Nhi Nguyen - October 24, 2017 -
5 Min Read

The Real Value Behind Employee Morale Surveys

If you think employee morale surveys are just another gimmick, think again.

Employee morale is a major issue for companies. Studies show that 48% of employees’ report being ‘somewhat happy’ or ‘unhappy’ at work. Furthermore, only 13% of employees around the world are ‘engaged’ at work, leaving an astonishing 87% with a lack of motivation or interest.

Low morale can have harmful ramifications for a company’s productivity, income and growth, so it’s important to understand how happy your employees are. Running regular staff surveys can be one of the best ways to monitor employee satisfaction so that companies can take steps to foster a happy and productive work environment.

Signs of Low Employee Morale

In order to retain talent and avoid the huge costs associated with the loss of your company’s best employees, it is imperative you know the signs of low workplace morale. But, how do you spot employees who are not satisfied?

The signs of disengagement and job dissatisfaction are easy to identify when you know what you’re looking for. Employees who call in sick a bit too often, have a negative attitude towards others and who show reduced co-operation can raise red flags.

Managers should also keep an eye out for employees who simply ‘go through the motions’, rather than actively participating. A disengaged and unmotivated worker may look to others to solve their problems and won’t demonstrate leadership or take initiative.

Finally, low employee morale can manifest itself in low individual and team performance. Look out for an unusual drop in work quality, missed deadlines, or a decline in service levels, as these are a few of the signs of an unhappy worker.

The Real Cost of Unhappiness at Work

Employees are the most valuable assets of a company. And when a dissatisfied employee decides to leave, it can be a costly endeavor to find a replacement. It’s difficult to measure the full impact that such a loss could have on your company. However, it’s safe to say employee turnover is expensive.

Losing and replacing a valuable employee will incur hiring costs, onboarding and training costs, as well as future learning and development costs, too. Your productivity will likely take a hit while your new employee gets trained up. And it’s often a lengthy process, which results in extra spend to make up for the unfilled role, whether you’re hiring a temp or asking other employees to work overtime.

Unhappiness in the workplace is also bad for a company’s productivity, income and growth. Negativity spreads like wildfire. If you don’t regularly assess how satisfied your employees are with their work and environment, it can begin to impact other team members. This can create a toxic environment where actively disengaged workers undermine their engaged colleagues. A study by Gallup determined that disruptive and disengaged employees cost US companies between $450 billion to $550 billion per year. That’s a staggering figure and shows just how important it is to nurture a positive work culture.

The Importance of Employee Morale Surveys

Employee morale surveys can provide essential feedback that can lead to measures being taken to increase productivity and employee happiness. Many studies have already highlighted the link between workplace happiness and high productivity at work. According to a 2015 study conducted by the University of Warwick, happy employees see a 12% spike in their productivity, while unhappy employees’ productivity shrinks by 10%. There’s a reason Google is planning to spend £1bn ($1.35bn) on luxury London headquarters designed to ensure the wellness of its staff. Happiness also boosts creativity, a vital skill for any company in today’s highly competitive markets.

Employee morale surveys give your team the opportunity to provide feedback on your company. By understanding opinions, attitudes, levels of job satisfaction and motivation, you can improve employee happiness, boost morale in the workplace and foster a productive environment where your employees thrive.

How to Make your Surveys Better

  • Keep it anonymous: To ensure you receive honest feedback that reflects how your employees actually feel, keep your surveys anonymous. While some team members will have no problem speaking their mind, others may prefer a more private forum.
  • Ask the right questions: Employee surveys should provide managers with valuable information that offers useful insights. Choosing the right questions is imperative to ensure your surveys deliver information that can result in change.
  • Conduct Frequent Surveys: Annual or quarterly surveys can be beneficial, although they only provide a snapshot at one particular point in time. Conducting employee surveys on a regular basis will deliver a much better overview of how your team morale is actually faring. By comparing the results week on week and month on month, you will be able to see trends and spot urgent problems as they arise.
  • Take Action: Employee surveys are useless if you do nothing with the feedback. Make sure you take all opinions onboard and take action to rectify common concerns that employees have. Doing nothing can have negative ramifications, as employees may see the survey as a waste of time.

Why Surveys are Effective

Employee morale surveys are an effective platform to initiate positive workplace change, improve team satisfaction and encourage communication within your company.

Surveys can help identify issues before they become a bigger problem. By introducing recurring surveys to be answered as part of a workplace routine, companies gain access to valuable data needed to analyze trends and make fundamental changes to systems or processes. Polly, for instance, helps you create simple and recurring polls directly in Slack, making it quick and easy for employees to respond.

Surveys also allow your employees to have a voice. Opening the lines of communication and allowing employees to have an opinion can lead to better decisions.

Focus on Employee Morale

Using employee morale surveys on a regular basis will help you to track employees’ satisfaction over time. This will make it easier for you to notice even the slightest change in morale, allowing you to act quickly and efficiently to maintain a productive work environment.

Do you administer employee morale surveys? If yes, why? How do you use the feedback that is collected? Let us know. We’d like to hear from you!

Nhi Nguyen

Written by Nhi Nguyen

Professional Netflix binge-watcher. Wants to see all of the world.