Nobody is interested in their employees being in a bad mood or showing resentment towards their bosses or colleagues. Therefore, a survey of job satisfaction can be very profitable and beneficial to know the opinion and mood of workers in relation to the company.
The surveys and the collection of opinion of the employees give us the pulse of the level of satisfaction, of the state of the social climate, as well as of organizational, cultural aspects, etcetera.
The degree of effectiveness of the policies, strategies and actions of Human Resources that a company implements will depend, to a large extent, on the perception that its employees have of them.
It is not necessary to have large budgets to do a climate study, especially in an SME, where the scope, in terms of number of employees, is smaller than in a large company. Of course, before putting it into operation, it is necessary that the top managers of the company are involved in this process. What previous steps or considerations should be considered before conducting the survey?
Scope. The survey will be conducted, in some cases, with the participation of all employees and, in others, with that of only a sample of them. In the latter case, the sample must be sufficiently representative of each of the departments or units that it is desired to analyze.
They can also be produced to analyze more specific topics. For example, the reception of a specific service or services offered by the company to certain employees (such as those related to maternity) or the attitude towards a specific strategy of Human Resources (such as the creation of loyalty awards, competitions of ideas, etc.).
Geographic criteria. Another possibility to segment the survey is by geographical area. That is to say, the study can be carried out in certain work centers of the company located in the territories that most interest us. The reasons may be different: that in some places the performance of workers is greater than in others, that there have recently been changes in a territorial direction, that the competition is treading strong in that place, and so on.
In what moment to realize it. In principle, any moment is suitable. But he warns that it is important to carry out, usually, in the same month of the year. It must be routine, so that it is taken as something everyday. In addition, a moment should be chosen that does not interfere with other processes, such as performance evaluation, salary increases, etc. As far as possible, we must ensure that the results are not influenced by other types of actions.
However, a survey can also be carried out at a specific moment, after a major event or an important operation in which the company has been the protagonist. For example, after the merger of two companies or the purchase of one by another.
A third time that might seem appropriate to conduct a survey is when problems occur in the company. However, Samaniego is not in favor of performing them at that precise moment, since the problems arise day by day and it is not necessary that a special problem appear to start a new survey. The expert advises that it would be best to include a specific question allusive to this problem in the usual survey.
Aspects to be valued. The choice of topics that will be raised in the survey, and consequently by those that will be asked, is a fundamental issue. In the first place, it is clear that the type of sector and business to which the company is dedicated will influence some of the issues. For example, an industry of sectors such as chemicals, energy or construction, whose activity runs certain hazards, will have a greater impact on labor risk and safety issues than an administrative office or a service agency. These, for example, will place more emphasis on the relationship of employees with their immediate superiors and higher positions, as well as customer service.
WHAT WE ASK
However, there are a number of general topics that are usually analyzed in all surveys. For example: internal communication and training; the employee’s commitment to the firm in which he works; the entrepreneurial spirit of the worker; the team of which he is a part; the professional career that develops within the company, etcetera.
Other questions that normally arise in the survey are the following: how the company values with respect to other firms in the sector; what vision do you have of the team and its boss; if you consider that you are in a pleasant environment; if you have developed a team spirit; if you have tools to do your job effectively…
Communication. With a communication plan, all employees will know that a survey is going to be carried out, how it will be done and what consequences will be derived from its result. And in this way, they will be encouraged to participate in it.
However, the communication plan can not be the same in all companies, since it will depend on various factors, such as the size of the company, the number of employees, its distribution in different work centers or in various geographical locations, and so on. In the smallest companies, a face-to-face communication can be carried out, in which the managers of the company or those responsible for Human Resources physically reunite the employees to explain the process. However, the universalization of electronic mail in recent years has made it the most appropriate channel to transmit, both prior communications, as the survey itself, its results, comments, and so on.
The traditional thing is to elaborate a questionnaire that gathers, by means of closed questions, the aspects considered as object of analysis. There are other ways that replace or complement the previous one, such as group dynamics and personal interviews. These can be established because it is thought necessary to delve into a specific aspect in a given group. The channel used for the questionnaire can be from the intranet of the company, online or even on paper (but only in small companies).
The collection of opinion is done through questionnaires addressed to all employees or to a specific group of the organization; questionnaires composed of a series of open and / or closed questions, oral or written, and anonymous. The anonymous character is fundamental for the employee to respond with the greatest sincerity to questions that, hardly, he himself would perform. In his opinion, the medium should be adapted to each situation: printed page, personal interview, digital technology (mail, web …). The interconnected tool is the most suitable method for conducting the survey; it is easy to use, relatively cheap, immediate, global and fast.
The different types of surveys
The survey must be clear in its preparation and the issues raised in it, concrete, incisive and measurable. There are different types of surveys depending on the kind of questions that are asked. The most common are:
- With open questions in which there is no predetermined answer. For example: “What do you think about your salary?”
- With closed questions. Several possible answers are provided. For example: “how do you rate the implementation of a prize for the employee of the month?”: Very positive, positive, as a wrong strategy, etcté era.).
- With questions with yes / no, good / bad answers.
- Questions in which the employee must answer if he agrees or disagrees with them. For example, the question “the new scholarships awarded by the company are positive for my professional development”, can be answered with an “agree”, “disagree”, or “do not know, do not answer”.
- Scare. The employee assesses the claim or issue with a scale of one to ten. For example, if we put forward affirmations of the type: “I am proud to work in my company”, “I have enough tools to carry out my work effectively”, “I value the relationship with my colleagues”, etc., we can offer a range of responses from one to ten, depending on the degree of identification you feel with the phrase.
A job satisfaction survey is usually done with a general approach. That is, it aims to calibrate the status and satisfaction of employees, in relation to the general operation of the company. For this reason, it usually studies the situation of all employees in relation to topics such as the workplace, the environment, commitment, entrepreneurial spirit, profitability, team spirit, communication, management and performance development, professional career, dedication to the client, etc.
In these cases, the survey is usually divided into several sections, and each of these has a series of questions, which does not have to be of the same number.