Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Every business owner understands that customers pay the bills.
And, to keep those customers coming back they need to provide a great service experience.
However, many organizations don’t pay as much attention to those people who care for their customers – the employees.
Employees Take Care Of Customers
Employees are often on the front line and interact with customers either in person, on the phone, or delivering the product or service.
Ensuring that these employees have the necessary tools, equipment, and training to meet the needs of customers is critical to success.
For employees to “care” about their customers they need to know that the organization cares about them.
This demonstration of care helps employees to be engaged with the organization.
And, it is this employee engagement that enables them to be an extension of the organization and demonstrate its values by the way they care for the customer.
A recent HBR report indicates that “a highly engaged workforce can increase innovation, productivity, and bottom-line performance while reducing costs related to hiring and retention in highly competitive talent markets.”
Having a good understanding of one of your core customer groups – your employees – is an important aspect of managing a business.
There are many vendors who can help you develop and implement an employee satisfaction survey process.
This includes assessing the corporate culture, understanding employee needs, and analyzing feedback.
However, smaller organizations may not have the resources to hire someone but they can start the conversation by creating a survey themselves.
This proactive step will help them to get a feel for how employees perceive their work environment.
This can be done easily and quickly.
The following example provides generic questions you can ask employees to give you a head start but be sure to incorporate questions that are specific to your business environment.
Employee Satisfaction Survey Questions
- Overall, I am satisfied as an employee of ABC Company.
- My pay is competitive with other places at which I could work.
- ABC Company cares about its employees.
- I believe ABC Company delivers high-quality products and services to its customers.
- I get the information I need, when I need it, regarding issues that affect me.
- My supervisor shows appreciation for the work that I do.
- My job description accurately reflects what I am asked to do.
- I have received the training and skills to perform my job duties.
- I feel I am part of a team working toward the success of ABC Company.
- ABC Company leadership confronts employees who are weak in customer service.
- I believe I have the ability to meet or exceed my customers’ needs.
- I feel secure in having a job at ABC Company as long as I perform well.
- I believe ABC Company’s mission and vision drive the decisions it makes.
- ABC Company provides opportunities for my job growth and development.
- My supervisor has met with me to describe the strategic goals for ABC Company.
- I intend to continue my employment at ABC Company for the foreseeable future.
7 Tips to Make The Process Successful
1. Explain The Why
Employees need to know the organization’s desires to create a positive employee experience.
To make them aware of your intent create a communication plan that explains the “why” the survey is done.
For instance, create a communication plan that articulates the company goal of maintaining a happy, successful workforce. Then explain how a survey process will help the organization understand its employees and their needs for success.
If employees understand your intent they will more likely participate honestly.
2. Ensure Anonymity
Employees will only be as honest as they feel their anonymity is protected.
Take measures to ensure confidentiality in responses and protect employees from the inevitable response that managers may have if they hear constructive criticism.
For instance, if you have a small employee population use a blind survey to help protect the employee from discovery.
Third parties are often the most successful at these protective surveys.
3. Make It Fun
Filling out surveys is not fun for anyone so offer employees an incentive to fill out the survey.
Get creative and make an event out of the process. Offer food, beverages, or prizes to employees who take the time to participate.
4. Turn Data Into A Plan
There is a wealth of actionable information that is collected from employee surveys.
Take the responses and turn the data that you gather into an improvement action plan.
For instance, if the survey reveals that your business is lagging in its compensation, put together a compensation strategy that addresses those concerns.
5. Communicate What Was Learned
A major mistake organizations make is asking for feedback, encouraging employees to participate, and never talking about it again.
Once you gather all of the data, organize a staff meeting, and communicate what was learned and what the organization plans to do to make improvements.
There is nothing more discouraging than for employees to expose internal issues only to learn that issues are never addressed.
It is better to not ask the question than to learn about challenges employees are having and not either fix them or explain “why” things cannot be fixed.
6. Train Managers on How To Respond
Department managers, like employees, go to work every day with the intention of doing a good job.
Often when they receive negative feedback from an employee survey they have the tendency to take it personally.
Provide training for managers on how to translate constructive feedback into an opportunity for professional growth.
7. Commit to Make Changes
Be committed to making changes and make sure the plan is implemented by incorporating the improvement efforts into employee or department goals.
Track these goals as part of a performance management system.
Tell employees what you are doing and continue to have the conversation until all of the issues are addressed.
Then start the process over again!
There Are Free Tools Available
A business is only as strong as its weakest employee.
Take the time to find out what your employees are thinking and you might just learn something that could change the trajectory of your organization!
How often do you measure employee satisfaction?