If you've been following us at SurveyMe, we frequently stress the idea that engaged, happy employees are heavily correlated with satisfied customers. We urge employers and supervisors to constantly seek out their employees’ perspectives and opinions. But sometimes finding the problems your employees are having can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Creating a staff satisfaction program
There are five stages in creating a successful staff satisfaction program:
- Identify your employees’ concerns or dissatisfactions
- Determine which issues are having the highest negative impact
- Develop an action plan to address these issues
- Put the action plan into motion
- Re-evaluate employee satisfaction
- Repeat forever
Notice the last step? This isn’t a one-time process. It’s a cycle. As employers, managers, and supervisors, we should be constantly on the lookout for concerns or issues that affect our employees’ satisfaction levels. Your company's culture is ever shifting with each new hire or departing employee.
Identify your employees’ concerns or dissatisfactions
This is the key first phase in building a satisfied, productive team of employees. It’s also something you should be doing continually, as noted above. The most important thing you can do to effectively identify issues that may be having a negative impact on employee satisfaction is to conduct employee research. There are two main types of employee research: qualitative and quantitative research.
Qualitative research in this sense typically means consulting with employees, through interviews, focus groups, online groups, etc. When conducting qualitative research, you want to provide employees with open-ended questions, allowing them to build on their thoughts and share their perspectives.
Quantitative research involves gathering data that can be, essentially, counted. For example, conducting a staff satisfaction survey, or a survey regarding a particular issue that you believe may be impacting staff satisfaction.
These two types of research are not at odds. In fact, they should be used in a complementary manner. An initial informal consultation with employees, allowing them to air their thoughts, is qualitative research. You may in the process hear what is bothering your employees, or hints about various issues. You can then conduct a survey to determine the severity of each potential issue, and use that data to prioritize the issues you’ll address in your next action plan.
When you do employee research, it’s a good idea to save your results—both qualitative and quantitative. Although you may not be able to address every issue with a single action plan, being aware of the next issues you should be working on will be invaluable.