15 Best questions to ask in an employee satisfaction survey

employee satisfaction survey

Every company wants their employees to be happy at their jobs. But the challenge is that many employers aren’t even aware that their workers are unhappy until it’s too late. This is how most organisations end up losing their top talent to competitors. To prevent this from happening, you may want to consider introducing an employee satisfaction survey to better keep a finger on the pulse.

If you’re not sure how to get started, don’t worry! We’re here to help. We’ll explain exactly what an employee satisfaction survey is, how to set one up, and share recommended questions in this post. 

What is an employee satisfaction survey, and why is it important? 

An employee satisfaction survey is an objective tool that’s used to measure how your workers feel about their jobs, their work environment, and the overall company culture. It’s an effective way to collect feedback from your workforce – regardless of size – and use that data to make more informed decisions about things like performance, retention, and innovation

You may be asking: why do I need a survey to do this? Why can’t I just talk to my employees to figure out whether they’re satisfied with their jobs or not? This is a fair question. There are a few reasons why this isn’t the most effective way to measure employee satisfaction. 

Related article: 10 Ideas to help you boost your employee engagement

  1. You’re susceptible to bias. All humans have bias. So if you’re looking to collect objective data, conversations aren’t the best way to do so. For instance, as the HR leader, you want everyone at the company to be happy. Which means you’re more likely to highlight the positive feedback you receive and deprioritise the negative or constructive feedback. This doesn’t give you an accurate sense for employee satisfaction.
  1. You’re not seeing the big picture. Let’s say you talk to one or two employees who absolutely love working at your company. You may walk away thinking that your employee satisfaction levels are fine. But what about the other 100 employees that you didn’t talk to? The truth is that one-on-one conversations, while valuable, aren’t scalable and don’t paint the bigger picture of what’s going on.
  1. Your employees might not be honest with you. Finally, there’s a good chance that if you ask an employee how they feel about their work and the company, they’re not going to be completely honest with you. This is completely natural. People may not feel comfortable sharing their true thoughts or may think they’ll be punished for saying something negative about leadership. Either way, you can’t expect your workers to give you full transparency.

How to conduct an employee satisfaction survey

While you certainly have the ability to conduct your own employee satisfaction survey, we recommend investing in a software platform to help you instead. The reason is because running and analysing your own surveys takes up a ton of time.

Not only do you have to come up with the right questions, build your survey, and manually calculate your results, but you also have to be able to translate all this information into a comprehensive report or dashboard to share back with your leadership team and employees. 

On the other hand, if you use a comprehensive performance management tool like Culture Amp and Lattice, it’ll be much less resource intensive. Both of these platforms will easily be able to help you launch your survey, come up with the right questions for your workforce, collect the feedback, and find ways to take action on the data that comes in.

There are a few best practices to keep in mind when conducting an employee satisfaction survey, regardless of whether you do it yourself or turn to a platform:

  • Be consistent. This means that if this is meant to be a twice-a-year survey, you have to consistently distribute it twice a year. Otherwise you risk skewing the accuracy of your data and won’t be able to measure progress. 
  • Make it anonymous. As we mentioned above, employees likely won’t be honest in the survey if their identities are attached to their responses. So make sure your survey is anonymised to protect your employees and encourage transparency. 

15 Questions to include in your survey

Below we outlined 15 key questions to include in your survey, which are categorised into three buckets: company culture, work fulfillment, and management/leadership. These are the pillars that have a huge influence on an employee’s satisfaction levels. Keep in mind that these questions are by no means comprehensive, so feel free to add on any others that are relevant to your business. 

Company Culture

These questions gauge how your employee feels about the company culture and work environment. This is all about measuring overall sentiment around how the company treats its employees, and whether or not someone feels compelled to look for a new job. 

1. Do you feel positively about our company culture? 

2. On a scale of 1-5, how likely are you to recommend our company as a great place to work?

3. Are you proud to work at our company?

4. Can you see yourself working here two years from now? 

Work fulfillment

These questions are focused specifically on how an employee feels in their role. This digs into everything from how fulfilled they feel by their work to how compatible they are with their fellow teammates. 

5. Do you feel proud of the work you’re doing? 

6. Are you aligned with the company’s mission and vision?

7. Do you feel like the company is invested in your personal and professional growth?

8. Are your roles and responsibilities clearly defined? 

9. Is your team supportive of one another?

Management/Leadership

These questions are about how employees perceive the leadership and management teams. It’s about identifying whether or not they feel their executives are honest, reliable, and have their best interests in mind. 

10. On a scale of 1-5, how transparent do you think the leadership team is? 

11. Do you feel informed about what’s happening at the company?

12. Does your manager make you feel supported and valued?

13. Do you feel comfortable approaching your manager with work-related problems?

14. Is the leadership team’s expectations of your performance clear? 

15. Are you connected to the resources you need to succeed in your role? 

Related article: 5 Ways to help your employees improve their financial wellbeing

Next steps

Even after you collect the data from your employee satisfaction survey, the work isn’t quite over yet! There are a few next steps to take into consideration: 

  • Use the data as a benchmark. If this is your first time running an employee satisfaction survey, your results will serve as the benchmark for next year. In other words, the next time you run this survey, the goal is to compare it to these first round of results and (hopefully) be able to note progress. 
  • Boost participation rates. With every survey, your goal is to have as many employees participate as possible. If you found that your participation rates were low this year, don’t worry. There are many tactics you can use – from sending out eye-catching reminder emails or Slack messages to incentivising employees with a prize – to increase participation rates. 
  • Identify a few actionable insights. The most important thing you can do with your survey results is to take action. For instance, if a common theme in your data was that employees didn’t feel like the leadership team was transparent enough, it may be time to introduce one to two new initiatives to address that issue. This can be having “Ask Me Anything” sessions once a week or having your company leaders set up more one-on-one meetings with employees throughout the year. Don’t try to address all the issues at once – otherwise you’ll feel overwhelmed. Instead, take one or two of the most pressing issues and focus on them over the next few months. 

Employee satisfaction surveys are a powerful tool that can help you retain top talent, improve performance, and increase innovation at your company. Follow these steps to get your survey started on the right foot.
If you’re looking for an additional HR software to support your business, Flare offers a free onboarding software with employee management and benefits. To learn more, please request a demo.

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