Retaining high quality employees is, in fact, the core task of every organisation that is working towards the goal of long-term business success since employees are the foundation of added value 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 recognized and addressed, may overshadow the ability to focus on professional tasks and lead to general incapacity.
A high employee satisfaction rate consistently equates to employees accomplishing more and improvement in performance. I.e., happy employees = increased organizational productivity and performance.
How to determine employee satisfaction
In order to build employee satisfaction, organisations need to identify any potential negative emotions that might be floating about in order to act upon these and improve work conditions, as well as avoid employee turnover.
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, also easily 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 dissatisfaction which need to be covered in an employee survey.
Job: Aspects such as low perceived meaning, tasks being too challenging, unpleasant 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. For example:
- 82.39% of employees say a lack of progression would influence the decision to leave their jobs. (CareerAddict.com)
- Employees said the three most contributing factors to quitting their jobs were a lack of career advancement opportunities, low pay, and the absence of a salary pay raise. (CareerAddict.com)
- Of those who had already quit their jobs, 35% would consider returning if they were offered a better salary or a higher position. (CareerAddict.com)
Environment: Circumstances related to employees’ teams, departments or general environment such as low collegial appreciation and respect, slim contribution opportunities and poor communication can make people feel uncomfortable and can have a negative effect on job performance and interaction with coworkers.
- 83% of people feel their relationships with coworkers are excellent, very good or good. (Cigna)
- 33% of executives say, "Improving our employees’ loyalty and faith in the company is a top priority." (The Predictive Index)
- 67% of employees are as productive as they can be in their office environment. (Olivet University)
Management: Supervisors who do not lead in a performance-driven and emotionally intelligent way can put immense pressure and stress on employees and create a negative work environment. They may also make employees feel undervalued and intimidated.
- 9% of employees said their company/manager is awesome at acting on feedback, 24% said pretty good, 44% said okay, and 23% said horrible. (Achievers)
- 41% of employed Americans want a work environment where employees are encouraged to have a work-life balance. (Cigna)
- 56% of workers said their employer or manager generally determines their work schedules. (TSheets)
If viewed correctly and addressed 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 long-term staff retention and loyalty.
LimeSurvey offers an employee satisfaction survey template which will be available for "LimeSurvey Cloud" (Basic, Expert, Enterprise) and as "ComfortUpdate" for the community edition (3 Months, 6 Months, 12 Months) subscriptions and covers all the above mentioned variables/items to measure employee satisfaction effectively.
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