Over the years, I've filled out a few employee surveys providing feedback regarding what organizations are doing well and what they're missing. Through trial and error, I've figured out something that helped hone my perception of actual overall satisfaction – trench networking. Many leaders forget about what their employees are, and alienate themselves to the point of knowing how their teams feel about the organization's performance.
Of course any company can benefit from employee surveys. But there some areas of disappointment. Employee surveys, like any other, are only as good as the questions being asked – and some employees will simply answer what organizations prefer to hear.
And then there's the question of "confidentiality." Survey data needs to be frank, but the most unsatisfied employees may not actually be the most trusting in organizational ethics.
Using an outcome metric like employee job satisfaction, while ignoring managers' roles as bosses and their impact on the focus, morale, and stress levels of their teams, may result in a false indication of how the organization is really performing.
The strongest predictor of a company's performance is their employees honest perception. And that perception gets evaluated best by people who know those employees well.
So here's what I'd recommend. Maintain access to the trenches. Be accessible to your employees, and make them feel like they can approach you with honesty during troubled times. For companies using employee satisfaction surveys, a certain level of correlation should be taken to distinguish data you're looking for with what's being said in the trenches.
Digital Marketing Technologist & User Experience Advocate.