How to create an employee satisfaction survey

Learn to use surveys to measure morale and keep employees happy.

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Why is it important to measure employee satisfaction?

Everyone wants to love their job, right? After all, if you’re going to spend a majority of your waking hours at work you should feel happy there.

But how many of your employees actually love their jobs? Stop guessing, and find out if they’re happy at work with an employee satisfaction survey.

Knowing if your employees are satisfied with their roles and responsibilities, the work environment, and their experiences with management is the first step toward creating a happier workplace.

What you can measure with an employee survey

Employee surveys are valuable for learning about several topics, all of them directly related to employee morale, satisfaction, and involvement with the company.

Health benefits, wellness programs, compensation, managers’ performance, career development, work environment: These are all areas you can investigate in depth with a well-designed employee satisfaction survey.

For example, did you know that “respectful treatment of all employees” is the most important factor in job satisfaction in the U.S.? It’s true—according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management no other factor drives employee satisfaction more.

The more you know about how your employees feel, the easier it is to ensure that they are satisfied.

Check out our library of expert-designed employee surveys.

Examples of good employee satisfaction survey questions

You need to ask good employee satisfaction questions if you want to gauge how your employees really feel about the company and their role in it.

Questions that can help you understand what your team members think include:

  • How meaningful is your work?
  • How challenging is your work?
  • In a typical week, how often do you feel stressed at work?
  • How well are you paid for the work you do?
  • How much do your opinions about work matter to your coworkers?
  • How often do the tasks assigned to you by your supervisor help you grow professionally?
  • How many opportunities do you have to get promoted where you work?
  • How likely are you to look for another job outside the company?

Tips for getting employee feedback

Once you’ve found the right questions to ask, it’s important to make sure you get as many responses as possible to get the most reliable feel on how things are going at the office.

The following are some tips to make sure your survey on employee morale is successful.

  • Guarantee employees’ confidentiality. Your team members need the reassurance that their views will be confidential. You want them to be as honest as possible when they take your survey, so also consider making the survey anonymous to increase their sense of security.
  • Use clear language. Avoid using buzzwords and corporate language that employees may not understand. Your surveys should read like a human conversation to invite sincere feedback.
  • Avoid tinkering with the words. Keep the wording constant between surveys and from year to year. This way you can be sure of measuring the same aspects of your company’s culture all the time.
  • Use technology to your advantage. An online survey with the right follow-up tools can help guarantee high levels of participation. SurveyMonkey’s Analyze tool can help you interpret the results you get.

What to do with your employee feedback data

A survey of your employees’ views on company morale is a good thing to have. You should present the results to the team and make changes to company policies if necessary.

But you know what’s better? Conducting many successive surveys that you can compare to one another over time.

Benchmark your surveys. Once you’ve done one survey, you’ve taken the first step toward understanding employee satisfaction over the long term. When you send repeated surveys, each survey will be more valuable as you compare it to previous ones. You can also make comparisons between departments to know exactly which one needs immediate attention.

Find external benchmarks, too. Maybe 67% of your employees say they are inspired to meet their goals at work. Is that good or bad? It may not be easy to think about that other 33%, but you’d feel better knowing that you are in the 99th percentile among American companies. SurveyMonkey offers benchmarks like this on the employee engagement survey template (and many more) so you know where you stand compared to your peers.

The difference between employee satisfaction and employee engagement

Employee engagement has recently become a trending topic among human resources professionals. This doesn’t mean that employee satisfaction stopped being important overnight. In general, you can think of employee engagement as a deeper, multidimensional concept that encompasses other measures in addition to satisfaction.

SurveyMonkey created an employee engagement survey that aims to capture that deeper level of connection between an employee and their company.

Employee satisfaction depends on many different factors, generally related to the concrete conditions of everyday life at the office and the benefits and compensation the team members receive in return for their time and hard work.

There are many ways in which employees can love their job. If you want to be sure that you have a highly motivated team, you need to start counting those ways.

You can choose one of our templates below to get started.

Templates for employee satisfaction surveys

To see how you can effectively measure each of the factors affecting employee morale at your company, you can check out some of our employee surveys. The following are just a few examples from our library.

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Compensation

If your employees don’t think they are paid well enough, they may start looking for another opportunity soon.

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Financial Benefits and Wellness

Find out if your employees feel satisfied with their plans for the future and how the company is helping them reach their long-term financial goals.

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Benefits

Workplace flexibility, retirement plans, paid leave, and other benefits can be key to job satisfaction.

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Health benefits

Find out if the company’s choice of health insurance is working for its employees.

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Supervisor performance

Are the managers approachable and available? How often do they give feedback to their team members? Do they improve the team's performance with their contributions?

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Career development

Find out what your employees think of your investment in training and education and the opportunities for professional growth they see in front of them.

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Work environment

Do employees care about diversity, inclusiveness, and work culture at the company? Ask them.

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Gender in the workplace

Designed by SurveyMonkey and Lean In, this survey measures employees attitudes on gender, a fundamental issue of growing importance in the workplace.

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Team performance

Do your employees think they are working with equally skilled and professional peers?

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Event Surveys

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3 quick tips to improve survey response rates

Here are some ideas to ensure that respondents will answer your surveys.

1. Be quick

If your survey is short and sweet, there's a greater chance that more respondents will complete it.

2. Offer incentives

Little incentives like small discount or an entry into a drawing can help ensure respondents complete your survey.

3. Buy a targeted audience

With SurveyMonkey Audience, you can purchase access to an audience who meets specific demographic criteria for your survey. It's a great way to get targeted responses from a specific group.

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