Bill Gates said, “The coronavirus pandemic pits all of humanity against the virus.” And that about summarizes our current state. While it’s unifying how we’re faced with the same challenge, there’s significant variation among individual experiences. This is highlighted in the relationship between companies and their employees. So now more than ever, companies need insightful employee satisfaction metrics.
Employee satisfaction metrics show managers how they can keep everyone safe, which technologies to invest in, and what hours to stay open. Furthermore, since no one knows your company better than your employees, employee satisfaction metrics are essential for course-correcting through these troubled times.
Emergent Employee Satisfaction Themes
Among the Covid-19 surveys we run, I can share a few emergent themes.
First, response rates are through the roof.
This signals that employees want management to know what’s going on with them. In fact, I’ve never seen employees share so much through their verbatim comments.
Second, many companies need to double-down on communication.
While you might think your weekly huddles and periodic emails are sufficient, employees want transparency, and they want to know what their company leaders are hoping for and planning around. For employee satisfaction, status updates have never mattered more.
Third, remote work is more complex than it might seem. While it’s tempting to make blanket statements about what remote work is like, the truth is, home-life situations vary and can even vary day-to-day.
In general, the more senior the employee, the more they prefer remote. Frontline associates may not be as keen on their work-from-home arrangements. And while executives who are accustomed to thinking strategically don’t expect quick answers, junior employees often feel like working from home means answers to their questions must wait.
But aside from a few commonalities, every company is different. Do you have hybrid remote/office workers? Do you have sales reps in the field? These different situations impact the satisfaction metrics you need to track.
Employee Satisfaction Metrics
For Covid-19, four metrics tend to be most valuable. And as is always true, for accurate measurement, you need to weight each metric by what matters most to the employee and their situation.
- Total Employee Satisfaction Metric: the weighted average of all responses to your survey questions.
- Safety Metric: the weighted average of responses to questions about the ability to maintain social distancing, health protocols, and cleanliness standards.
- Remote Productivity Metric: the weighted average of responses to questions about tools and technology, home workspace conditions, workload, and peer relationships.
- Leadership Metric: the weighted average of responses to questions about leadership communication and support from management.
Once you’ve figured out your core metrics, you need to polish your survey design to ensure you’re getting objective, scientific data. Here are a few pointers.
Eliminate Leading Questions
Because we all want people to agree with us, it’s human nature to ask leading questions. It’s also human nature to answer questions in ways that will avoid a ruckus. This is especially true of employees who may fear being furloughed or worse.
So, if you want to have an accurate measure of employee satisfaction, put a kibosh on leading questions.
That means instead of asking, “How satisfied are you with our response to Covid-19?” which assumes employees are somewhat satisfied, have a 3rd party ask, “How would you rate Company123’s actions in response to Covid-19?”
Wireframe the Range of Scenarios
Think through your survey audiences and what is relevant to each type of employee. Plotting out the details of employee roles ensures the questions are relevant to each employee and make sense.
Develop a wireframe that shows your survey’s logic pathways. Get feedback on your wireframe. Then embed the logic into your survey and test each pathway before it goes out.
Anonymity is Key with Employee Satisfaction
For employee satisfaction surveys, the gold standard is that they’re conducted in an anonymous, double-blind way. And when it comes to asking about medical situations, anonymity is essential.
But of equal importance, explain that protocol so employees know they can share openly and honestly—otherwise, they won’t.
Show You Care
Create a survey that is aesthetically appealing, easy to read, and renders well on all types of browsers and screens. In addition, send your survey in an email that is welcoming and encourages honest feedback.
Measuring employee satisfaction has always mattered. But now that we’re dealing with the pandemic, tracking employee satisfaction is a crucial to your company’s survival and success.
About Martha Brooke, Blackbelt 6 Sigma & CCXP
Martha founded Interaction Metrics to bring a science-based approach to customer experience measurement and improvement.
About Interaction Metrics
Interaction Metrics is a customer experience research agency. Methods include customer satisfaction surveys, tracking studies, and customer interviews. Interested in how Interaction Metrics conducts Covid-19 surveys? See a sample Covid-19 survey and its portal here.