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Six Tips for Effectively Measuring Employee Satisfaction

HR efficiency is a quantitative element and as such can be measured precisely. In many cases, particularly if your company has fewer than 50 employees, you don’t have a hard time getting a good read on the general atmosphere in the workplace.

You’re able to personally make your way around offices and work areas enough to observe how employees interact with one another, how they feel about the way they’re treated by senior management, and whether morale is rising or falling. But if your company is larger, periodically conduct a more rigorous employee survey. Here are some tips:

  • Watch your timing. Don’t conduct surveys during holidays when many employees may be taking days off. Avoid exceptionally heavy workload periods.

  • Think carefully about your objectives before crafting your survey questions. What do you want to find out? What do you intend to do with the information?

  • Share survey objectives with employees, but do so in language that’s relevant to them. In other words, instead of using HR terms such as, “We want to assess employee attitudes,” tell them, “We want to hear your thoughts since we merged with Company X.”

  • Before you unveil your survey to the entire company, test it out on a small group of employees to see whether your questions are appropriate and what you can refine.

  • Assure employees that their comments are confidential. This is a key step.

  • Communicate to employees the results of the survey on a timely basis and take action, as appropriate, when employees make recommendations. Let employees know how their input has affected company policy.

To gain valuable ideas about improving your working conditions and making the workplace more inviting, consider conducting exit interviews with employees who have resigned or are otherwise voluntarily leaving your company. (People you’ve had to fire, although they are potentially the most candid of all, are not good subjects for two reasons: They’re unlikely to cooperate and, if they do, their input will probably be overly negative rather than constructive.)

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