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Employees Satisfaction, Engagement and Employees Satisfaction Survey

Employees Satisfaction, Engagement and Employees Satisfaction Survey

 Employee satisfaction is the terminology used to describe whether employees are happy and contented and fulfilling their desires and needs at work. Many measures claim that employee satisfaction is a factor in employee motivation, employee goal achievement, and positive employee morale in the workplace. Employee satisfaction, while generally a positive for the organization, can also has a drawback if mediocre employees stay because they are satisfied with the work environment.

Employee satisfaction is a measurement of an employee’s happiness with current job and conditions. It is a facet of employment that is seldom discussed, but is a very important element in any workplace. It is important for an organization to monitor and understand satisfaction levels. The level of satisfaction employees feel toward their job is directly related to how successfully they perform their job, how long they remain at their current place of employment, and most importantly, it impacts the collective culture of the organization. Employee satisfaction does not measure how much effort the employee is willing to expend.

Employee satisfaction research has shown that employee satisfaction has positive correlations with the business performance as shown in Fig 1.

Employee satisfaction

Fig 1 Correlation of employee satisfaction with business performance

Employee engagement is a newer concept that has been adopted within the past decade as global competition skyrocketed, ‘lifetime employment’ faded into oblivion, and organizations looked to more directly align employee performance with organizational goals. Employee engagement is a measurement of an employee’s emotional commitment to the organization. It takes into account the amount of discretionary effort the employee makes on behalf of the organization.

While the exact definitions of employee satisfaction and employee engagement may differ from organization to organization, it is generally agreed that satisfaction refers to how employees feel — their ‘happiness’— about their job and conditions, such as compensation, benefits, work environment, and career development opportunities. Engagement, on the other hand, refers to employees’ commitment and connection to work as measured by the amount of discretionary effort they are willing to expend on behalf of their organization. Highly engaged employees go above and beyond the core responsibilities outlined in their job descriptions, innovating and thinking outside the box to move their organizations forward — much like volunteers are willing to give their time and energy to support a cause about which they are truly passionate.

Several internal and external factors can influence employee satisfaction and engagement, and these factors may change over time. Important factors contributing to employee satisfaction are as follows.

  • Job security
  • Opportunities to use skills and abilities
  • Organization’s financial stability
  • Relationship with immediate supervisor
  • Compensation
  • Benefits and perks
  • Communication between employees and senior management
  • The work and work/life balance
  • Contribution of work to the organization’s vision, mission and objectives
  • Autonomy and independence
  • Treating employees with respect
  • Management’s recognition of employee performance
  • Positive management within a framework of goals, measurements, and expectations

Employee satisfaction is typically measured through surveys designed to gather opinions about issues like bonus programs, benefits, and work/life balance, so that the organization can implement changes designed to increase morale and, theoretically, drive higher retention. Can an organization have a satisfied employee who is not engaged and vice versa? Chances are an engaged employee is also a satisfied employee; few employees are willing to go the extra kilometer for the organization unless they are fundamentally happy in their jobs. However, it is certainly possible to have a satisfied employee with a low engagement level — someone who shows up to work and goes through the motions, but does not demonstrate a lot of initiative or put in a lot of extra effort to further the success of the organization. That’s why focusing on satisfaction without addressing engagement is unlikely to foster the kind of exceptional workforce performance that drives business results.

In today’s climate, both employee job satisfaction and employee engagement are important for organizational sustainability. A well performing organization understands that measuring employees’ contentment levels and emotional commitment to the organization on a regular basis can put the organization at a competitive advantage.

Understanding the key drivers of both employee satisfaction and employee engagement is necessary. It is important to put actionable strategies in place to optimize these drivers for employees across the organization. Organization must focus its budget and resources on initiatives aimed at fostering mutually beneficial manager/employee relationships, creating opportunities for leveraging employee skills and abilities, and encouraging autonomy and independence in order to effect maximum organizational change.

While employee satisfaction and employee engagement are both critical for maintaining a happy and productive workforce, achieving satisfaction without engagement has significantly less impact on the organizational success. After all, engaged employees are emotionally committed to working hard, demonstrating initiative, and expending extra discretionary effort — and doing so in alignment with strategic priorities to move the organization forward. It’s no wonder that employee engagement has been associated with higher workforce productivity and customer satisfaction with lower absenteeism and employee turnover.

In order to reap bottom line benefits that a truly engaged workforce promises, organizations must adopt a more dynamic approach to both employee satisfaction and employee engagement that incorporates more frequent measurements — not just a once a- year snapshot — to identify trends and create effective change. By taking the satisfaction and engagement pulse of employees periodically throughout the year, management can develop and implement initiatives and management strategies that take into account not only employees’ present perceptions, but also their past experiences and future expectations. The end result is a more sustained increase in employee satisfaction and engagement that drives competitive success and bottom-line results.

Employee satisfaction survey

 Employee satisfaction is often measured by employees satisfaction survey administered periodically. It is a series of questions that employees answer to inform the management about how they feel about or how they experience their work environment and culture. The questionnaire usually includes questions that ask employees to rate a particular aspect of the work environment as well as open ended questions that allow them to express opinions.  The satisfaction survey is used by the organization to measure the liking and approval of employees for the following areas.

  • Management and organizational services
  • Work environment
  • Employment conditions
  • Understanding of vision and mission
  • Empowerment
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Coworker interaction

Employee satisfaction survey helps the organization with respect to in the following issues.

  • Understand the organizational culture – The satisfaction levels in the organization must always be monitored so that corrective act ions can be taken before any deterioration in the culture start affecting the performance of the organization.
  • Address employee benefits – Employee satisfaction survey brings into focus several benefits which have got potential of enhancing the employee satisfaction substantially. Often these benefits can be given with very little or no additional cost to the organization.
  • Improve teamwork – The data obtained through the employee satisfaction survey indicates that whether the employees of the organization are working in silos or as a team. Decisions taken on the survey results will help the organization by ensuring that the employees work efficiently in teams so that processes operate at peak efficiency.
  • Improve satisfaction and productivity – Employee satisfaction questionnaires are an excellent vehicle for determining how employees view their jobs and the organization as a whole. Survey helps in building a work environment that is driving high levels of productivity with the employees satisfied with opportunities for advancement.
  • Assess employees’ long term commitments -One of the biggest “costs” associated with running a company is the loss of valued employees, many of whom take institutional knowledge to direct competitors. Employee turnover wreaks havoc on the organizational business.
  • Identify succession planning needs – A professional, comprehensive approach to succession planning can be guided by employee satisfaction survey results.
  • Improve the work lives of all employees – Satisfied employees are happy and hence they are more productive and give higher output effectively. Happy and productive employees generally have a good balance between their work and personal lives. They trust and respect their peers, supervisors, and upper management. They look forward to coming to work and are proud of their individual and team accomplishments. Employee satisfaction survey provides data which can be used to unlock the full potential of the employees.
  • Retain happier, more satisfied employees – For retaining happier and more satisfied employees, organization need to create on priority a culture which promotes employee satisfaction.

The analysis of the data of the employee satisfaction surveys should bring forward the steps to improve root causes. Further the management must be committed for making changes in the work environment based on employee responses to the survey. This is the bottom line for the organization which is administering a satisfaction survey to employees. Further management must be committed to report the results to employees. Additionally, the management must be committed for making changes to the work environment, with the help and involvement of employees and teams of employees. Communicating transparently about the changes, their impact, and future plans are all part of a positive satisfaction survey process.

Without the transparent communication, results reporting, and employee updates, employees will not trust the management’s motives in collecting survey data. Over time, employees will cease to respond or respond only with answers that they believe the management wants to hear. This makes the data collected on the survey useless.

The involvement of employees in improving the work environment based on satisfaction survey results creates an environment of shared responsibility for workplace culture and improvements. Management must avoid leading employees to believe that satisfaction at work is the management’s responsibility. Employee satisfaction is a shared responsibility, so is the response to the satisfaction survey.

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