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Why running an employee survey might just save your business

Keeping up with today's life in the fast lane

Nowadays, all organisational operations proceed at overproportionate speed due to increasing digitisation and technological advancements. This also applies strongly to all human resources-concerned and people management-related activities, i.e. application procedures, employee development, staff compensation, leadership quality and so on.

All these aspects majorly impact overall employee satisfaction, one of the most important performance levers of any organisation as we will outline later. How relevant different impact categories such as financial, developmental, emotional or others are for each individual varies depending on an employee's personality or goals.

Nevertheless, knowing how and where to invest resources in order to keep employee satisfaction up is utmost essential not only to boost organisational performance, but by implication to avoid employee turnover and retain top talent.

Due to fast-paced work environments, obstacles and inhibitions to change jobs are ultimately minimised and may lead to substantial and frequent staff fluctuation. Thus, organisational structures and dynamics are heavily disturbed as well as costs and resources invested inefficiently.

As a result, organisations prefer to hire the right people in the first place and invest in them to ensure survival and growth.

Happier employees make for more productive organisations

Retaining high quality employees is in fact the core task of every organisation that is working towards the goal of longterm business success since employees are the foundation of value added in organisations. Employees will in most cases only leave a job if they are unhappy with their situation in an organisation.

Therefore, leadership needs to ensure employee satisfaction to foster engagement and identification with an organisation. If there is substantial employee dissatisfaction with the work conditions, the consequence will be either employee resignation or feelings of inner submission, each of which will result in productivity and performance deterioration.

Why is this? Negative emotions, if not realized and attended to, may overshadow the ability to focus on professional tasks and lead to general incapacity.

The equation for businesses to aspire to is conceivably easy: the happier employees are (made) equals an increase in organisational productivity and performance.

How to determine employee satisfaction

In order to build employee satisfaction, organisations need to determine any potential negative emotions that might be floating about in order to act upon these and improve work conditions as well as avoid employee turonover.

This can be achieved one-on-one with a coaching approach. However, it will cost much more time to hold individual meetings throughout the organisation and doesn’t ensure anonymity for employees. The latter may lead to dishonesty in responses on attitudes to avoid negative consequences.

A more quantitative and anonymous approach is an employee satisfaction survey. It’s easily and quickly set up and distributed among organisational members, but also easily as well as flexibly evaluated.

Furthermore, the same survey can be conducted on a frequent basis to receive comparative values over time and determine the impact of certain actions aimed at increasing employee satisfaction.

Asking the right questions in employee satisfaction surveys

There are three overarching and intertwined factors that could potentially impact employee unhappiness which need to be covered in an employee survey.

    1. Job: aspects such as low perceived meaning, tasks being too challenging, bad work conditions, insufficient development and promotion possibilities and high stress due to workload can easily lead to staff dissatisfaction with their jobs and role within the organisation.

    1. Environment: circumstances related to employees’ teams, departments or general environment such as low collegial appreciation and respect, slim contribution opportunities and bad mutual communication can make people feel uncomfortable to do their jobs properly in interaction with coworkers.

  1. Management: supervisors who don't lead performance-driven and emotionally intelligent can put immense pressure, stress, disappreciation and other intimidation as well as negativity on employees.

If captured correctly and tackled appropriately, any staff dissatisfaction that may arise can be used as an opportunity to demonstrate an organisation’s willingness to put the effort in and change as well as improve existing conditions and processes, rather than to consider them a threat or a weakness. This strengthens the bond between organisations and their employees to ensure longterm staff retention and loyalty.

LimeSurvey offers an employee satisfaction survey template which will be available for Professional (Basic, Expert, Enterprise) and Premium (3 Months, 6 Months, 12 Months) subscriptions and covers all the above mentioned variables/items to measure employee satisfaction effectively.

Tags: Survey Science, Employee satisfaction, Tips

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