How to Design an Employee Satisfaction Survey

A good leader needs to know whether his employees are satisfied with their professional life, especially after the company has experienced some layoffs. That’s precisely when employee surveys turn out to be an extremely useful tool. However, these surveys need to be done accordingly, since their quality is essential for establishing the real situation and the measures that should be adopted for improving it. Take a look on the following tips and design a solid employee satisfaction survey, which will help you get an accurate picture of how your employees feel.

Establish why you’re creating the survey

The main reason why companies make out surveys is that of quantifying both the weaknesses and strengths of their organization. Besides, employee satisfaction surveys are also recommended after the implementation of new changes. For example, whenever a company merges with one of its competitors, employees might become anxious and concerned about the new tasks that they need to accomplish. Surveys can also point out some unexpected issues that need to be dealt with, such as the staff’s inability to decide which members are authorized to make decisions on their own.

Go online

Most companies post their employee satisfaction surveys online and this method can allow managers to sort the responses based on job type, business unit, or on the amount of time that an employee has worked for their company.

However, this system may cause some concerns among employees, most of them being related to confidentiality. Your co-workers will never submit to a satisfaction survey unless they are sure that all the provided data remains confidential. For example, in case you hire a third party to make this survey, the hired firm should guarantee that the responses will be taken as a whole, and not as individual parts. Most of the people trust websites because they’re used to sharing information on them, but there are cases in which the company submits its employees to completely anonymous surveys in order to prevent a working relationships from becoming even more damaged.

Be careful when making changes

Surveys can be modified very easily, and you can add all types of questions that suit the concerns of your employees. There’s no use in designing an employee satisfaction survey whose questions are related to totally different issues. For example, the focus has shifted from the happiness of the employees to productivity and to whether they’re provided with the necessary authority. However, experts claim that surveys shouldn’t be changed every year, as you will no longer be able to compare the new data to that from the past.

Excessive length is not required

The completion of an employee satisfaction survey shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes, and the number of questions should by no means exceed 70. However, no one can stop you from designing a shorter survey if you want. The truth is that employees are looking forward to expressing their opinions about how the company is working, even if this means that they have to spend 20 minutes for this purpose.

The context should also be taken into consideration

Employee surveys make use of numbers, but all of them are worthless if they aren’t introduced in the right context. In case the majority of your employees reveal that they would want a higher salary, it’s a sign that your company is dealing with some compensation issues, or that they are trying to take advantage of the situation. This is why comparing the actual results with older ones might help you figure out exactly the type of situation that you are dealing with.

Let your employees see that the survey brought some changes

There’s no use in doing a survey if the results aren’t used for anything. You should see the survey as a starting point instead of an ending one, and this means that whatever the results may show, you should do your best to improve them. You can start by organizing all kinds of meetings and tell your employees the truth about what the surveys have revealed. Nothing is more appreciated by an employee than the manager’s willingness to take the matter in his own hands and try to improve the results of the survey.

Business leaders who chose not to do anything create the impression that they couldn’t care less about what happens within their company, and their employees will soon start to treat them with skepticism.

About William Taylor

Experienced writer William Taylor has extensive knowledge of business strategies and negotiation. His site,, offers negotiation workshops in different languages.