Supervisor Evaluation Surveys: How to Measure Management Satisfaction

Senior boss holds a meeting for younger colleagues

Most employees, across several levels of an organization, work with a supervisory figure. 

Supervisors train, collaborate, and evaluate the employees working underneath them. Beyond that, they’re often the first person an employee talks to when they start the day and the person they go to for support or guidance. 

Needless to say, this relationship heavily influences the experience an employee has at a company. You probably have heard the saying that “people don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” 

Well, it’s true! Poor supervisory management is often the reason why employees look for new jobs. Therefore it's understandable that c-suite and upper-level managers want to know how this relationship is impacting their organization.

Enter supervisor evaluation surveys. 

Feedback from this type of market research can ultimately boost employee retention at a company. If there are issues that need to be addressed with management, that will be made known in the survey.

From there, steps can be taken to fix these issues for happier supervisors and happier employees.

In the case study below we reflect on a recent employee survey we conducted to specifically measure management satisfaction. Here's what we learned.

Why Measure Employee Satisfaction with Supervisors

The client conducts a supervisor evaluation survey within its organization across all departments every so often. This gives employees the opportunity to evaluate their supervisor(s) across many individual and performance-based metrics. 

Below, we’ll cover the main reasons why we were asked to run this survey. We’ll also touch on the benefits of using a third party for employee surveys.

So, why did they contact Drive Research? For a few reasons.

The client needed an independent party to administer the evaluation survey.

Any employee or supervisor survey that is launched internally in an organization can make employees doubt that their responses will be kept anonymous.

Therefore, partnering with a third party, like a market research company, adds some comfort and security that the administering process and results of the survey will not be tampered with by management figures.

Additionally, using an unbiased market research company can help increase employee survey response rates. We've seen cases where response rates were 6X when using an employee survey company vs. conducting the survey in-house.

The client needed a market research company with the proper survey capabilities and expertise.

Not all market research companies are the same. Some only offer services in certain industries or methodologies while others such as Drive Research, provide a full range of services. 

For our client’s case, they needed a company that had the experience and necessary resources of conducting employee surveys. We’ve done a plethora of employee surveys and have the right approach and tools to manage them. 

The client required the research firm to be able to provide customized reporting options.

While most studies involve a mix of reporting deliverables (i.e., a PowerPoint report, online report portals, and an Excel raw data file of all responses), this study required individualized PDF reports to be produced for several supervisors.

Our reporting software could customize the results by supervisor and create specific reports for each one.     

💡 The Key Takeaway: When choosing a market research firm to conduct your supervisor evaluation survey, be sure to ask what they can offer to accommodate your requirements. You may have done some initial research on what you’re looking for and what your study requires, but the market research firm can offer alternative solutions at a lesser or similar price.  

How to Ask Employees for Feedback on Managers

To administer the survey, Drive Research recommended using an email campaign. 

The client provided us with an employee contact list with the employee’s name and email address. They also provided organizational charts that detailed what department each employee worked in as well as what level they were in that department.

Once we verified and combined this information together, we could begin sending the leadership feedback survey out via email. 

The email survey invitation process is short and simple: 

  1. The employee list is uploaded into our survey software and we confirm that all names and email addresses were transferred properly. 

  2. Next, we draft emails that will be sent to all contacts over the course of fieldwork. This includes an initial email at the start of the fieldwork as well as two reminder emails that are sent towards the middle or end of fieldwork. The link to take the survey is embedded in these emails.

  3. We recommend leaving the survey link live for at least 2-weeks to account for busy workloads and vacation time. During this time period, we'll send email reminders to employees that have not responded to the survey.

Additionally, we can track how many responses came in from each email and make sure everything is running smoothly. If a problem does arise, we can address it quickly without jeopardizing the study. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: For this particular project, an email survey was the best way to go. Respondents received a link to the survey in the form of an invitation email. 

Approach to Conducting a Supervisor Evaluation Survey

The approach for this survey was designed to be fast, economical, and straightforward. 

We call it a “turn-key” project because it’s not strenuous but it unlocks all of the data the client needs. These types of projects can provide the necessary research in a fast and inexpensive fashion. That way our client could use the data to quickly begin improving employee wellbeing.

This is a great option for companies and organizations that have some of the market research processes completed but just need a little help getting things set up and administered.  

So, how do these “turn-key” projects work? Let’s walk through the project timeline and see what each stage entailed.

1. Most of our studies begin with a kickoff call over Zoom.

However, all communication was done via email for this project. The client preferred communication this way and the objectives of the project were straightforward enough to understand in writing.

2. Next, the client provided us with the survey questionnaire.

The client usually provides us with a complete, or nearly done, survey draft. This speeds up the rest of the process and trims the project timeline by several days.   

We also have a turn-key voice of employee solution where the survey is pre-written and pre-programmed., if you're unsure what employee survey questions to include.

  • The first question asked employees to select what supervisor they were evaluating from a list.
  • The next questions were asked as Likert scales. 

3. Employees had to select how often their supervisor does the following for a variety of prompts. 

These were categorized into four sections:

  1. Interpersonal Skills, Attitude, and Character
  2. Communication
  3. Planning, Efficiency & Engagement Management
  4. Mentoring & Coaching Abilities 

The Likert scale options included always, often, sometimes, rarely, never, and N/A. The final question was open-ended and asked what one suggestion the employee had for the supervisor.

4. We began programming the leadership evaluation survey and tested it among our team within a few days.

Once we felt the survey was ready, we sent a test link to the client to confirm it matches what they desired. 

Also, we sent an example PDF export of an individualized report to see if it was clear and easy to understand. This was very important to confirm since we would have to create over 50 reports and we wanted to make sure all of what the client was looking for would be included.

5. Next, we began setting up the email campaign.

The client sent us the employee list and organizational chart about a week prior so we were all set to begin once the client signed off on the supervisor evaluation survey and example report.

We sent the first invites out immediately and scheduled reminder emails a few days to a week after the initial email. 

6. We stopped accepting responses after 8 days of fieldwork.

Fieldwork timelines for employee and customer satisfaction surveys are often dictated by the client. 

We recommend a 2 to 3-week window for fieldwork on most studies, however, if the client needs the data as soon as possible or is satisfied with the number of responses after a week or so, we’ll close the survey and start reporting. 

For this project, the client was happy with the number of responses and was eager to send the supervisors their reports quickly.

7. Lastly, we began exporting each report into a PDF for each supervisor.

We organized supervisors by department into a folder and sent it to the client within a day or two.

💡 The Key Takeaway: To gather to highest quality supervisor evaluation comments, a turn-key solution was used. Fieldwork lasted a total of 8 days, which is shorter than what we typically do. 

Leadership Evaluation Survey Findings

The total number of responses for the survey was 109. Each supervisor report had enough responses to give them valuable feedback and the client was very satisfied with what we provided.  

As mentioned in the introduction, an employee's working relationship with their supervisor is critical to the success of the entire organization. 

By conducting a supervisor evaluation survey, supervisors can measure this relationship and identify improvement areas. This will help them better understand the needs of their employees, learn how to help them be successful, and offer ways to promote a more positive working culture.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Our survey yielded over 100 responses in under two weeks that provided valuable insight for the client. 

Contact Our Supervisor Evaluation Survey Company

Thinking a supervisor evaluation survey may be right for your business? Let us know how we can help you! No matter what industry you work in or what market research knowledge you have, we’re confident we can provide you with the answers you need.

Drive Research is a market research company based in New York. Our team has years of combined experience in the field and is ready to craft a thoughtful project based on the needs of your organization. 

Curious about the rest of our market research services? Get in touch with us! 

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Justin Eisenhauer

As a Research Assistant, Justin works directly with all team members on client projects. His intrigue in market research formed during his time at Marist College, where he studied business and entrepreneurship.

Learn more about Justin, here.

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