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Wednesday, February 20 , 2019, 6:45 am | Fair 41º


Karen Dwyer: Are Your Employees Happy? Ask Them

Employee satisfaction surveys are key to a greater understanding — for employees and employers.

As the job market widens and the pool of available talent shrinks, employees are demanding more and more from their employers. According to a recent study by the Gallup Organization, 40 percent of the workforce will reach retirement age by 2010. That’s why employee satisfaction and retention is a growing concern in the workplace. To ensure the success of their organizations, many employers are investing in their most valuable assets — their employees. Tapping into what makes employees happy and committing to make changes that will assist in their satisfaction makes a positive impact on recruiting, retention and productivity.

There are many ways to measure employee satisfaction. Some employers conduct exit surveys when personnel leave the organization to determine what went wrong or what they can do better. These types of surveys tend to be more reactive than proactive, however.

With retention being a top concern for employers across the board, companies can no longer wait until they lose critical staff to implement changes. That’s why many companies are conducting employee satisfaction surveys once or twice a year. Such surveys help employers gauge employees’ attitudes, motivations, opinions and overall satisfaction with the company.

Employee satisfaction surveys benefit employers by giving insight into the working relationships between employees and supervisors, workplace issues, communications styles among employees, and any other hot topics employers want to investigate. The surveys allow employees a chance to voice their opinions honestly and anonymously, without fear of backlash or harassment from their employers. When an employee satisfaction survey is done well employees feel valued, heard and appreciated in their workplace, thus creating higher morale, satisfaction and a stronger sense of loyalty.

Trying to figure out how to conduct an employee satisfaction survey can be challenging and somewhat overwhelming. By following thes three steps, employers can begin the process of increasing employee morale, retention and productivity.

Identify problem areas. To conduct a successful employee satisfaction survey, employers must identify the target areas they want the survey to address. Target areas can include anything from benefits to communication styles, from policies to competitive salaries. After choosing the organizational topics, employers must decide whether to use a third-party vendor to conduct the survey or conduct it themselves. An outside agency tends to get a more honest response from employees and the survey results are less skewed. Larger companies find it more beneficial, time efficient and helpful to outsource employee surveys.

Communicate with employees. Another key factor in a successful survey is informing employees of the upcoming survey and stressing the importance of participation. E-mail reminders, hang posters on walls and pass out fliers to emphasize the company’s commitment to the survey and employees. Let employees know the survey is there to help the company make positive changes.

Act immediately. Finally, it is extremely important to address the results of the survey in a timely manner. If employers conduct a survey and never respond or act on the information, it is worse than if the survey never happened because now it seems as if the employer does not care. It is also crucial to share the results with the employees and let them know how their concerns are being addressed. Provide regular feedback on what is being done to improve in certain areas so employees know they’re being heard.

Employee satisfaction surveys are a great tool to increase performance, loyalty and morale. Smart companies recognize the importance of understanding their employees and making sure they are happy.

Karen Dwyer
Karen Dwyer is the owner of Express Personnel, 9 W. Figueroa St., Santa Barbara 93101. She can be contacted at [email protected] This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or at 805.965.6900.


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