How Happy Are Your Employees?

May 6, 2013



How do you find out how happy your employees are?

 People in organizations are typically expected to manage in a manner that combines technical expertise, superior people management skills, and organizational knowledge to achieve optimum performance. For many though, many factors, including the demands of the job, the tight deadlines, and even personal style, can contribute to a climate of dissatisfaction with managers and how they are running the show. Moreover, a manager or leadership as a whole may have a sense that something is not right, but may not be aware of what exactly that is.

Employees can be approached directly and asked for their opinions and input, but few would be likely to express formally their answers – especially any dissatisfaction – for fear of any reprisals from management or negative repercussions for the organization. So the real prevailing attitudes remain uncovered.

Unless you conduct an EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE SURVEY.

An Employee Attitude Survey, also known as an Organizational Climate Survey, is a standard questionnaire, anonymously completed, that gauges employee attitudes toward the organization and management, and the overall work environment. Such a survey can assist in addressing issues before they become too large or lead to lower productivity. They can help improve your business by discovering what employees are thinking, what they want, need, like, or dislike about the organization. The results can identify areas of strengths within the organization, as well as identifying ‘hot spots” and areas for improvement for both short and long term planning and development.

Attitude surveys examine employees’ level of satisfaction with a variety of organizational issues, including Product/Service Quality, Work Environment, Work Pressure, Decision Making, Accountability, Bureaucracy, Communication, Management, and overall Job Satisfaction. Surveys can also be customized to include questions to address issues that are particularly relevant for the organization, such as Health & Safety, Total Quality Management, or Change Management.

Anonymously-responded surveys also provide a voice for those within the organization who may normally be reluctant to speak up about issues they may have with staff, work loads, management style, and compensation to name but a few. Furthermore, associated demographic information can assist in better targeting solutions, and planning for the future development of the people and the whole organization. They are also a very cost effective way to keep a finger on the pulse of the organization.

There are five key points or “musts” to keep in mind when conducting Employee Attitude Surveys:

  1.  Select the right survey instrument … the survey tool should be  straightforward, relatively short, and easy to complete, focusing on how employees feel about their jobs, their relationships with coworkers and other work groups, and their relationships with the boss and upper  management.
  2. Protect Confidentiality … to ensure honest responses and foster  a comfort level within respondents.
  3. Communicate the Results … the respondents are expecting to know  the results of their efforts, and the issues raised, including both the  positives and the negatives.
  4. Survey Regularly … in order to measure improvement, and gauge  the resulting changes in employees’ attitudes and concerns.
  5. Commit to Action … employees must see that their efforts were  not wasted, and that action is being taken – otherwise, you will probably not  get any participation in future surveys.

We live in an age where having the right information at the right time can significantly affect the course of a business or organization. Surveys are effective tools that reveal what is truly going on and the attitudes contributing to performance, and can positively impact the strategies and decisions piloting the organization toward success.