Businesses that have regular employee satisfaction assessments are more likely to retain their staff and produce hard working, progressive employees than those businesses that do not. According to a survey conducted in 2015 by the American Management Association, a training solutions company for individuals, organisations and government agencies – declining employee loyalty is thought to harm organisations by causing low morale (84%), high turnover (80%), disengagement (80%), growing distrust (76%) and lack of team spirit (73%). These statistics reveal the value and benefits of regularly conducting Employee Satisfaction Surveys (ESS).
This is according to Tarina Kemp, Consulting Psychologist at Work Dynamics – a leading Organisational Psychologist consultancy in the country, who says the purpose of any business is to prosper financially and to be a top performing company in their chosen field. “Thus, putting in the extra effort to understand your employees and determine their career needs could inadvertently help your business thrive due to employee satisfaction.”
Many organisations are often concerned that this type of evaluation might evoke problems if the employees do not share the same attitude as the senior management, she says. “In most cases, companies that ensure their employees fit with their organisational culture entirely, in terms of qualifications, experience, training and knowledge, should be able to see the star performers within the organisation. These employees will inevitably contribute immensely towards the value of your organisation”
In practice, the implementation of employee satisfaction surveys (ESS) will aid employers to improve organisational processes and conditions. ESS’s are also often used to initiate change processes in order to foster organisational development and improve organisational effectiveness, says Kemp. “To successfully implement such an intervention may not be as easy as one may think, as there are many challenges one would be faced with when planning to do an ESS. One must always consider the impact that such a survey could have on employees, as an ESS normally addresses sensitive, personal and career-relevant aspects of one’s job experience.”
Kemp says confidentiality is incredibly important when it comes to conducting employee satisfaction surveys. “In my experience, I have found employees refusing to participate because of a fear that they might get into trouble or even be victimised by others if their personal views and feelings are shared. Upholding confidentiality is of utmost importance. To ensure confidentiality, one must never request any information that will be able to any link it to an employee.”
Another concerning factor when conducting such surveys is being in a position where employees are guilty of acquiescence bias, she adds. “This is when employees agree with all the questions or statements in the survey.Essentially, a surveyor must ensure that there is a balanced number of positively and negatively worded questions or statements, as this will determine a more accurate result.”
She says language barriers and misinterpretation also add to the problem of being able to accurately determine how employees really feel. “If you conduct an ESS at an organisation where the majority of respondents are unable to speak or read English, you must ensure that the survey is translated into the local language and you must create a bilingual survey.”
When an organisation strives to implement solid practices that are beneficial to employees the end result is satisfied and committed staff. “People who are in a space where they feel inspired are more inclined to persevere in the face of challenges and work hard to achieve success. It is thus incredibly crucial to ensure that your employees are equipped with the right attitude to assist them in enjoying their time in an organisation to ultimately achieve their long term goals in the organisation,” concludes Kemp.