Employee Satisfaction: How to Measure Employee Attitudes and Reduce Turnover

Most employers know that employee turnover is one of the highest costs they will incur. Hiring and training staff, service disruption, and customer service all end up suffering. Measuring employee attitudes and listening to their opinions can lead to lower turnover and increase your bottom line.

Here are some steps you can take to start exploring employee research.

1. Identify the key issues. What issues are most critical related to employee retention? Talk to upper and middle managers and uncover what is causing the most concern. These issues serve as the starting point for constructing the questions you'll be asking employees. 

2. Start talking to employees. Work with a cross-section of employees to learn what are the drivers of employee satisfaction. A focus group is a useful method for gathering this information.

3. Start asking. Develop an employee survey based on the key issues you identified and drivers of employee satisfaction. Build the survey around general questions about the company, management, teams, personal development and customer interaction.

Focus on determining whether staff has the tools they need to complete the jobs effectively, and the ongoing training to serve your customers. Also, overall corporate goals should be integrated into the survey. Do employees know what they are? Can they execute those goals? Why not? Do they get the feedback they need from management? Does the company offer enough personal development so that employees will want to stay? Develop a laundry list of questions and then narrow it to the most critical ones you need answered.

Keep the survey succinct and focused. Employees should also feel confident that the information they provide will be kept confidential and the data will be used to make changes.

Consider surveying more than once, even quarterly, to look for improvements. Create an internal team made up of a cross-section of employees that is tasked with ensuring that the results of the survey are used to implement change.

Asking employees what they think might sound simple, but taking a systematic approach to the process will yield better results. And remember, keep asking!

Debra Power

Power Marketing Research, 804 Phoenix Drive, Ann Arbor, MI, 48108