Employee satisfaction and engagement are key to a sustainable and productive team, no matter your industry or department.
Highly engaged and satisfied employees produce better results for the company, contribute to a positive work culture, and stick around for a long time.
But employee satisfaction is a tricky thing to measure. It can be difficult to quantify the right parts of the employee experience to get insights into how satisfied your team actually is.
In this article, we’ll cover the best employee satisfaction KPIs for you to track, show you how to track them, and even give you some ideas for what to do with all that employee satisfaction data you’ve collected.
What are employee satisfaction KPIs?
Employee satisfaction KPIs attempt to put a number to the question “Are you happy at work?”
By identifying a few key areas of work that have strong correlations to employee engagement, you can look at broader patterns and find solutions to team engagement problems.
Some employee satisfaction KPIs are represented as a calculated percentage or index number. Others might be averages or aggregated data to custom answers on an employee satisfaction survey. You might know for example the NPS (Net Promoter Score). If not, quick video for you :
5 essential employee satisfaction KPIs
Employee engagement and satisfaction might look different depending on your workplace and team culture.
For instance, one team may need to function in a hugely collaborative environment with plenty of meetings and client calls, while another might work more independently with other forms of checking in.
We’ll detail how to track these custom employee satisfaction KPIs in the next section, but first, let’s look at five employee engagement metrics that any manager or human resources department might find helpful:
- Employee Net Promoter Score: Sometimes known as eNPS, this metric calculates how likely your employees are to recommend your company as a place to work. This is a key reflection of your company culture and employee satisfaction. After all, unhappy employees certainly aren’t going to recommend your company to others.
- Turnover rate: If lots of employees are leaving in a small amount of time, that may be a sign that something is up with your employee satisfaction ratings. After ruling out social and economic forces like the COVID-19 pandemic, you can look for problems or ask for feedback on your workplace culture.
You can calculate employee turnover on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Be sure to establish a baseline for your company or industry so you can better see deviations from the norm.
- Productivity: Engaged employees are 18% more productive and 23% more profitable than their non-engaged counterpoints. So when productivity dips, it’s likely your employee satisfaction is down too. Measure productivity by whatever metrics make sense for your team: tasks completed (totaled by a timer app), quotas met, or goals achieved.
- Absenteeism: Increased or chronic absences from work may signal a decrease in employee satisfaction or morale. While you should generally trust your employees to call out of work for legitimate reasons, keeping an eye on overall attendance trends can help you diagnose employee engagement problems early.
- Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI): The ESI aggregates employee answers to three general questions about job satisfaction to produce a number between 1 – 100. That number is an indicator of employee satisfaction over time.
How to track employee satisfaction KPIs
Many companies track employee satisfaction KPIs through HR software and/or employee feedback tools.
These tools help gather employee opinions and insights and analyze them so you can take action based on the data.
Here are a few tips for developing a feedback strategy to track employee satisfaction KPIs.
Designate someone to track employee engagement
You need to consistently monitor employee satisfaction KPIs to draw useful conclusions from the data.
In a medium or large business with a dedicated human resources department, employee engagement studies typically fall under their duties. But if you’re a small business owner, you may find it difficult to stay on top of tracking this data yourself.
If that’s the case, consider investing in human resources software or even outsourcing your HR to a PEO company that can take care of the administrative side of tracking employee satisfaction KPIs.
No matter who is in charge of your employee feedback strategy, you’ll also want an intuitive and customizable feedback platform like Feedier to manage and store all your data.
Customize employee satisfaction KPIs to your company
As mentioned above, employee satisfaction looks different from company to company. Engaged manufacturing employees have different skills and qualities than engaged sales employees, for example.
Be sure to consider your teams’ specific needs when choosing the employee satisfaction KPIs you’ll track. What does productivity look like for them? As the boss, what do you envision an engaged employee looks like in your company?
Use these goals and insights to track the right KPIs for your employees, rather than wasting time and resources gathering unhelpful data.
Choose the right feedback questions
Employees can quickly get irritated at long engagement surveys filled with repetitive or irrelevant questions. To increase the response rate and get the most useful insights from your employee feedback, choose your survey questions carefully.
Essentially, each question you ask should have a clear connection to an insight you are looking for.
For instance, if you want to calculate your Employee Satisfaction Index, you only need to ask three questions:
- How satisfied are you with your job?
- Does your job meet your expectations?
- Is your job close to “ideal” for you?
Employees answer these questions on a scale of 1-10. To calculate the ESI, you’ll find the mean of all the responses, divide that by 3, and multiply by 100.
You can also ask questions about recommending your company as a place to work or specific initiatives, goals, or company problems you want insight into.
Use appropriate business language
Phrase your employee feedback questions carefully, using business language that is appropriate for your work environment and culture.
If you have a more laid-back office culture, you might ask questions less formally than you might in a corporate setting. Either way, using slightly more formal business language, like in the example below, can help signal the importance of the surveys.
If you’re feeling misaligned or unclear on company culture and how to reflect this in your business language, it’s recommended to take a culture assessment to discover elements like:
- The current behaviors and values that make up your company culture
- What is important to your team and employees in regards to company culture or areas they would like to see change
- Receive feedback from employees on your company’s culture
By knowing where your company stands, you’ll be better prepared to use the appropriate business language and communicate with your team more effectively.
Hold regular meetings with your team
In the midst of collecting employee engagement data, don’t forget to spend time actually talking to your employees!
One-on-one conversations with your employees can give you great insight into your team culture. Keep it casual, and demonstrate that you’re always open to hearing more feedback.
You’ll build rapport with your team and gather all kinds of useful insights.
What to do with your employee satisfaction data
Now it’s time to put your employee satisfaction KPIs to use. What actions can you take based on the employee engagement KPIs you collect?
Here are a few ideas:
- Look for patterns: Work with your HR team to identify trends in your employee satisfaction data. Does turnover increase around a certain time of year? Do employees tend to leave after a certain tenure? Has your ESI increased or decreased significantly lately?
- Dig into the causes of these patterns: Identify the factors surrounding these patterns. For instance, if you notice that all your employees tend to resign two years after being hired, what happens around that time? Are employees maxing out their benefits? Are there few opportunities for growth?
- Send targeted follow-up surveys: If you suspect benefits, recognition, or any other factor is a problem area for your business, start asking employees about it in more detail. What would they like to see in terms of worker recognition, additional perks and benefits, or changes to company policy and procedures?
The most important thing you can do, however, is to take specific, concrete actions or training as a direct response to employee feedback. This shows that you take employee feedback seriously and can be trusted to do what’s best for your team.
Eventually, you can grow into recognizing employees for their contributions and accomplishments with gift cards, bonuses, or time off.
Keep building a healthy team with employee satisfaction KPIs
Employee satisfaction and engagement is an ongoing work-in-progress. There’s likely always something you can do to keep employees more engaged and your business more productive.
With an employee feedback strategy and platform in place, you can track employee satisfaction KPIs and gain valuable insights to help you maintain a healthy team.
Guest Author Byline
Axelle Dervaux has experience in digital marketing with a focus on B2B marketing for SaaS companies. She’s working in various marketing fields such as SEO and SEA, social media, lead nurturing, customer retention, product marketing. She is the Marketing Manager at clicdata.com, a cloud-based business intelligence, and data management platform. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.