How satisfied are your staff? If you can’t answer this question then you’ll be flying blind if you try to put any measures in place designed to improve and enhance employee satisfaction and boost levels of employee engagement.
Satisfied employees who are happy with their workplaces – including management, corporate culture, and the environment they work in – are more likely to be committed to the company. The happier your employees, the better your organization’s productivity and profitability.
Unfortunately, many businesses are a long way from achieving this. According to a Gallup study, only 26 per cent of employees in the USA feel that they are engaged (and therefore loyal and productive) while a further 55 per cent say they are not engaged (they basically just show up to their jobs and mark time every day) while 19 per cent are actively disengaged (these are the workers who are unhappy and spread their negativity to others).
The estimated cost to the global economy of employees not being fully engaged is around $450 to $550 billion every year. Employees who aren’t engaged are more likely to leave your organization, leading to an increase in recruitment costs. It quickly becomes clear that businesses with low levels of staff satisfaction will never be able to run at their optimum.
Measure your employees’ satisfaction
Once you understand what problems you have, however, you can put targeted measures in place to address these factors.
There are several ways you can approach employees to measure the mood of your organization. These include:
1. Employee engagement surveys
Send your employees confidential surveys that are designed to measure their levels of satisfaction and engagement around specific aspects of your company. Topics can include leadership, communication, workplace culture, remuneration, learning and development and other factors that are important to your staff.
You need to start somewhere, so take an initial survey as a benchmark. When you put measures in place to address any strengths and weaknesses revealed by this survey, you can then compare the results with future surveys to see if those measures have been effective.
These surveys should be carried out every six to 12 months.
2. Pulse surveys
These are less in-depth than a benchmarking employee engagement survey, but are a great way to get a snapshot of where your employees are at in terms of engagement at any point in time.
A pulse survey should contain around five to 10 questions about how employees are feeling about work, and give them an opportunity to tell if they think anything needs to be changed. These pulse surveys don't’ take a lot of employees’ time to fill in so you can send them more frequently than your benchmarking surveys.
3. Face-to-face feedback opportunities
Often communication between managers and their teams is poor, which in turn leads to low levels of satisfaction and engagement. When these managers receive the results of employee satisfaction surveys they are shocked, because they didn’t realize there was a problem.
Without intervention, it is a cycle doomed to keep repeating itself. By regularly meeting with staff, listening to what they have to say and getting feedback from them face-to-face, managers can determine at the coal-face and in real time what the hot-button issues are for employees and be able to move quickly to address them.
Annual performance reviews where employees meet with their supervisor one-on-one are another great opportunity to gather this feedback face-to-face.
4. Employee suggestion box
Sometimes employees are too scared to speak up face-to-face and what they have to say isn’t covered off by employee surveys – or the next survey is too far away. Having a locked suggestion box where employees can anonymously leave feedback and opinions for management is a great compromise.
Management can then get ideas about what employees feel is lacking in their workplace, or even innovative suggestions to help make the company an employer of choice.
5. Exit interviews
When employees depart, they do so for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they have to do with their personal lives, other times it is because they have found a better job somewhere else.
This is by far one of the most important opportunities to determine where you are doing well and what you’re not doing so well as a company. What prompted these staff members to leave? Is there anything that could have been done to retain them?
Departing staff will often feel as though they have “nothing to lose” and may be brutally honest and less guarded when giving feedback.
Carrying out exit interviews will help you to find out why your people leave so you can then put improvements in place to retain your top staff.
How DeskAlerts can help measure your employee satisfaction
If you need an efficient and effective tool to help measure your staff satisfaction, look no further than DeskAlerts. This trusted internal communications software solution is used by companies all over the world to communicate with their employees, including carrying out staff surveys.
Employees are sent surveys straight to their computer desktops in the form of a pop-up notification window. This is a much better way to send your surveys than by email, which can be ignored or missed.
By getting straight under their noses you can immediately gather results – this is particularly useful when you want to carry out a pulse poll. The data you gather is rich and qualitative, but it can also be used to quantify issues and difficulties within your company.
The messages can be customized – you determine when they are sent, which employees receive them and how the surveys will appear. You can also set pop-up reminders for those who haven’t completed their surveys yet.
DeskAlerts survey tool works on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices. As well as sending to computer desktops, you can also deliver to mobile devices meaning staff who work in the field or travel frequently for work are not forgotten about and their opinions can be captured.