How To Measure Employee Satisfaction

Philip Cleave
October 25, 2022
Happy employee celebrates his success with another colleague

Every business strives to build a thriving workplace with contented teams and staff, yet many employees are unhappy. In fact, in one of the UK’s largest recent studies of workplace happiness 36% of staff reported being unhappy in their jobs.

This is a serious problem, as lower employee satisfaction rates can lead to reduced job performance and increased staff turnover rates. So, if you’re to get more from your teams and move your business forward, you need to ensure as many of them as possible are happy in their jobs.

What can affect employee satisfaction

From their working environment, the tools they have to perform their roles and their relationship with their manager and co-workers, to their pay, benefits, training and even the experiences your company delivers for them. There’s lots of things that can affect staff contentment and engagement levels over the lifecycle of an employee’s employment with you.

If they’re happy that’s great, but if they’re not and this is left unresolved, this could cause them to leave and damage your productivity levels.

Why measure employee satisfaction?

Unhappy staff can cause real problems for your business, so you need to do everything you can to keep them contented and engaged.

But you’ll only be able to do that if you can obtain feedback from your employees and be able to measure their levels of satisfaction with your business. If you can do this, you’ll be much better placed to improve key areas of your business including:

Staff retention

It’s really difficult to retain staff if they’re unhappy working for you. In contrast, if you can improve overall satisfaction levels, your employees will be far less likely to leave, lowering your staff churn rate.


It stands to reason that dissatisfied and unengaged employees are less likely to put in the same level of work effort as their happier counterparts. In fact, research shows that happier staff are up to 12% more productive.

Company culture

Your company culture is essential in helping to keep staff happy. But it can quickly become toxic if you have a lot of dissatisfied employees, making critical comments about your company to other staff.

On the other hand, satisfied employees are more likely to create a positive company culture, by being supportive and enthusiastic.

Methods for measuring employee satisfaction

If you’re hesitant about measuring your staff satisfaction levels, it’s worth noting that even if you don’t hear your employees complain it doesn’t mean they’re necessarily happy. In fact, if they don’t come to you with their concerns, it could be a sign that they don’t trust you enough to be honest about the issues they’re experiencing.

Therefore, if you can gather their feedback, it can give you an insight into what they’re thinking that you would otherwise be unable to get.

Getting face to face feedback is an option, but many of your staff may still feel nervous about this and not be totally honest about what they say. And this won’t help you in uncovering issues that you really need to be improving.

There are much less intrusive ways of identifying your employees’ levels of satisfaction, which we’ve outlined below.

Running employee satisfaction surveys

One of the most effective and well-known methods is the employee satisfaction survey. It will give you a good feel for levels of employee happiness, as well as more detail about what they like and dislike.

To get this level of detail you could set up your survey to explore a number of workplace issues ranging from job contentment, training, and pay and benefits to co-worker and management relations, stress management and career progression.

You could then ask them a mix of closed and open-ended questions, to get some top-level insights and some deeper comment, when you wanted them to provide more details about anything they weren’t happy with.

For the best and most honest feedback, you could also think about making your survey anonymous.

Using the Employee Net Promoter (eNPS)

To get a more precise measurement of staff happiness that you could also use to compare yourself against other companies, you could introduce some employee satisfaction metrics.

The first and most well-known of these is the Employee Net Promoter (eNPS) metric, which is measured by asking your staff the following question:

On a scale of zero to ten, how likely are you to recommend our company to others as a great place to work?

(with those closest to zero being the least likely and those closer to ten most likely to promote you)

Having reviewed their answers, you can divide your employees into the following groups:

  • Promoters – Those who gave you a rating of a nine or a ten are considered your promoters and can offer you valuable insights on what your company is doing right.
  • Passives – staff responding with a seven or an eight are categorized as passives. They don’t feel strongly about your company either way. Subsequently, you should be looking for ways to turn these employees into promoters and prevent them from becoming detractors.
  • Detractors – Those who gave you a rating of anything between zero and six are called detractors. These people aren’t satisfied with their job and are likely to leave your company. However, detractors are still useful, as they can tell you a lot about what you need to be improving.

To calculate your eNPS, you’ll need to subtract your percentage of detractors from your percentage of promoters. Or for an even simpler option you could use our eNPS calculator.

You should now be left with a score of between –100 and 100. Any positive score is considered good, while scores below zero are a warning sign that you need to work on improving employee satisfaction.

Calculating your Employee Satisfaction Score (ESAT)

The second of these metrics is the employee satisfaction score.

Using ESAT can give you a better idea of your employees’ contentment with your business, as well as the extent to which they feel you have met their wants and needs.

Similar to the barometer that is provided by the CSAT metric, the ESAT metric looks to measure employees’ satisfaction with the organization they work for by asking them the following question.

‘How satisfied are you with the organization you work for?

Each staff member is then asked to rate their experience on a 5-point scale between 1 being “very dissatisfied” and 5 representing “very satisfied”.

To calculate your ESAT score you then have to take the number of your satisfied employees (who rated you either a 4 or a 5) and divide this by your total number of responses and multiply this by 100. For example, if 55 out of 100 of your employees gave you a rating of 4 or 5, your overall ESAT score would be 55.

Your total ESAT score will reside somewhere between zero and 100.

Employee Satisfaction is a major factor in motivation, goal achievement and morale in the workplace. So, the closer your ESAT score gets to 100, the easier it will be to drive up staff motivation, morale and goal achievements.

You need to be improving your employee experience too

From a healthier employee retention rate to increased staff productivity and more. There’s lots of benefits to be gained from measuring and improving employee satisfaction throughout your business.

However, it’s important not to forget the value of improving your employee experience too, which can affect many facets of your employees’ employment journey with you from initial recruitment and onboarding to their ongoing training, development and company exit. If you can improve both staff satisfaction and your employee experience, your staff will be more engaged and productive, and your business will be more successful as a result.

Deliver the experiences your staff will love

Improving staff satisfaction is critical to nurturing a more engaged and productive workforce, but it’s equally important to deliver experiences your employees love. Identify and measure these with the best survey tools.

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