Consider the Logic Involved
The following tips for creating quantitative surveys on job satisfaction aim to give guides not on the best practices, but on the logical aspects of what the surveys aim to achieve.
One of the key components of talent management is by implementing a system of performance management through efficient and effective communication. Where an off-hand, one-on-one interview is suggested, this may not be possible for a large pool of human resources. A better alternative is to conduct quantitative surveys on job satisfaction.
Understand, however, that there should be a specific logic incorporated in the entirety of the survey; the questions formulated should aim to achieve this. Instead of assuming the roles of survey experts and utilizing boxed-in question styles, the team tasked to come up with survey questions should brainstorm on what they would like their own supervisors, managers or employers to know regarding factors that affect their performance as employees.
Employees are at the front lines of businesses when it comes to dealing with customers, which makes their performance clearly reflective of the company’s values and goals. If an employee feels that he is not satisfied with his training, then can you quantify how many of the company’s employees have the same sentiments? Obviously, a large number denotes that customer satisfaction is likewise affected if the staff, in attending to their needs, generally lacks the know-how that customers are counting on.
The point being driven here is the use of quantitative surveys on job satisfaction as tools for improving recruiting, hiring and employment systems. Then they become a real part of HR’s talent management processes. Quantifying the survey results provides a general overview about employees’ outlooks over their current job positions. Their enthusiasm or lack of it could influence the customers’ impression of the company they work for.
Image Credit: Walmart Campaign Jobs with Justice Rally held in Graham Washington by Evil Smiley
Tips for Creating the Right Questions on Job Satisfaction
In creating questions for job satisfaction surveys, make sure that the queries are answerable by the rating-scale answers provided in the questionnaires. That way, the exercise will elicit direct and natural responses.
1. Learn the employee’s satisfaction in being employed by the company by asking whether or not he or she is satisfied with the company’s:
- Reputation as a business organization;
- Approach toward the employee-employer relationship and the employee’s welfare;
- Relationship with the community and the environment.
2. Get insights on employees’ outlooks about their current position or line of work by asking questions about their sentiments in these areas:
- Their knowledge of what the job requires.
- The relevance and availability of training provided.
- The challenges and divergence of the tasks performed on a day-to-day basis.
- The tools, equipment, materials and other resources provided by the company.
- The working conditions in terms of comfort and safety;
- The recognition one gets for his contributions to the company; and
- Overall view on his or her present job.
3. Find out how employees feel about the career and development initiatives of the company by posing queries about:
- Agreement with the past evaluation and feedback received from their job performance;
- Appreciation of the opportunities for training;
- Reception to the system by which vacant positions are filled;
- Views about career advancement opportunities; and
- Conformity with the past promotions awarded to employees.
4. Get insights about the employees’ relationships with their supervisors and managers by eliciting their feeling of contentment over:
- The manager’s plans and job objectives for the employees;
- The manager’s/supervisor’s conveyance of instructions;
- The manager’s/supervisor’s approachability and willingness to give advice or be consulted;
- The immediate superior’s trust and confidence with the employee;
- The manager’s/supervisor’s contribution to the employee’s improvement;
- The manager’s fairness and promptness in dealing with employees who do not perform well;
- The meetings being held by the manager;
- The usefulness of the information derived from meetings or group discussions;
- The manager’s decisions or ability to come up with workable solutions;
- The manager’s knowledge of what transpires within his area of responsibility; and
- The employees’ overall impression about their manager’s or supervisor’s performance as a leader.
Proceed to the second page for more about creating quantitative surveys on job satisfaction.
Tips for Creating the Right Questions on Job Satisfaction (continued)
5. Perceive if there is harmony among workers by asking the employees about:
- Competencies and skills of co-workers;
- The existence of team spirit or team-work attitude in the workplace;
- The equality or fairness of work distribution; and
- Candidness and reception to communication and contributions among work groups.
6. Find out how employees feel about the value of their contributions to the company by eliciting responses to questions about:
- Job security;
- Awards and recognition conferred to work performed beyond what their duties call for;
- Deadlines and their reasonableness; and
- Equanimity of duties that are assigned from time to time
7. Learn how employees regard the benefits and compensations furnished by the company on:
- Insurance and health care;
- Provisions for recreational activities for employees’ health and well-being; and
- Programs for creating a sense of belonging to a family of people working together.
8. Gather suggestions and individual views about:
- What the employees value the most in their present employment with the company;
- What the employees think is the greatest detriment to their growth as a member of the organization;
- What employees suggest in order to remove the obstacles or hindrances to their growth with the company; and
- Solicit additional suggestions on what the employee thinks that the company should do to improve customer satisfaction.
For all these questions, it is important that every employee understands the reason for the survey in order to align his or her answers and comments with what the survey aims to achieve.
What the Rating Scales Aim to Achieve
In creating quantitative surveys on job satisfaction, understand the rating scale and how a respondent’s choice of answer could approximate one’s genuine viewpoint. Take a look at these two sets of answers which may seem to have the same connotations. Compare which of the two sets provides a more logical answer if you were to provide the answer yourself. This may seem trivial but the objective is to get the nearest true-picture of your employees’ perception about their jobs and the company:
Rating Scale A - (1) Very Satisfied, (2) Satisfied, (3) Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied, (4) Dissatisfied, and (5) Very Dissatisfied
Rating Scale B – (1) Extremely Satisfied, (2) Very Satisfied, (3) Moderately Satisfied, (4) Slightly Satisfied, and (5) Not at All Satisfied
Set B includes an answer where the highest level of satisfaction would render the topic being asked as almost faultless. If this answer garners a high number then the topic to which it is associated is the least of HR’s priorities for improvement but needs to be applied with consistency.
Where Set A’s highest level of rating is Very Satisfied, it is Set B’s second-best answer. Therefore, the degree of satisfaction could be taken at a higher level if the employee has “Extremely Satisfied” as another choice. If he or she chose to stick with the Very Satisfied answer, this denotes that there are areas that make the subject matter less than perfect.
Set A’s second best answer is simply “Satisfied”, which tends to be vague. If the employer gathers a quantitative result that employees are generally satisfied, how will they use it as a basis for gauging the need for improvement?
On the other hand, in quantifying those expressing “Moderately Satisfied”, the degree of satisfaction would indicate that there are areas that need improvement.
The “Slightly Satisfied” along with the “Not at All Satisfied” answers clearly depict the need for overhaul if the general sentiment borders between these two answers.
Image Credit: 4.5 stars.svg by Estoy Aqu/Wikimedia Commons
The emphasis of the tips for creating quantitative surveys on job satisfaction is the establishment of a clear objective about why the survey is being conducted. This then will generate quantitative survey results that are logical and coherent enough to depict real reactions and opinions.
Pascoe, Celina, All Irena M. and Warnes, Leoni Yet Another Role for Job Satisfaction and Work Motivation - Enabler of Knowledge Creation and Knowledge Sharing. Informing Science, June 2002