Managers want employees who work hard and stay with the company. To find out who is in it for the long haul, simply ask. Here, we offer seven not-so-obvious questions to ask in employee feedback surveys to measure job satisfaction, which ties directly to employee productivity and retention.

Managers want their most productive employees to stay with the company as long as possible. Employee productivity and retention are tied to job satisfaction or how connected someone feels to their job. If you can improve your employees’ job satisfaction, you’ll also improve productivity and retention.

To measure work-related satisfaction, start with an employee feedback survey that consists of questions related to the seven components of job satisfaction that Edwin A. Locke identified in his 1976 study, which is the foundational study on the topic:

  1. Interest in/love of work
  2. Pay
  3. Opportunity for enrichment/advancement
  4. Peers/colleagues
  5. Supervisor
  6. Top leadership
  7. Benefits/policies

7 Employee Feedback Survey Questions to Ask

To get you started, here are seven thought-provoking questions that are tied directly to the components of job satisfaction. By assessing your employees’ satisfaction with these factors and adjusting accordingly, you can keep your employees satisfied, productive, and working for you.

1. What Aspects of Your Work Do You Find Meaningful?

Asking employees through an employee feedback survey about the work they find meaningful will tell you more about how satisfied they are with their jobs than direct questions about happiness.

Nine out of 10 people in one survey said they would take less pay if they could do more meaningful work — work that they feel a greater connection to because they believe it fulfills a greater purpose in life. Scholars also have identified key differences between happiness and meaning, finding that meaning was a more permanent measure of job satisfaction while happiness was fleeting.

Managers can help employees identify their sense of purpose by asking a series of questions on an employee feedback survey, like:

  • “What are you good at doing?”
  • “What do you enjoy?”
  • “What do you do that feels most useful?”

Once you receive this feedback, you can help employees focus on the things they excel at and enjoy the most.

2. Are You Compensated Appropriately for the Job You Perform? If Not, What Would Make Your Compensation Fair?

Salary matters when it comes to satisfaction at work, but feeling compensated appropriately is more important to employees than feeling like they’re rolling in cash.

Organizational culture and values, leadership quality, and career opportunities are more important than salary, which is one of the lowest measures of workplace happiness. But an inequitable salary leaves employees dissatisfied with their work.

Although salary bumps provide a temporary increase in job satisfaction, more importantly, employees want to feel like they’re compensated fairly for the work they do. Employees compare their salaries to others in their same positions, both outside and within their company.

If you find out via an employee feedback survey that an employee doesn’t think they’re compensated fairly, follow up to determine what would make their compensation just. Then do your best to make that happen. If you can’t, explain why to the employee and consider offering them other things of value like additional paid time off, flexible scheduling, or increased benefits. Also give them a plan for progress toward more equitable pay.

3. What Professional Development Opportunities Do You Wish You Had?

No one wants to feel stuck. A fair growth and advancement process is a key attribute of job satisfaction.

More than 82% of employees surveyed in one study said a lack of progression would influence their decision to leave their jobs. But more than 90% of employees said they would stay at a company that invested in their careers. This career investment might include helping employees learn, providing professional development opportunities, and showing a clear path to advancement.

The best way to know what type of professional development or advancement opportunities your employees want is to ask them through an employee feedback survey, then work to make those opportunities available and the advancement process transparent. Locke’s research found that a fair process for ambitious employees provides greater job satisfaction. Establishing and releasing clear job levels with specific competencies and skills attached can help employees understand what their current role is in the organization and what they need to do to get to the next level.

4. What Do You Enjoy About Your Colleagues?

We spend more time at work than we do almost anywhere else, so it’s important to like the people we work with.

Gallup asks survey respondents the question: “Do you have a best friend at work?” The question is linked to employee performance. Women who have a best friend at work are 63% more likely to be engaged at work than those who don’t, according to the survey.

employee feedback example

In other words, people who like the people they work with have higher levels of job satisfaction.

To foster a culture of friendship and inclusion, managers should encourage employees to get to know each other and create social opportunities through which friendships can form. These social opportunities could include monthly luncheons, mentorship programs, or pairing staffers for one-on-one calls or coffee meetings.

5. What Would You Do Differently If You Were Your Manager?

Employee engagement has remained in the 30% range for well more than two decades. Managers count for up to 70% of the variance in employee engagement. In other words, bad managers lead to lower levels of job satisfaction.

The best managers communicate well, set clear expectations of employee performance, and focus on building upon what their employees do well. Employees experience greater job satisfaction when:

  • They trust their supervisor’s competency.
  • When their supervisor provides clear job objectives.
  • When their supervisor gives fair positive and constructive feedback.
  • When their supervisor is considerate of them.

Consider using internal email tracking features, such as embedded surveys with multiple types of survey feedback options, or open-ended email questions, to allow employees to provide information through employee feedback surveys about what you should do differently. Use a software, like ContactMonkey, that allows employees to provide anonymous comments if they choose to do so.

If you learn from employees’ candid feedback that something you’re doing isn’t working, whether that thing is an attitudinal approach to work or a process used to solve a common problem, you need to change it. The 2020 Global Employee Experience Trends study found that employees are twice as engaged when companies act on their feedback. Professionals who see workplace improvements resulting from their feedback are 87% more likely to give honest feedback.

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6. How Do You Reflect the Company’s Values Through Your Work?

Employees are more likely to work hard for and stay with a company when they feel like they support and share the organization’s values and when those values are worth working for.

Glassdoor Economic Research found that alignment with a company’s culture and values was the strongest predictor of U.S. employee satisfaction.

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research:

Do your employees know your company’s values? Do they think leadership reflects and supports those values? Are the values reflected in their day-to-day work, or are they just meaningless mantras from top leadership?

Collecting honest feedback from an employee feedback survey on how employees’ work reflects your organization’s values will help you know where to make changes. Employees experience greater job satisfaction when their organization’s top leadership is honest, competent, and understands and communicates the organization’s greater purpose.

7. How Does the Company Take Care of You?

From cereal bars to health insurance, employees are more satisfied at work when they feel like their company takes care of them with good benefits. Companies can decrease employee turnover by almost 140% with good benefits packages.

Employees experience greater job satisfaction when their benefits are comparable to similar organizations and when they have safe and healthy work conditions. However, Locke’s study also found that the more benefits that are offered, the higher employees’ job satisfaction, meaning the more benefits (and perhaps the more creative they are), the better.

The most sought-after employee benefit in 2020 is financial wellness programs. Other sought-after employee benefits in 2020 include mental health support, student loan debt repayment programs, and flexible scheduling.

The Glassdoor Benefits Reviews study is the largest research project on how employee benefits relate to job satisfaction. They found that health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans were most strongly correlated with job satisfaction.

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research:

The best way to know if your employees think your company’s various benefits are good is to ask them through employee feedback surveys. What benefits do they value most? What benefits do they wish they had? Gather this information, then either make immediate changes or communicate a plan for change.

Gathering the Goods Through Employee Feedback Surveys

Employee feedback surveys are only useful if the questions solicit helpful information and managers take action to make improvements based on the information they receive. The questions in this post are based on factors related to job satisfaction. Asking them on an employee feedback survey will give managers the information they need to help employees be happier and more productive at work.

Want to easily create an employee feedback survey that will help you gauge how satisfied your employees are at work? Book your personalized demo of ContactMonkey today!

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