It is important to measure and interpret employee satisfaction

Ezért fontos a munkavállalói elégedettség mérése és így értelmezd

Measuring employee satisfaction is extremely important as it provides valuable insights into employee behaviour, attitudes, experiences and ideas. Armed with this information, HR and management can take steps to support the retention of talented employees and contribute to the success of the company. Perhaps never before has measuring and interpreting employee satisfaction been as important as in today’s competitive world, where companies compete for talented employees. Make no mistake, there is competition for both professionally outstanding workers and talented white-collar workers.

5 reasons why measuring employee satisfaction is important

Before I give you the 5 reasons why employee satisfaction is important, I want to share an enlightening, fact-based story. The story illustrates the attitudes of generations towards employers and can be used as a starting point.

Generations’ attitudes towards employers

While members of the pre-Baby Boom and Baby Boom generations were extremely loyal to their employers, worked hard and valued job stability, the same could not be said of later generations. Generation X is loyal to their profession, while Generation Y/Millennials are loyal to their career prospects. In other words, these generations no longer believe that they have to work for the same employer for life. If they have an opportunity to achieve a better professional or personal goal, they will take it and change jobs. Generation Z members are just entering the labour market, but it is already clear that loyalty to an employer is not the most important thing for them. Therefore, no employer can afford not to focus on measuring employee satisfaction, which can determine how long they can retain talented and skilled employees.

5 reasons why measuring employee satisfaction is important

1. Reason: identifies problems

Measuring employee satisfaction helps to identify problems in your company and reveals areas of concern. The survey shows how high or low employee morale is at work. It can also provide answers to what might be behind a decline in employee performance and high turnover. The causes of these problems often stem from dissatisfaction with the working environment and/or job.

Identifying these problems creates an opportunity for HR and management to take action to address the situation.

2. Reason: retains talent

More satisfied employees tend to stay longer with their current employer. This not only reduces turnover-related costs such as recruitment, lower productivity during the learning period, training, etc., but also strengthens the employer brand. Satisfied employees speak positively about their workplace. When these positive comments come from talented professionals whose opinions are valued, it contributes significantly to building a good employer image, which makes it easier to attract talented employees.

By asking the right questions, you can identify not only satisfied employees but also dissatisfied ones. This is a huge advantage, because if you identify them and the reasons for their dissatisfaction early enough, you can take decisive action to address it. This way we can retain our workforce for longer.

3. Reason: improves productivity

Observations show that more satisfied employees tend to be more productive and more committed to achieving company goals. They are more willing to perform above and beyond their expectations, collaborate with colleagues and strive to create a pleasant working environment for themselves and their colleagues.

4. Reason: strengthens the employer brand

I mentioned this above, but it is worth making a separate argument when it comes to measuring employee satisfaction. The survey tells employees that the company cares about their happiness, their psychological well-being and their workplace atmosphere in general. This is especially true if, after the survey, the company takes the necessary steps to achieve and maintain this employee well-being. All these activities are known to positively shape the employer brand and attract talented employees.

5. Reason: it supports decision making

The survey can provide management with useful insights that can lead to better decision-making. For example, they can use the survey results to optimise their fringe benefit packages or internal communication. But it can also highlight the need for team leadership training to improve team communication, or career planning for individuals or positions.

Connect the dots

Interpreting the results of the employee satisfaction survey

It is not enough just to carry out the survey, the responses must also be processed. Below are tips on how to analyse the responses to the survey and what to look out for.

1. Quantify the responses

In order to facilitate a more accurate assessment, it is useful to quantify the results of the responses. Numbers give you tangible results that are clear and leave no room for misunderstanding. In addition, trends and patterns are easier to identify.

2. Analysis by segment

When measuring employee satisfaction, it is important to bear in mind that employees in different areas have different needs, even though they work for the same company. A colleague on the production line, for example, will undoubtedly have a different opinion on the quality of internal communication within the company than an office worker in the sales department. This is especially true if the company does not use internal communication channels such as CHEQ, but communicates with employees via e-mail and billboards.

You can look at the survey results by several segments:

  • by work area and department
  • by gender
  • by gender, by division, by gender, by gender and by generation
  • employees with young children and employees with or without older children
  • disadvantaged workers (e.g. wheelchair users, severely visually impaired, etc.) and healthy workers.
  • foreign and national workers, etc.

3. Identification of trends and patterns

Next, you need to look for trends and patterns. For example, are men more satisfied with their pay than women? Are senior managers more satisfied in their jobs than shop floor workers? Are the younger generation as satisfied with internal development opportunities within the company as the older generation?

If different groups have very similar views on the same issue (e.g. salaries), this may be a sign that the topic deserves further investigation. This may be particularly the case if the survey was not conducted anonymously, as some respondents may not have answered honestly for fear of repercussions.

4. Pay attention to the quality of responses

Free-text responses from employees are extremely valuable. It helps to understand motivation, mindset and attitudes at an individual level. It brings out criticism, which can even be taken as a suggestion. Through this, we can understand why an employee rated his/her satisfaction with internal communication at 4 instead of 6 on a scale of 1 to 6, where 6 is the maximum satisfaction.

Based on the qualitative responses, you can dig deeper by setting up focus groups.

5. Connect the dots

When measuring employee satisfaction, the goal for companies is not to produce statistics, but to understand what factors are positively or negatively affecting employee performance. What factors slow or speed up employee turnover?

Therefore, you need to connect the dots. For example, how does the relationship between employees and their immediate supervisors affect employee performance? Examine how a group with poorer relationships between manager and subordinates has performed in the past. Perhaps leadership training is needed to help the leader communicate better with subordinates? Perhaps a small change could improve the relationship and performance.

6. Benchmark, compare results

If you regularly conduct employee satisfaction surveys, you can compare them with past results. This can also provide useful insights. You can see how trends and patterns are changing within the company. You can get feedback on whether changes made after the previous survey were successful or not.

In addition to your own historical data, it is also worth comparing with national and industry data. This will help you understand where you stand nationally and within your industry.

Finally, compile a report on the results to facilitate discussions with senior management and the development of an action plan.