Getting a Pulse on Employee Satisfaction: When and How to Survey Your Employees

If you answered honestly, how would you respond to these questions: How do your employees feel about their jobs? Are they satisfied? What would they change if given the option? A Gallup Poll survey suggested that “78% of Americans think interesting work is a key element to job satisfaction, but only 41% think their jobs are interesting.” According to a survey done by United Directories, Inc. (the Business to Business Yellow Pages) of 3,500 senior executives, “76% said they were actively seeking new employment…58% said they had been offered at least one job during the past year.” It is time to deliver an employee satisfaction survey to your employees, when any one of the following situations occurs at your company:

  1. As economic conditions improve, job competitiveness increases. When that competitiveness seeps into your organization, it is necessary to stay in touch with your employees to retain the talent you want to keep.
  2. When your organization is undergoing a major change, such as reorganization, a growth spurt, or a change of leadership; it is important to check in with your employees to make sure they understand the direction of the company and to ensure that they are on board with the changes. It might also be a good time to evaluate how employees see themselves fitting in with the future of the organization and what they feel they have to contribute.
  3. If there seems to be a noticeably high turnover rate at your company, that is a definite sign that it is time to survey your employees to assess their attitudes and perceptions of their jobs, the company, their coworkers, etc.
  4. When you start to hear rumors about the company on a daily basis, it could be a sign of other underlying problems. This is a good time to survey your employees to get to the bottom of the rumor mill and to show that you, as a leader, are interested in what they think about their jobs and the organization itself.
  5. Lastly, when there are money issues occurring within the organization (decreasing revenues), it is your responsibility to be upfront and honest with your employees about where they stand. By surveying them, it gives the employees a voice and a chance to not only express concerns but also to provide ideas for growth and viability.

The survey process varies in scope, length and time depending on the organization’s resources. It is up to you as the organization’s leader to determine the kind of survey that would best suit your needs and the needs of your employees. The most important component of the survey is communicating the results to your employees once the surveys are completed. If you don’t give feedback to your employees, there is no point to doing the survey at all. Communicating the results and working together to develop a plan of action from those results are the most important benefits to be gained from the survey process. So the next time you are asked how your employees evaluate their job, their leadership and the organizations, you can answer with confidence, having employed the tools necessary to make a change for the better.

Jan-Ferri-ReedDr. Jan Ferri-Reed, is President of KEYGroup and provides businesses with insightful information to create engaged, productive and profitable multi-generational organizations. She is the co-author of the best-selling book, “Keeping the Millennials: Why Companies Are Losing Billions in Turnover to This Generation and What to Do About It.” To hire Jan, visit: or call 724-942-7900.

This article may be reprinted for your use in an organizational newsletter and or e-zine provided that you contact Kelly Hanna, Director of Sales and Marketing at 724-942-7900 to gain permission.

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