What is an employee satisfaction survey?
An employee satisfaction survey is used by HR teams to measure the satisfaction of the employees across their business.
The results help the leadership team to develop and evolve their Employee Value Proposition and to identify things they need to change if they are going to attract and retain the best talent.
Top employee satisfaction survey questions
The answers to these questions are used to segment the data, allowing you to report on trends in specific areas of your organisation.
For example, if you discover that junior staff feel that salaries / total compensation is sub-par you can look to address this before you start to lose key members of your team to competitors.
The following questions will allow you to segment your results by seniority, generation, gender, length of service, or type of employment contract.
- What is your age? (18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+)
- Which gender, if any, do you identify with? (Male, Female, Gender Neutral, I’d rather not say, Other)
- What is your job level? – As per the organisation’s naming conventions
- How long have you been with [organisation name]? (<1 year, 1-2 years, 3-5 years, >5 years)
- What type of contract best describes your role? (Full time, part time, zero-hours or contractor)
These questions are scored on a scale of one to five, where one is strongly disagree and five is strongly agree. Scoring in this way makes data analysis possible and is quicker and easier for the employee to complete.
- I feel I am paid what I’m worth by [organisation name]
- I am paid similarly to other people I know in similar positions
- [Organisation name] has a fair and rewarding compensation system
- I feel that my salary is increased in line with my performance
- (Only complete this question if you’ve had a promotion during your time at [organisation name]) – When I was promoted I feel that the increase in salary was well aligned to my new role
- [Organisation name] gives me time off for important matters (e.g. a funeral)
- I am happy with my annual holiday allowance at [organisation name]
- I feel that the health insurance provided by [organisation name] meets my needs
- I am happy with the pension contribution made by [organisation name]
- [Organisation name] provides me with sufficient financial support and time off to gain further qualifications
- I feel that I am given opportunities to progress my career at [organisation name]
- I feel confident that my current role at [organisation name] is here to stay
- I am given on-the-job training and support whenever I need it
- I always get valuable feedback from my supervisors
- I can envisage a future for myself at [organisation name]
- [Organisation name] has adequate induction for all new employees
- I feel that I am recognised for my work
- I feel free to tell my manager what I think
- I am given the freedom to use my initiative when solving problems
- I fully understand my role in the organisation
- My manager treats me with respect and dignity
- Work atmosphere is very important to me
- I like the work atmosphere at [organisation name]
- [Organisation name] supports a balance between work and life
- I have a good understanding of all areas of [organisation name]’s business
- I care about the future of [organisation name]
- [Organisation name] cares for the environment in the work it does
- I get the chance to contribute to important decision making
- Being able to express myself is important to me
- Being able to give suggestions for innovative solutions is important to me
- I trust my peers
- I trust my leaders
- I feel like we always work as a team
- Leaders and managers are supportive
- Leaders and managers listen to my ideas
- I get rewarded for good work
- [Organisation name]’s departments work effectively together
Open Ended Questions
In addition to data driven questions, we recommend choosing two or three of the following questions, prompting for a longer, free-text based answer:
- What do you value most about working at [organisation name]?
- Is there anything else you would like to comment about [organisation name]?
- Is there anything you would like to communicate to the CEO personally?
- If you could make changes to improve [organisation name] what would they be?
- What would you do to increase performance?
- What would you do to increase people’s effectiveness?
- How do you think we can improve innovation?
- What are three things that you think [organisation name] does well?
- What are three things that you think [organisation name] does not do well?
We don’t recommend asking any more than two or three, as these are time consuming and difficult to interpret. These are there to provide some additional insights to supplement the main survey.
Analysing your employee satisfaction survey results
Once you’ve collected all of your survey results, the next step is to perform a detailed analysis of the data.
Statistical significance is a term used in survey analysis to mean that there is a certain level of accuracy within your results. It’s determined by having a sufficient sample size compared to your overall population.
Imagine you have 500 survey results out of a total of 1000 possible respondents. Your results might show that your workforce is 80% satisfied with compensation however, when you drill down into the sample, you might find that:
- almost all of your respondents were male,
- most of your female employees didn’t complete the survey,
- but half of your workforce are female.
In this case you failed to achieve statistical significance and as such your data is an inaccurate representation of your total population.
To help achieve statistical significance, you should select your sample at random from the overall population. Additionally, you can use using this handy calculator to determine the minimum number of responses you need to ensure your sample is representative of your entire organisation.
Segment Your Survey Results
At the start of your survey you asked a number of questions like age, gender, and length of service – these will now help you segment your survey responses.
Segmenting the responses will allow you to see how answers from different cohorts (e.g. different levels of seniority) compare to one another.
For example, it could be that Administrators don’t feel their views are listened to, or that some of the leadership team don’t envisage a future at the company. Looking at some of the open-ended questions will offer further insights into why this might be.
Once segmented, the results of your employee satisfaction survey can play an important role in creating your employee value proposition. It will be easy to see what different groups of employees value most about working at your organisation.
The easiest way to clearly display the data you collected is by creating a simple table that allows you to compare results from different segments.
Just remember to check that when narrowing down the results, you don’t reduce the sample size to a point where it’s no longer statistically significant.
Prove what you're doing is working
If you don’t yet have data from a previous year, now is a great time to start and set your benchmarks. From here you can compare future survey results and identify trends. This helps gauge how successful your employee value proposition is and whether adjustments are needed. It helps track employee engagement and satisfaction, and it enables you to focus your attention on any aspects of your business that are falling behind.
Let’s say that last year your more junior employees felt their ideas were ignored and, as a result, felt disengaged within their roles.
Following on from that feedback, you made changes to ensure that their views were listened to and that positive changes were made as a result.
This year, you run the survey again and you find that this segment of employees now have higher scores in those areas.
This demonstrates that the changes you made have been successful. Without this ability to compare year on year, you have no way of measuring the success of your efforts and you’ll never know if they’re actually making any impact.