It's easy for companies that measure employee satisfaction to stay competitive. That's because measuring employee satisfaction gives you an idea of steps to take to keep employees happy and content.

Satisfied employees are more productive, and that's good for your bottom line. The first step is figuring out how to measure employee satisfaction.

What Is Employee Satisfaction?

Employee satisfaction is a term that's often highlighted as the ultimate goal every company should aim for to stay competitive. Simply put, it refers to whether an employee is happy or content with their job and the extent of their happiness. Employee satisfaction is not to be confused with employee engagement, which is another workplace metric used to determine how positive a company's culture is.

However, there's no doubt that job satisfaction is a big part of the foundation your company needs to build a strong, positive culture. When employees are satisfied with their job, they're more likely to be productive, engaged, and remain with the company for longer.

Factors To Consider When Measuring Employee Satisfaction

Before you can measure employee satisfaction, it's important to consider the relevant elements involved. To begin with, consider the following factors you can leverage to achieve the desired level of employee satisfaction.

Compensation and Benefits

It's no secret that offering competitive pay and benefits keeps employees happy. Good pay can have a big impact on an employee's life by reducing financial stressors. Employees are more likely to be satisfied with their job if they're not living paycheck to paycheck.

There are also many inexpensive benefits you can offer to sweeten the pot. However, don't make the mistake of assuming money is the be-all and end-all of job satisfaction.

Workplace Conditions

Employees spend a huge chunk of their lives at work. As such, negative work conditions can be extremely detrimental to job satisfaction. The ideal work environment that boosts satisfaction should be safe, comfortable, clean, healthy, and conducive to productivity. This encompasses topics like ergonomic chairs, safety gear (where needed), and proper work-life balance.

Relationship With Management

When employees don't get along with their supervisors, this can lead to a toxic work culture. A supervisor that doesn't care about employees will generate a lot of complaints and disgruntled behavior. On the other hand, when a supervisor makes an effort to build positive relationships with the team, this goes a long way towards improving the employee experience.

Recognition and Rewards

Employees tend to be more satisfied when you recognize their hard work and achievements. In workplaces where job satisfaction is poor, management has a habit of over criticizing and failing to acknowledge high-performing employees. Recognition and rewards help boost employee satisfaction even when they're not always monetary.

Career Growth and Training

Satisfied employees find plenty of fulfillment in their job. Therefore, the goal is to challenge employees and keep things interesting. The best way to do this is by providing opportunities for growth and offering training so that employees don't feel stagnant in their roles.

Employee Satisfaction Metrics You Need to Track

Although employee satisfaction is often viewed as a single metric, you can break it down into several metrics to ensure you get a comprehensive assessment of job satisfaction. Here are some of the top employee satisfaction metrics you need to track:

  • Absenteeism rate. This is an important metric to track because a high absenteeism rate indicates poor job satisfaction and vice versa. Poor job satisfaction pushes employees to skip work.
  • Turnover rate. You can also use the turnover rate to determine job satisfaction levels. When employees feel satisfied with their job, they're less likely to leave, so your turnover rates will be favorable. Poor job satisfaction is one of the main causes behind a high turnover rate, which can be costly for your company.
  • Productivity. If you notice a decrease in productivity or sales, this can indicate that employees are not satisfied. On the flip side, high production rates and sales volumes are usually a sign that employees are satisfied in their roles. This will be reflected in your company's overall profitability.
  • Net promoter score. This metric looks at whether employees are more likely to recommend your company to others. A score that's closer to 10 indicates a high satisfaction level.

Ways to Measure Employee Satisfaction

There are several ways to gather the data you need to measure employee satisfaction.


Surveys are a particularly effective method of gathering data in a large organization. There's a case to be made for anonymous surveys because they encourage more honest feedback from employees.

An effective employee satisfaction survey incorporates open-ended questions that are carefully worded to produce valuable information. However, businesses don't always have to develop surveys since many effective job satisfaction surveys already exist.

For example, the Employee Satisfaction Index is a popular survey that measures the extent that employees are happy with their jobs. Applying the employee satisfaction index formula allows you to rate job satisfaction on a scale of 0 to 100.

The Gallup Workplace Audit also uses an employee satisfaction scale of between 1 and 5 to measure the current satisfaction level among employees. In addition, you can find other applicable surveys to help you gather data about different work aspects, such as pay, growth opportunities, and relationships with colleagues and supervisors.

Suggestion Boxes

Suggestion boxes are another effective method of gathering honest employee feedback. Employees get to express their opinions anonymously, and you can sift through the information to see which ideas or complaints are worth noting. Suggestion boxes are the perfect complement to surveys because they prompt employees to raise concerns and issues you may have overlooked.

One-on-one Conversations

Besides helping you assess how well employees are doing, performance reviews allow you to find out if employees are happy right from the horse's mouth. One-on-one conversations allow you to understand employees and their needs better.

You can discover how to improve job satisfaction at the individual level. Performance reviews are typically done once or twice a year, but nothing stops you from seeking regular feedback as this enables you to keep a finger on the pulse of things.


Keeping a sharp eye on your workforce can also provide you with valuable insights about employee satisfaction levels at your company. There are many signs to look out for, including employees' general behavior and conduct. For instance, do employees come to work on time, and what's the attendance rate like? Knowing how to read the situation is an essential skill as you can't always rely on employees to tell it like it is.

Benefits of Measuring Employee Satisfaction

Measuring employee satisfaction gives you a bigger picture of your organization's culture and whether it can create a good employee experience.

It helps you determine what to do to achieve the desired employee satisfaction metrics. For example, you can apply these tips to improve employee satisfaction:

  • Flexible work hours. Rigid work hours can be stressful to employees. Instead, establish a more flexible work schedule that includes time off and opportunities to work from home.
  • Flexible payroll schedule. Most employees live paycheck to paycheck, so a flexible payroll schedule that gives employees early access to their earned wages may be needed.
  • Social activities. Social activities like pizza parties, company retreats, and team-building activities help to boost mood and lighten the atmosphere.
  • Improved communication. Establish an open-door policy and ensure employees feel free to raise their concerns. Giving employees a voice prevents resentment and builds goodwill.

Once you implement the right initiatives and raise the level of contentment at your company, you're all set to experience the following benefits:

Increased Retention

High employee turnover costs businesses billions of dollars each year. Measuring employee satisfaction is worthwhile because it helps create a positive working environment that motivates employees to stick around.

Better Job Applicants

When you make an effort to create a better workplace, you become an employer of choice. This enables you to attract top talent willing to join your organization and drive its objectives. Over time, you can build a thriving, high-performing team that feels happy with their work.

Improved Productivity

Happy employees are more willing to put effort into their work. This can do wonders for your bottom line. By tracking the right employee satisfaction metrics, you'll know which initiatives to implement to encourage employees to be more effective.

The Bottom Line

Now that you know how to measure and improve employee satisfaction, you can only see results by taking action. As part of management duties, it's important to measure as many metrics as possible to get the full picture of the current level of contentment.

Once you start making improvements, remember that measuring employee satisfaction is a continuous process, so keep tracking those metrics to build an effective and happy team.