Monday, November 11, 2013

Tips for Surveying Staff Satisfaction – Part 2

October 7th marked the release of my sixth book entitled “Following the Leader – Executive Succession for Your Nonprofit” Please visit our website for to check out the Table of Contents and Sample Chapter.

Tips for Surveying Staff Satisfaction – Part 2 


This is the second of three blog posts covering a total of ten powerful tips for surveying employee engagement or satisfaction. The term “employee engagement” appears to be replacing “staff satisfaction” in much of the human resource literature. However, a leopard doesn’t change its spots! Staff satisfaction surveys and employee engagement surveys usually cover the same turf. Employee satisfaction is the single most important factor that determines future employee retention. Satisfaction (or morale or engagement) is a measurable outcome of your management, administrative and supervisory practices and policies.

Conducting regular (annual is recommended) surveys of employee satisfaction is a recommended “best practice” in nonprofit organizations. When did your agency conduct its last survey? Is it time for another one?


Tip # 4 Your survey should include 50 to 75 questions. This creates sufficient detail to make your data meaningful and useful. A 50 item survey will take about 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

Tip # 5 Use words that personalize your questions. For example, “When a problem arises in my team it is usually resolved successfully.” Or, “I have access to my supervisor when I need her/him.” Or, “The constructive feedback I receive helps me do my job better.”

Tip # 6 Use a consistent response scale. Four or five point scales are most popular. A four point scale (1 = strongly disagree to 4 = strongly agree) has no neutral response. A five point scale (3= Neutral) allows people who are not sure some middle ground.

Tip # 7 When sorting through the hundreds of possible questions to include in your survey, ask yourselves one simple question: “If we have the answer to this question, how will we use the information (data) to help us improve?” Curiosity kills the cat … and surveys that are cluttered with questions that are meaningless are a waste of time. Remember the old phrase, “Garbage in = garbage out!”

Contact Paula at [email protected] for more information on how we can help you with your next Employee Satisfaction Survey! 



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