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High staff satisfaction has untold benefits for those businesses with highly engaged and satisfied staff – lower staff turnover, higher performance and productivity, and low absenteeism, not to mention the incredibly positive effects on their bottom line.

Satisfied employees tend to work harder, and longer, while enjoying the extra challenge. They’re also more likely be loyal and to spread the word about their employer to their friends and professional networks.

A recent study by Mercer revealed that between 28% and 56% of employees wanted to leave their jobs due to discontent with their current work condition. To counteract this and ensure their employees are satisfied and motivated to perform at their very best, many Australian businesses now administer staff satisfaction surveys.  A fantastic tool – these surveys help employers gauge satisfaction levels across the workplace and pinpoint any areas for improvement.

So, does your business need to conduct a staff satisfaction survey?

There are two questions to ask when determining whether to conduct a staff satisfaction survey:

1)    Do you have staff?
2)    Do you know what your staff really think about their roles and work environment?

If you answered yes to the first question and no to the second, it could be time to conduct a staff survey. The number of staff that you have will generally determine which method you should use for conducting your staff survey. Generally, for businesses with over 5 staff (excluding directors), a staff survey is the appropriate method. Businesses with less than 5 employees may like to consider less formal methods (such as informal interviews or group feedback workshops).

While staff surveys should be conducted regularly (ideally every six months), there are times when it becomes more urgent to conduct a satisfaction survey:

  • Rapidly growing business: When a business is growing so quickly, it can be difficult to keep up! It’s essential to keep an eye on how employees feel about their jobs and work environment to ensure that growth is not negatively affecting staff satisfaction or performance.
  • High or growing turnover: Some industries and business types have naturally high turnover, particularly across lower-skilled and casual employee bases. However, if turnover seems overly high or is growing noticeably, a staff survey is the first step to solving this costly problem.
  • Planned or recent business changes: Change is a difficult process and can often be met with high levels of resistance or resentment by staff. Find out what they think of these changes to include them in the process.
  • Highly competitive industry / skills-short candidate market: When your competitiveness partially depends on your staff’s skills and knowledge, staff retention is critical to business success – here it becomes especially crucial to monitor staff satisfaction levels.
  • Holiday season: Time away from the workplace and the promise of new beginnings for the New Year can trigger employee resignations shortly after the holiday season. It’s important to identify the risk of resignations and highlight areas for improvement before it’s too late.

As the end of year draws to an end, businesses are preparing for the ‘New Year, New Career’ exodus. Conducting a business-wide staff satisfaction survey before the Christmas break may help to prevent some of these departures and enable your business to retain a committed team for 2015.


About the Author:

Paula Maidens is Managing Director of Recruitment Coach, a unique HR coaching and consulting firm for small-medium businesses.

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Paula Maidens

Paula Maidens

Paula Maidens is Managing Director of <a href="http://www.recruitmentcoach.com.au/">Recruitment Coach,</a> a unique HR coaching and consulting firm for small-medium businesses.

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