More now than ever, employee satisfaction is crucial for employee retention. Demand for talent is high, and to hold on to your employees, you have to make sure they are happy and engaged at work.
Employee dissatisfaction and burnout needs to be addressed to prevent high turnover and to avoid it impacting other areas, like customer service. For this reason, it’s important to carefully measure employee satisfaction and address any issues as part of a strong Voice of Employee program.
Improving satisfaction levels is also good for your profit margin. According to research from Gallup, companies who have an engaged workforce enjoy higher earnings per share (EPS).
Let’s take a deeper dive into what employee satisfaction is and how you can improve it.
Employee satisfaction is how happy and fulfilled employees feel at work. It is directly linked to whether they think they can achieve their objectives at work, with the resources available to them.
Knowing how satisfied your employees are tells you a lot about what is going on within your organization, and is a good indicator of how likely your employees are to stick with you.
Employee satisfaction is different from employee engagement. When your employees are satisfied, they are content and feel relatively fulfilled.
Engaged employees are happy in their work, but are also highly committed to the organization and passionate about their work. However, it’s impossible to have engaged employees that are unsatisfied with their work.
So, in order to have motivated, productive employees, it’s critical to make sure satisfaction levels within your company are high.
Your starting point is making sure you are measuring your employee satisfaction levels.
Reaching out via employee surveys is the first step to measuring satisfaction. The two most important employee surveys are the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) and the Employee Satisfaction Survey.
Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is a simple metric adapted from the Net Promoter Score (NPS). The main difference between the two, is that the eNPS measures employee satisfaction, whereas the NPS measures customer satisfaction.
The eNPS score is generated from employee answers to the question:
How likely are you to recommend this company as a good place to work on a scale of 0-10?
Depending on what score respondents choose, they are given one of the following labels:
9-10: Promoters. These employees are your biggest advocates, your most engaged and most satisfied people.
7-8: Passives. These employees are neutral. They are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
0-6: Detractors. These employees are actively disengaged and dissatisfied.
Your score results are then calculated using the following formula:
Your eNPS results allow you to take a quick pulse check of satisfaction levels within your organization. eNPS surveys fall short, however, in their simplicity. There is no room for an employee to expand on how or why they chose that score.
To counteract this, it’s a good idea to add open-ended questions to the end of your surveys. Usually the question "Give as the reason behind your score" is enough to gain qualitative insights from employees.
An Employee Satisfaction Survey is a longer survey with qualitative open-ended questions and is generally sent out annually to employees.
These kinds of surveys are designed to assess employees’ satisfaction levels across many areas from their day-to-day tasks right through to the company’s overarching goals. Other categories might include, management, communication, transparency and workplace culture, etc.
As these surveys are longer than eNPS and involve open-ended questions, you can gain more personal and considered opinions. Because of this, they can be more difficult to analyse. However, when the analysis is done well, an employee satisfaction survey will yield more in-depth results.
One-on-one meetings with your employees are also a great way to find out how they are feeling. When given a forum to air any concerns they have, not only employees feel valued and heard, but you also gain instant insights from them.
These meetings are a great way to get to know your employees, strengthen your relationship with them and increase trust. These are all essential elements when creating satisfied employees.
Once you’ve measured employee satisfaction, you’ll need to take action and improve it.
Here we’ll go through 4 solid tips to help you boost employee satisfaction.
There is no point planning the perfect survey and gathering responses if you are not going to act on your results. It can actually be more damaging to not take on board what your employees are telling you, or to take a long time to address their concerns.
Processing your responses can be a big job. This is where AI can help. Automated survey analysis tools organize your survey data, so you can derive actionable information.
MonkeyLearn is a no-code machine learning tool for text analysis. MonkeyLearn's feedback classifier, which sorts data into categories, and sentiment analyzer which detects positive, negative and neutral emotions in text, are great tools for structuring your data. Plus, they are designed to work autonomously, around the clock to keep you informed of your results in real-time.
Here’s an example of MonkeyLearn’s sentiment analysis tool in action. You can type your own text here to test it out:
When your employee feedback is organized, you can then spot any issues or trends and see how you can improve the employee experience. MonkeyLearn Studio allows you to see all of your data and insights in one, easy to navigate place.
Dell is a great example of an organization that harnessed the power of AI to get the most out of their employee survey results.
Prior to using AI , it took the Dell HR team up to a month to manually process the 10,000 open-ended responses they received from their annual employee survey.
Dell chose to use MonkeyLearn’s suite of text analysis tools to perform aspect-based sentiment analysis and were able to arrive at their insights four months earlier than previous years.
This way, they could bring the most frequent complaints to managers’ attention sooner. And saved over 400 employee hours, as just one employee was needed over the course of one week.
You can check out their entire journey implementing feedback analysis AI here.
It’s human nature to want to be recognized for hard work, and there are clear links between recognition and motivation.
In a recent report from Bonusly, recognition was found to be strongly correlated to engagement: 86% of highly engaged employees stated they were recognized the last time they went above and beyond at work, whereas only 31% of actively disengaged employees stated the same.
When employees are recognized and rewarded for their work, their satisfaction and engagement levels rise.
While money is important, rewarding your employees goes beyond just this. There are two main categories to keep in mind when planning your employee recognition program. These are structured recognition and unstructured recognition. You can choose one over the other, but it can work well to take a blended approach.
Structured recognition could include quarterly reviews and rewards based on these results, like a bonus. Another example of structured recognition would be an employee of the month program.
Unstructured recognition could be recognizing particular employees in a staff newsletter or making special mention of an employee's work at an all-company meeting.
Creating a positive company culture starts from the top. Set clear core values that trickle down through the company.
Open communication and transparency should be a priority for your organization, as employees are more satisfied and motivated when they are kept in the loop.
Your employees’ relationships with their managers also has a huge impact on their satisfaction. In fact, recent happiness research shows that the time people are least happy is when they’re around their boss. So, choosing managers that employees actually want to be around can make a big difference in employee satisfaction.
Relationships with colleagues are essential too. It’s beneficial to create an environment where your employees can make friends, be it through social events or by creating an office space that is conducive to socializing. Employees with emotional bonds with their coworkers will perform better in team settings.
Finally, invest in wellness initiatives. If your people are stressed and unhealthy, they cannot bring their best selves to work and may begin to look at work as the root of their stress. Initiatives can range from providing free healthy snacks, to meditation sessions, to gym membership discounts or subsidies.
A lack of work-life balance for employees can quickly lead to burnout and subsequently, employee churn.
There are a number of ways you can foster better employee work-life balance. A good starting point is asking your employees what they feel would help them maintain a better balance. Then you can analyze their answers and implement the proper remedies.
Clear, top-down, messaging, letting employees know they are not expected to be online 24/7 is important. It’s also good for leaders to set this example, so employees really believe the messaging.
Flexible working arrangements are also helpful. Home-working is commonplace now, but allowing your people to control their schedules and the hours they work can give them the tools to improve their own work-life balance.
When you have high-levels of employee satisfaction in your organization, your turnover will be low, productivity high, and both employees and the organization as a whole will prosper.
Maintaining these standards takes continuous measuring and information gathering. Furthermore, it takes efficient and effective analysis to act on your information.
July 14th, 2021