Five typical questions employers ask their workforce

Measuring employee satisfaction in a rapidly changing workplace can be challenging. Taken into consideration that each organization shaped their questionnaires based on their internal communication style and primary language, there are five distinct types of questions that employers want to measure, follow, and keep as an open line of communication with their workforce.

HappyOrNotⓇ, the global leader in instant customer and employee satisfaction reporting, has received over four million employee feedbacks with 561 companies in 41 countries. With the HappyOrNot Smiley Terminal™ (kiosk) and web-based reporting service, Human Resources executives and top management can ask their staff for instant, continuous and anonymous feedbacks that are outside of what annual or bi-annual company surveys can fulfil.

1. Employee Satisfaction

Top Question: “How was your workday today?”

This question helps understand and determine the levels of employee satisfaction at work on a typical workday. At Vincit Ltd., winner of the 2016 Great Place to Work competition in Europe, their terminal question reads: “Did you enjoy your workday today?”

A particular occasion stuck out for Johanna Pystynen, Vincit’s HR Director, when management noticed decreasing HappyOrNot results in the middle of an important customer project.

By immediately involving staff, they uncovered that one team was experiencing time management challenges and needed more support in project work. To address the matter, improvements in both training and cross-departmental communication were implemented during the client project. Within two months, employee satisfaction increased 10 percent.

2. Performance Management

Top Question: “Do you feel you have the resources/support you need to do your job well?”

The culture of frequent feedback can create a very collaborative environment. Daniel Berry, CEO of $128 million/15,400-member Duke University Federal Credit Union, stated in a CUES Magazine interview, “It’s vital to have measurable goals and targets for our teams if we want to have long-term sustained success. Accountability isn’t a bad word. And we need to support leaders as we ask them to have true accountability conversations with staff on their performance.”

The financial institution installed HappyOrNot terminals last year at each lobby workstation and every drive-up lane.

For Duke FCU the real benefit is development, not evaluation. Berry said the staff receives daily feedback based on the kiosks, although if an individual receives several negative results, coaching can occur more immediately. Supervisors also discuss results and trends with employees quarterly. Furthermore, Duke FCU employees are also rewarded for performance.

Those receiving a 95 percent satisfaction rating for the year receive $100, and for every point above 95 they get an additional $100, with the maximum incentive topping out at $500.

3. Employee Engagement

Top Question: “How motivated do you feel about the work you are going to be doing today?”

Treating employees as internal customers to boost employee engagement is not a new concept. Just as exceeding expectations of customers can turn them into promoters, employees can become highly effective brand advocates to drive better business results.

A commitment to enhancing the employee experience also stands to improve retention, which impacts the bottom line, given the high price of replacing valuable talent. Turnover costs include productivity losses during training and recruiting, and lost work while a position is vacant.

4. Immediate Actionable Data

Top Question: “Please rate our meeting/cafeteria/lounge/IT/employee service today.”

Constructive feedback can be extremely useful for any business. In 2015, Omni Dallas Hotel conducted its annual associate survey to identify improvements needed within the hotel, whereby one of the largest areas of concern was the employee cafeteria. A HappyOrNot Smiley Terminal was placed at the cafeteria’s exit to ask: “How did you enjoy your dining experience?”

Embraced by associates, over 7,400 responses were received in the first months. “We needed a way to gauge the effectiveness of the improvements we were making in our associate cafeteria, and the HappyOrNot Smiley Terminal fit the bill. It allowed us to receive quick feedback that we could share with our cafeteria staff the next day,” said Bethany Gillam, Area Director of HR.

5. Culture Alignment

Top Question: “Today, do you feel that your work was valued (by your colleagues, team or manager)?”

No company can create a deeply-rooted culture without people who either share its core values or possess the willingness and ability to embrace those values. Many of the businesses that have HappyOrNot terminals as a fixture in their offices have a “People-first” attitude.

It is not merely a mention in their mission, vision, or values statement—they invest in people in visible ways, including in company practices, review criteria and incentive programs, company policies, and the operating principles of daily life.

This article first appeared on HR in Asia.

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