has improved—that way, you can keep tweaking the formula to get it just right.
By using an employee feedback survey correctly, you can improve job satisfaction in your office easily and organically. Listening to your employees is one of the best ways to get the most out of the workplace, both in terms of output and communication.