what is Employee Satisfaction?

Employee satisfaction is how content employees are with their jobs.

Measuring Employee Satisfaction

Satisfaction is typically measured using an employee survey or questionnaire.

Questions can include topics about compensation, workload, attitudes about management and organization leadership, work-life balance, staff relationships, improving working environment, work climate, and company culture. These metrics influence and help measure employee satisfaction.

measuring-satisfaction

Employee surveys can assess
satisfaction with:

  • Compensation
  • Workload
  • Attitudes
  • Work-life balance
  • Staff relationships
  • Working environment
  • Company culture

These defining factors are important to companies who want to keep their employees happy and reduce turnover, but employee satisfaction is only a part of the overall solution.


In fact, for some organizations, satisfied employees are people the organization might be better off without. This sounds counter-intuitive, but it is important to understand satisfaction doesn't mean high performance or engagement. HR ideas and strategies focused on how to improve employee satisfaction oftentimes have results that demoralize high performers.

Employee Satisfaction versus
Employee Engagement

Consider the following definition of employee satisfaction:

Employee Satisfaction Definition:

Employee satisfaction is the extent to which employees are happy or content with their jobs and work environment.

Compare that with this definition of employee engagement.

Employee Engagement Definition:

Employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work.

two engaged employees

Engaged employees are the engine of a company,
and their performance is proof of this.

Engaged employees are motivated to do more than the bare minimum needed to keep their jobs. Examples of an engagement attitude include: their strong sense of purpose and leadership; their love to be challenged; their passion and commitment to improve performance and workplace results.


Engaged employees are the engine of a company, and their performance is proof of this. The importance of engagement cannot be overstated. Satisfied employees are merely content with their jobs and the status quo. For some, this might involve doing as little work as possible. An employee satisfaction survey will not diagnose key factors that can help an organization improve engagement and performance.

Wondering how satisfied and engaged your employees are?

Turnover vs. Unwanted
Turnover

Some level of turnover is healthy for all companies. Employees who are not adding value or who are not a good fit for the company leave, making way for fresh new perspectives and new energy. We could call this healthy turnover. By contrast,unwanted turnover happens when a company loses talented employees that they want to keep.

employee-important
employee-important

Talented and motivated employees expect more from companies. For these employees, job satisfaction includes a different set of criteria. They want to be engaged and empowered. They want to be challenged and pushed. They want their work to have meaning. They want a sense of purpose. A culture of continuous improvement and the importance of professional development opportunities for employees to grow and advance their careers, to better their performance, are key factors that contribute to the engagement of high performers.

Why is employee satisfaction a
potential problem?

Talented and motivated employees expect more from companies. For these employees, job satisfaction includes a different set of criteria.

They want to be engaged and empowered. They want to be challenged and pushed. They want their work to have meaning. They want a sense of purpose. A culture of continuous improvement and the importance of professional development opportunities for employees to grow and advance their careers, to better their performance, are key factors that contribute to the engagement of high performers.

employee potential

As opposed to satisfied employees, engaged employees add value by pushing limits, driving growth and innovation. Companies with an engagement strategy provide informal and formal learning experiences in order to create significant opportunities for employees. Engaged employees will often snatch up these opportunities, satisfied employees often will not. In a culture of engagement, employees feel valued and recognized for their work.

Employee satisfaction surveys can lead an organization down the wrong path. As a company, if you focus on increasing the wrong kind of employee satisfaction, you risk entrenching those employees who are adding the least value while driving your most talented employees out.

Satisfaction and Engagement Semantics

Many people use the terms "satisfaction" and "engagement" to refer to not just the basic core needs of job satisfaction, but also the added meaning, motivation, and commitment of "engagement". There is nothing wrong with that. As long as your company measures and understands the importance of striving for the factors that we include in our definition of engagement, it really does not matter what you call it.


By employing an engagement survey, asking the right questions, measuring the right factors with benchmarked results, questions and results backed by statistics, your organization can construct a strategic plan to improve employee engagement and, in turn, performance. If this is what you're doing, call it what you like.

How It Works

1

Choose the Best Survey Solution for your Organization Employee

Employee Engagement Survey, 360 Degree Feedback, DEI Survey, Pulse Survey, Team Assessment, or Custom Survey.

2

Conduct the Survey

Prepare your organization, communicate the reasons for conducting the survey, and share the results with your teams.

3

Engage & Develop Your Employees

Implement meaningful actions and policies based on survey results. And succeed.

We have helped Thousands of organizations worldwide

Get proven solutions With measurable results

Years

1,000s

of Clients

Millions

of Surveys

+

Languages

What our clients say

“An amazing tool!!!!! We have used it for 10 years, without fail. It has helped us transform our culture and business results. We recommended it to our clients too. It is affordable and high quality - simply the best.”

spacer
testimonial client image

Lori S.

Chief Executive Officer - Software Consulting Firm

five stars

“Your solution has been a HUGE hit with our management!”

spacer
testimonial client image

Karley P.

GM Assistant - Leading Retailer

five stars

“I've been in the employee feedback business for 30 years and this is the cleanest app that I have ever seen. It's so easy to use!”

spacer
testimonial client image

Kirk H.

Director of Learning & Development - Fortune 500 Corporation

five stars

“CustomInsight has probably been the most helpful and responsive vendor partner we have worked with in all our thirty plus years in business.”

spacer
testimonial client image

Carolyn T.

Founder & CEO - HR Consulting Firm

five stars

“Your employee feedback system has been transformational for our business. We have come back to it again and again and would have made bad decisions without it.”

spacer
testimonial client image

Eileen L.

VP of Culture and Talent - Technology Company

five stars

“We are super happy! This is going to be a game changer for us. We had very good participation and the tool has been fantastic. Your personalized service has also been fabulous and has made this so easy for us.”

spacer
testimonial client image

Dan C.

Director of HR - Professional Service Firm

five stars

“We had an awesome response from our employees, saying this was the best survey they've taken. Our CEO was blown away by the data he now has at his fingertips and how actionable it is. We are very impressed and will definitely recommend the platform.”

spacer
testimonial client image

Angelique A.

Sr. Director of HR - Global Non-Profit

five stars

“We were really impressed by CustomInsight's feedback tool and strongly recommend it to other organizations that are serious about continuous improvement. The ROI has been huge!”

spacer
testimonial client image

Will G.

HR Leader - Global Manufacturer

five stars