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Management & Leadership

Measure employee satisfaction: 5 questions you need to ask in your employee surveys

eye 8 Published on 13 Jul. 2021
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tag #Management & Leadership

Over the past few years, there has been a growing enthusiasm for all things related to professional well-being and mental-health at work. Aware of the benefits that stem from a high-quality of working life, many organisations are currently investigating different ways of boosting the job satisfaction of their employees. Employee surveys are an excellent source of inspiration here. Consulting your employees directly is indeed the best way to ensure the effectiveness of your HR strategy… given that you ask the right questions! Let’s take a look at the 5 points you should tackle in your employee surveys to ensure optimal levels of employee satisfaction.

Question no. 1: In your everyday work life, do you feel useful? Do you feel that your work has meaning?

Finding meaning in one’s work is playing an increasingly important role in employment, as well as recruitment and talent retention. Meaning is in fact a key driving force that will push employees to become more invested in their work and to get more involved within an organisation. There are as many different sources of meaning as there are working professionals, with each employee tapping into the diverse aspects of their job which fuel their motivation and which spur them on. That being said, meaning usually stems from an employee’s feeling of usefulness and their ability to perceive the purpose of their everyday tasks and missions. It is therefore essential that in your employee surveys you make sure your staff feel useful in their day-to-day work life, as well as ensuring that they are able to see what they personally bring to the overall activity of their company. In the event of a negative response, follow-up interviews with the employees in question will allow you to find synergie between their career goals and the possibilities that their post offers them.

Question no. 2: Are you being offered enough opportunities for growth and development?

Work is, together with family, one of the main components of one’s identity. It contributes to our feelings of self-esteem and self-confidence, and is a key driving force for personal development… given that sufficient opportunities are provided! Possibilities for personal growth are a key source of professional satisfaction. Moreover, managing your employee’s career paths is also a powerful way to improve the loyalty of your talent. In your employee surveys, it is therefore out of the question for you to overlook the personal growth and development of your workers. It is particularly important to identify:

  • The skills your employees wish to hone within their role
  • The skills they wish to acquire
  • Their career and mobility goals

Question no. 3: Do you have a sufficient level of independence?

Among the core requirements which lie at the heart of motivation and job satisfaction, independence comes out at the top of the rankings. A true mark of trust between employees and their managers, a boundless source of creativity and innovation, independence is indeed a winning recipe for earning the commitment and loyalty of your employees. Be warned however, not everyone has the same needs when it comes to independence. Furthermore, giving your employees some leeway does not mean taking a complete step back from supervising and coordinating your staff. Once again, it is all a question of balance and of adapting to everyone’s personal needs. It is therefore essential that in your employee surveys you ensure each and every one of your employees has a degree of professional freedom that suits them, and which allows them to flourish.

Question no. 4: Are you currently working in a pleasant environment?

Beyond the characteristics of a job and the position itself, an employee’s work environment also has a very strong influence on their job satisfaction, motivation, and commitment. According to The Health and well-being at work barometer (Baromètre Santé et Qualité de Vie au Travail) created by Malakoff Médéric Humanis in 2019, a strong group dynamic is deemed to be a determining factor in your employee’s quality of working life. It is therefore important that in your employee satisfaction surveys you ensure the quality of the professional relationships within your company, across all levels:

  • Between employees
  • Between employees and their supervisors
  • Between employees and management

It is also essential that you guarantee the confidentiality of your employee’s responses in this area—they may fear that their opinions will have repercussions on their everyday work life!

Question no. 5: Do you feel valued? Do you think that your work is properly recognised?

This cannot be stressed enough: recognition is one of the cornerstones of employee commitment and satisfaction. As workload increases, as does the involvement you require from your employees. It is therefore vital that work intensification be accompanied with a proportional level of recognition. We can in fact cite not one but four types of recognition: existential recognition (which relates to the person as an individual outside the professional sphere); the recognition of professional skills and the quality of the work completed; the recognition of the dedication and the effort put in by an employee; and finally, the recognition of an employee’s results, in relation to the company’s strategic objectives. In your employee surveys, it is therefore necessary that you ensure your employees are satisfied with the extent to which their work is recognised and valued across all four kinds of the recognition mentioned above.

Helen Simard

Consultant Psychologist

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