Employee Job Satisfaction Survey: How it works + 56 Effective Sample Questions
Picture this. You walk into a cafe to place an order for coffee.
The employee taking your order is curt and in a hurry to move on to the next customer.
There are no niceties, the coffee isn't well-made, and the whole experience leaves you very dissatisfied.
Are you going to be a repeat customer? Unlikely.
Like this imaginary cafe with terrible service, unhappy employees reflect poorly on a business—they're at the forefront of it all. So if they're not treated well—it's bound to show up in one of the many functions they perform.
Despite this, companies look at employee job satisfaction surveys as just another box to tick.
If you recognize employee satisfaction as a valuable metric, you can leverage it to gain a clear, competitive advantage over others.
In this article, you'll learn:
- How an employee satisfaction survey helps company objectives.
- Strategies to elicit honest responses.
- A sample of employee job satisfaction survey questions.
📝 What is an employee satisfaction survey?
Employee satisfaction surveys are a type of feedback survey used to collect data from employees to gauge how well your business is doing in terms of employee engagement and retention.
Collecting data for factors like job satisfaction, management style, and compensation reveals flaws in your business.
👀 Why invest time and effort into employee satisfaction surveys?
Simply put, an employee survey on job satisfaction is a safe, anonymous way for your employees to tell you what's really bothering them, provided you're asking the right questions.
This way, you can:
- Identify recurring issues, i.e., what everyone seems to be complaining about.
- Check on whether the people you have put in charge are doing their due diligence.
- Discover how people feel about management.
Tip: You can avoid costly turnover and nip problems in the bud by addressing dissatisfaction early.
➡️ Discover the drivers of employee job satisfaction before getting proactive with your job satisfaction strategy.
🏆 3 Benefits of employee satisfaction surveys
An employee job satisfaction survey helps you identify where you could be doing better—that's the obvious benefit. For a nuanced perspective, here are three others.
1. Boosting productivity
By analyzing survey results, employers can identify the need for:
- Increased training for desired career paths
- Better work/life balance
- Improved communication
Employees who feel like their concerns are addressed regularly are more likely to be motivated and productive.
2. Giving employees a voice
You can prove you value employee input by taking action on the findings of employee satisfaction surveys. This gives employees an indirect say in your company's operations and makes them feel heard.
3. Immediate feedback on strategies
By collecting feedback regularly, you can understand how your employees feel about various aspects of the job, from communication and leadership to workload and pay.
📏 3 Methods for measuring employee satisfaction
1. Surveying employees
With honest employee feedback, it becomes easy to identify the different aspects of job satisfaction. Key factors you can investigate with a survey:
- Overall satisfaction with the job;
- Employee engagement levels;
- Satisfaction with current salary/benefits;
- Whether the employee feels valued and appreciated.
Ideally, your surveys would be full of open-ended questions to allow your employees to dig into their problems.
Unfortunately, the success of a survey partly depends on how easy it is to answer– so spend more time on bettering close-ended questions.
2. Have face-to-face meetings
Think of this as a performance review, but for the company. This mode takes more time but does what surveys cannot: it allows employees to elaborate on their problems.
You could use your surveys to identify problems and use that input to schedule face-to-face meetings with problematic departments.
However, it's much easier to be honest in an anonymous survey— what you say in a face-to-face meeting may have consequences.
3. Include exit interviews
Exit interviews can provide valuable insight into why employees are leaving and can help to identify any systemic issues that need addressing.
There's also a good chance that your departing employees will be honest without the risk of losing jobs or facing backlash hanging over their heads.
💡 9 Tips for getting the best results out of your employee satisfaction surveys
William Arruda helps major global brands (20% of them are Fortune 500 companies) employ happier people by focusing on personal branding and development. He says: "When companies expect their workers to deliver exceptional work, honest feedback is the secret ingredient."
Here are nine tips to ensure your survey results are as honest as possible.
1. Allow employee anonymity
Employees may be reluctant to express their true views if they think their responses could be traced back to them.
2. Keep your surveys consistent
If you're constantly changing the format or topics of your survey, it will be difficult to compare results over time. So instead, stick to the same topics to track your progress easily.
3. Use clear language
Ambiguous questions will only lead to fuzzy results. Instead, craft well-written questions to get the information you need. We have 56 sample questions below.
4. Don't ask too many questions
It's essential to keep the survey to the point. Otherwise, you risk overwhelming employees and getting inaccurate results.
Have a ballpark of the number of questions to ask and stick to it.
5. Include a mix of qualitative and quantitative survey questions
A blend of qualitative and quantitative questions can help you get a well-rounded picture of your employees' feelings.
- Open-ended questions collect detailed feedback, while closed-ended questions provide valuable data that is easy to analyze.
- True or false questions gauge employees' emotional reactions, while Likert scale questions provide more nuanced insights.
- 1 to 10 scale questions offer a comprehensive view of employee satisfaction levels and make it easy to spot progress later on.
6. Commit to ongoing surveys
Employee satisfaction can change over time, so it's important to survey employees regularly. This will allow you to identify problems early on before they have a chance to negatively impact the business.
7. Leverage technology
There are many online survey tools that can make it easier to collect feedback from your employees. Using these, you can ensure that your survey reaches the broadest possible audience and that you collect responses quickly and efficiently.
Feedback software can help you analyze your survey data to identify trends and patterns.
8. Share the results with your team
Sharing survey results will build trust and give everyone a chance to provide input on how to improve the company's performance.
9. Follow-up on feedback
To get started, review your employee job satisfaction survey results to identify areas of improvement.
Then, develop a plan of action that addresses the most pressing concerns.
Tip: Be sure to communicate the plan to all employees and keep them updated on your progress—this helps them realize the survey was important input and not just another routine formality.
❓ 56 Sample questions for your employee satisfaction survey
Employee satisfaction surveys provide valuable insights but yield results only if properly designed and administered.
Here are a few questions you can copy-paste to your employee satisfaction survey template.
Lack of communication is a common concern, especially in larger companies. Ask these questions to spot communication problems early on.
- Do you feel like you have the opportunity to share your ideas with your team or supervisor?
- How frequently do you feel like you are able to openly communicate with your co-workers?
- Do you feel supported by your team when you need assistance?
- Do you feel like your opinions are respected by your colleagues?
- Do you find it easy to provide input and feedback on company decisions that affect your work?
The questions below test various aspects of team cohesion, such as mutual respect and the ability to work together towards a common goal.
- Do you feel your job aligns with the company's vision for the future?
- How do your individual goals align with our company goals?
- Do you feel proud to work here or feel like it's just another faceless corporation?
- Do you feel like you're part of a motivated team?
- Do you have any suggestions on how we could improve our team dynamic?
Peer reviews can help determine whether your employees are working well as a team.
➡️ Check out our article with everything you need to know about peer review, with examples of phrases you should use.
Job insecurity causes anxiety, which harms productivity. It is important to gauge whether your company culture makes employees feel valuable or expendable.
- Do you feel like involuntary employee turnover has gone up in your company?
- Do you believe that your position is at risk of being eliminated?
- Do you think that your company is doing well financially?
- Do you trust your company's leadership to make decisions that are in employees' best interests?
A good leader can inspire their team to achieve great things, while a bad leader can quickly lead to frustration and disillusionment.
Companies must ensure employees do not feel at the mercy of only one person in the entire management structure.
- Do you feel like your leaders are supportive and available when needed?
- Do you feel like your leaders listen to your suggestions and feedback?
- Do you think your leaders maintain open and honest communication with their team?
- Do you feel like your leaders treat all employees fairly and equally?
- Do you feel like you can openly discuss concerns or problems with your leaders?
- Do you feel like your leaders create a positive and productive work environment?
Tip: Managers need constant upward feedback to be better leaders.
➡️ Check out our article on upward feedback. We also included a ready-to-use template for your upward feedback survey.
Asking these questions can help you identify areas where your team may be disengaged or unhappy and make changes accordingly. You can use similar questions in employee engagement surveys.
- How often do you feel like you have the opportunity to do your best work?
- Do you feel like you have the opportunity to grow and develop in your role?
- How often do you feel like your work is challenging and rewarding?
- How often do you feel like you have the opportunity to work with great people?
🌱 Career development
With these questions, you're making a conscious move to help current employees with their career goals and boost career growth and personal growth.
- Are you satisfied with your career progression while working here?
- Do you feel that your current role uses your skills and abilities effectively?
- Do you feel like your current position is leading to where you want to be professionally?
- Do you feel like you have the opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge on the job?
Tip: Encourage your people to take ownership of their career growth with development plans.
👨🏭 Working conditions
A great employer-employee relationship starts here. Get a headstart on that with the following questions.
- Do you feel overwhelmed by your workload?
- Do you enjoy coming to work each day, or do you dread going to work?
- Do you think the noise level in your work area is tolerable, or is it too loud/noisy?
- Are you able to take breaks when you need them, or do you feel pressured to work with no breaks?
🌈 Inclusion & Belonging
While many factors can contribute to a sense of inclusion and belonging, key areas to focus on are being accepted by co-workers and resonating with company values.
- How do you feel about the level of diversity and inclusion in our workplace?
- Are you blamed for customer issues or other mishaps when your colleagues are not?
- Do you feel like your voice is being heard and valued?
- Do you receive respectful treatment at work?
💸 Pay and benefits
Fair compensation is the first step to having satisfied employees. Therefore, any feedback on employees' compensation packages is valuable.
- Do you feel like your compensation is fair for the work you do?
- How satisfied are you with your current benefits package (health insurance, vacation days, etc.)?
- Would you choose higher health insurance coverage over the current wellness programs?
- How many vacation days do you receive per year, and how often are you able to take them?
🏅 Rewards and recognition
When it comes to employee satisfaction, recognition is always near the top of the list. This is because recognition strongly influences employee morale and happiness.
- Do you feel like extra efforts towards your job performance are noticed by your manager?
- Do you think that your contributions are recognized by your employer?
⚖️ Work-life balance
Employees who feel like they have a good work-life balance are more likely to be productive and engaged with their work.
- How often do you miss important family events because of work?
- How much vacation time do you feel you have compared to other employees in your field?
- Do you feel you need to answer emails immediately, even after work hours, or do you wait till the next business day?
With more and more employees working remotely or on hybrid-remote schedules, making sure that your team is happy with their arrangements is essential.
- Are you able to work from home or another location if necessary?
- Do you have sufficient time to take breaks during the day?
- Are there any particular times of day or week that are particularly challenging for you in terms of getting your work done?
💪 Job enrichment
Job enrichment focuses on making a job more exciting and challenging to increase motivation and engagement. An annual survey focusing on this allows continuous growth between phases of promotion.
- Do you feel that your job is fulfilling and challenging?
- Do you think your job has been more challenging since the last change?
- What do you think about your level of autonomy in your job?
👩⚖️ Questions on the actual job
By asking specific questions about the actual job, organizations can gain insights into employee happiness and whether they feel supported in their roles.
- How do you feel about your job? Do you enjoy it?
- Do you feel like your work is meaningful and fulfilling?
- Do you feel challenged at work?
By ensuring that your feedback system is up to par, you can help to improve employee satisfaction and, as a result, the overall success of your organization.
- How often do you feel your feedback is listened to and acted upon?
- Do you feel like you can openly give feedback without fear of retribution?
The perfect employee retention survey question depends on your current workplace culture and employee attitudes. These examples are a great place to start.
➡️ Enable your people with Zavvy
What comes after asking great employee satisfaction survey questions is following up.
But it's difficult to administer surveys repeatedly and simultaneously analyze the results. So you need an intuitive system that does most of the heavy lifting for you.
Zavvy's 360 Feedback software does precisely this and more. We collect employee feedback, making it easy to set up customized feedback cycles that work for you. These include:
Zavvy's development software has easy-to-implement features that you can use to directly address issues like training and job enrichment. This is especially handy if your survey shows people are under-stimulated or feel like they need more guidance to do what they do.
With intuitive feedback-gathering and structured development cycles, you'll be quicker to address issues you spot in the workplace.
As a result, you're less likely to lose employees, and you'll save money in the long run!
Book a free 30 minute demo to start enabling your workforce with Zavvy.