The Truth About Employee Satisfaction Surveys (& Why They Don’t Work)

Why don't employee satisfaction surveys work? They DO, if administered through a third party employee survey company. They DON'T, if administered in-house through a company's human resources department or upper management.

There are many best practices when it comes to market research, particularly with employee satisfaction surveys.

A few red flags that come to mind with employee satisfaction surveys include employers who are too afraid to collect feedback so they never ask, employers who think they have a good understanding of employee satisfaction (spoiler alert, this isn't always the case), or employers who do not follow the rules when it comes to employee confidentiality.

Safe to say these red flags do not fly at Drive Research.

The truth is employee surveys work great when executed properly. The results can help organization leaders increase revenue, satisfaction, reduce turnover, increase productivity, increase communication, reduce safety accidents, and more.

Gallup conducts many employee benchmark research and engagement studies so check out their latest data for recent metrics.

Use these tips and best practices to make sure employee satisfaction surveys work for company!

why employee survey don't work | wink face emoji

Why don't employee satisfaction surveys work? Here are 4 reasons employee surveys fail when administered in-house instead of using a third-party employee survey company firm.

Reason #1: The right questions are not asked

Survey design is an art form. When the right questions are asked in an employee satisfaction survey, market research analysts can pinpoint priority areas to maintain and improve.

There are a ton of potential questions that could be included in an employee satisfaction survey. Topics our employee survey company often conduct studies on include:

  • Mission and purpose
  • Teamwork
  • Quality and customer focus
  • Compensation
  • Feedback
  • Workplace and resources
  • Communication
  • Opportunities for growth
  • Work-Life balance
  • Fairness
  • Respect for management
  • Respect for employees
  • Performance and accountability
  • Personal expression and diversity
  • Satisfaction and engagement
  • Demographics

Oftentimes, an employee satisfaction survey is created based on industry benchmarking questions. The results for a particular organization can then be compared to the results of the industry as a whole. These metrics are called employee satisfaction benchmarks.

Through this, organization leaders get a better understanding of areas of success and weakness as it compares to the industry as a whole. This can identify how similar employers match up in regards to the employee experience. This includes overall satisfaction as well as other factors like pay and benefits.

Employee satisfaction benchmark survey questions include 7 categories:

  1. Career Development
  2. Work Engagement
  3. Compensation
  4. Relationship Management
  5. Benefits
  6. Work Environment
  7. Demographics

An employee survey firm has access to industry benchmarks for a variety of business sectors. This includes, but is not limited to, financial, retail, manufacturing, and healthcare.

Reason #2: Employees are too scared to provide honest feedback

Using a third-party for employee satisfaction survey company is crucial.

Again, in case you missed it, using a third-party employee satisfaction survey company is crucial.

If organizations conduct employee surveys in-house there is a ton of risk for bias. Bias means the data collected is tainted and is not reliable. In addition to bias, using a third-party for employee research opens lines of communication and gathers more reliable feedback.

If an employee survey is administered through a member from a leadership team or human resources, employees are less likely to offer their honest feedback about the company. Employees fear their job is on the line if they provide anything but stellar reviews. In the long run, this is type of feedback is not helpful for HR or employees because no real change will be made. There really would be no point in administering an employee survey in the first back, if it is not going to allow for a real difference to be made.

To review, employee satisfaction research should be conducted by a third-party. Just in case you forgot, using the right third-party for employee research makes results actually helpful!

Learn more benefits of using a third-party for employee surveys.

Reason #3: Results are not properly analyzed

Suppose an organization crafted a great employee survey and conducted the research with the help of a third-party market research company to ensure employee confidentiality.

Even if great data is collected, experienced analysts need to be able to report on the data, uncover key findings, and recommend next steps. A typical employee satisfaction report includes a background and methodology of the project, executive summary of themes, an infographic of the findings, respondent persona, recommendations and action items, and next steps for market research

To give you an inside look, a prior employee satisfaction survey answered the following questions:

  1. How satisfied are employees?
  2. What are employees most satisfied with?
  3. What are employees least satisfied with?
  4. What drives satisfaction?
  5. What is most important to employees?
  6. How do employees describe the manufacturing company?
  7. How can the manufacturing company improve?

Check out the complete overview of an employee engagement project.

Reason #4: Nothing is done with the results

Even with a perfect employee satisfaction survey and third-party company conducting the research and report, the project truly becomes successful when next steps are taken with the results.

After employees take the time to share their thoughts they want to be heard. Use the results to drive and implement change. Once this final piece is complete, the true value of employee satisfaction surveys can be realized.

Want more? Check out these 5 employee surveys benefits.

Contact Our National Employee Survey Company

Drive Research is a market research company located in Syracuse, NY. We offer custom employee surveys as well as a wide range of custom market research services.

Interested in learning more about our market research services? Reach out through any of the four ways below.

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Call us at 888-725-DATA
Text us at 315-303-2040

Employee Surveys