Many companies are focused on building their employee engagement, but very few know how to measure employee satisfaction. In fact, a 2021 Conference Board study on job satisfaction confirmed that more than 40% of employees are dissatisfied at their jobs.

So, what does employee satisfaction mean? It means your employees are content with their jobs and believe in your company culture. Satisfied employees are more likely to stay in your organization, recommend their company to their peers, be more productive, and get overall better results.

Why is it important to measure employee satisfaction?

Learning how to measure employee satisfaction will not only help you understand how your employees are really doing, but also what you can do to improve your processes. Now, you may be wondering: what will the results be?

  • Employee engagement and retention grow: By understanding what creates employee dissatisfaction, you can find ways to respond to job dissatisfaction, improve processes that are not working as they should and, therefore, increase employee satisfaction and happiness.
  • Productivity increases: When your employees are happy, they enjoy what they do and are more productive. Good rule of thumb: happy employees mean good results!
  • Company culture improves: Focusing on your employee satisfaction and creating new processes will consequently build a happier company culture and a safe space for your staff to thrive in. 

We know this may sound overwhelming at first, especially for bigger companies! But it’s not all lost: here you’ll discover ways on how to measure employee satisfaction and not break down trying!

4 ways to measure employee satisfaction

1. Send out employee satisfaction surveys

Sending out regular surveys is a great way to measure employee satisfaction and get direct insights from your employees. We recommend having weekly or biweekly surveys so you’re always on top of your game. Note the following:

  • Surveys should be anonymous: Your employees may feel worried that their evaluations will have repercussions, so it is important that they feel confident in their answers.
  • Questions should be adapted to different KPIs and departments: Depending on your company’s needs, you can create new questions and change them up.
  • Surveys should be easy and quick to answer! By using familiar ratings (1-10 or Strongly disagree-Strongly agree), people are more likely to answer genuinely.

2. Set KPIs

To make the most of your employee surveys, your next step should be setting a number of Key Performance Indicators that will measure employee satisfaction and keep track of how your team is doing over time. Setting KPIs for all the different areas you want to measure will help you ask more specific questions in your employee surveys and have a clearer picture of your performance.

  • The main takeaway is that KPIs are objective: You ask a question, and your employees rate it from 1 to 10. That’s it, there’s no bias or subjectivity.
  • Having all your data organized in different KPIs allows for better informed decisions.
  • KPIs also allow you to see your performance through time: When you get results, you reflect them on a chart. Use this report to measure employee satisfaction through time.
  • Your team will also appreciate the transparency you can offer by displaying their insights in comprehensive reports!

There are different KPIs to measure your success in your People & Culture initiatives, however the most common ones you will find are Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) and Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI).

Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

The Employee Net Promoter Scores measure employee satisfaction by asking a single question to your employees:

How likely are you to recommend your place of work to other people?

Employees rate this question from 1 to 10, and depending on their answer they will be classified in 3 groups:

  1. Promoters (if they rate 9 or 10)
  2. Passives (7 or 8)
  3. Detractors (6 and below)

After this classification, you calculate eNPS using the following formula:

[# of promoters/total # of survey takers] – [# of detractors/total # of survey takers] = eNPS

Now, your final score can range from -100 to 100! Anything above 0 is good, but if you manage to get past 50, that means you’re doing really well! 

eNPS scores allow you to measure employee satisfaction so you can make informed decisions to maintain or improve it through time. If you have a good score, you can even display it on your socials to reinforce your employer branding!

Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI)

The Employee Satisfaction Index not only measures employee satisfaction, but also their expectations. In such surveys, your people answer 3 questions:

  • How satisfied are you with your workplace?
  • How well does your workplace meet your expectations?
  • And, how close is your workplace to your ideal job?

Again, your people give each question a 1-10 rating, and your final score can range from 1 to 100. You can calculate your ESI using the following formula:

[question mean value/3] x 100 = ESI

Now, given you want the most accurate results, we recommend combining both methods in your surveys. Keep in mind your employees might recommend your place of work to their peers, but it may not meet their ideal expectations, and vice versa! 

When it comes to analyzing your results you can do it manually, but we recommend you to use specialized people analytics software, it will make your life much easier!

3. Have 1:1 meetings on a regular basis

Although setting KPIs and sending surveys to your employees help you measure employee satisfaction, you should continue to hold 1:1 meetings to talk directly to your employees about how they feel. This is a good opportunity to bring up issues that aren’t covered in your employee surveys so you can keep them in mind for future check ins.

  • Make sure you have prepared questions to ask during your 1:1 that allow your employees to share insights and opinions. Why not ask them if the project they are working on is helping them learn new things, if they are aligned with their career goals, or if there are any obstacles they may be experiencing?
  • Use this time to ask if there is anything you can do to improve their experience, such as offering development opportunities or more feedback, asking them what you can do to help them progress in their career, etc.
  • Ensure psychological safety. Let them know their feedback will not have consequences, so they can feel comfortable to share their concerns.
  • Managers can also use this opportunity to work with dissatisfied employees through their concerns.

4. Use specialized software

After reaching this point, you’re probably wondering how you will manage to prepare and send out all those surveys, gather the information and then put it into charts manually… all without making any mistakes? Well, surely there has to be a software that will do that for you.

Employee engagement tools, like Nailted, help you measure employee satisfaction and work on it through light feedback loops. These kinds of tools help you have everything you need in one place: creation and sending of employee surveys, data collection and People analytics, features for employee recognition, 1:1 meetings, and many more tools that also help you ensure you are creating a safe space for your people; normalizing feedback and making it the center of your culture.

Having all the information you need in one platform offers a clearer view of your employees’ insights, as well as the commodity of an automated process that provides real-time data on how your company is doing. When making decisions on how to improve your employee satisfaction, you can always turn to these reports for better informed outcomes!

What's next?: 7 strategies to improve employee satisfaction

Once you know how to measure employee satisfaction, it’s important to understand what  strategies and initiatives you can take to improve it, or even keep it up. When it comes to looking after your employees’ happiness, every little bit helps! Here are 7 initiatives to get you started on employee satisfaction:

1. Offer flexibility

Especially after the pandemic, many employees prefer remote work and the flexibility to improve their work-life balance. 

2. Give management training

Teach managers how to build trust among employees, avoid micromanagement, and overall create a good, safe space for their team.

3. Promote Employee Recognition

Foster a positive culture through employee recognition that will increase motivation and create friendships amongst your team.  

4. Foster learning and development programs

Help your employees develop their skills and reach their full potential by offering courses, workshops, university aid, shadowing opportunities, etc.

5. Organize teambuilding activities

Colleagues are an immense factor for employee satisfaction. Promote work friendships and organize events for your employees to socialize, like online coffee breaks or in-person lunches!

6. Support DEI in the workplace

Work on making all your employees feel comfortable and included by keeping diversity, equity and inclusion in mind when developing new initiatives.

7. Prioritize wellbeing with wellness programs

Check in on your employees often and prioritize their health. Start implementing employee wellness programs – you can offer mental health aid, sick or personal days, and even set up areas in your office for your employees to relax.

Keep building your employee satisfaction

Do you now have a clearer idea on why knowing how to measure employee satisfaction is so important? Incorporating a process to collect regular feedback that works for your company will go a long way into building a foundation for a great company culture. Once you know what your employees want, go from there!

Just keep this in mind: a good, automated process will not only save you time and effort, but also guarantee reliable data. Sign up now and learn with Nailted how to measure employee satisfaction the right way to build a better company for your employees.