Workforce Insights: Employee Satisfaction Surveying – Part 2 

In the last issue of this newsletter, we discussed the importance of employee satisfaction surveying and offered some sample questions in the categories of Demographics. In Part 2, we’ll discuss additional questions in the areas of work schedules, supervisory support, compensation and rewards, health and wellness, and overall attitudes and commitment. 

Work Schedules

A huge cause of dissatisfaction in many centers is the scheduling process overall and, for some individuals, the actual work schedule itself. Questions in this area can uncover some changes that may be needed in the scheduling process.

How are work schedules assigned in your call center? It is interesting to see the difference in satisfaction in centers that schedule by seniority, by an equal rotation, or by performance.  Including a “don’t know” will point out those staff that have no idea how the scheduling process works.

How satisfied are you with the following components of your schedule? Include a rating scale for various aspects of the work schedule, including but not limited to days of week worked, start time, lunches, breaks, length of shift, etc.

How satisfied are you with the following components of the scheduling process in your center? Include a rating scale for various aspects of the workforce planning process, including but not limited to: schedule predictability, frequency of schedule bid, assignment process, availability of trades, overtime availability, time-off availability, part-time availability, variety of shift options, vacation request process, time-off request handling, etc.  This is one area where it is useful to benchmark your own scheduling practices to other centers to see how you compare and where changes in the process may be justified.

How fair do you perceive the current scheduling practice to be? It is interesting to see the scale of answers to this question sorted by how the schedules are created as outlined above.

What is the schedule adherence goal you are asked to follow?  This question is useful for sorting if there are different goals by group and can also uncover instances where staff are unaware of the goal or how it is measured.

How do you feel about the expectation for schedule adherence in your center? This question gauges how reasonable staff feel about rules for adhering to work schedules. 

How do you feel about the process for recognizing schedule adherence? Variations of this question can gauge perceptions about both positive consequences for good adherence as well as the discipline or negative consequences for non-adherence.

How do you feel about the administration of the attendance policy in your center? This question can uncover a variety of responses and feelings about fairness of the policy itself as well as how the management team enforces it.

Supervisory Support

These questions will uncover some critical factors with job satisfaction. It is said that employees don’t leave companies – they leave leaders. One of the biggest factors in satisfaction and retention can be the employee’s relationship with his or her immediate supervisor, so questions about this relationship and support must be included.

How would you rate the performance of your supervisor in each of the following areas? Include a rating scale for each of the following areas and any others you feel pertinent to the employee/supervisor relationship: training assessment, call review, coaching, addressing schedule concerns, addressing personnel issues, communications, being a voice to management, escalated call support, motivating the team, motivating you personally, communicating performance goals, performance counseling, and general mentoring and support.

What is your perception of how consistently the supervisors and managers in your center address performance management and personnel issues?  This question can ascertain how much variation there may be in how your supervisory team functions.

Compensation and Rewards

This section of your survey may be much like the questions on the general employee survey, addressing perceptions about overall compensation, benefits, and the reward and recognition system.

Do you feel fairly paid for the work that you do? Utilize a scale ranging from “very unfairly paid” to “very fairly paid” to gauge overall satisfaction. You may want to separate salary and benefits and perhaps treat bonuses or additional performance-based pay separately.

What type of reward would you most like to receive for good performance? It’s dangerous to think that money is the root of all problems or the end-all satisfaction solution. Some staff would prefer to receive other types of rewards for good performance, so include a list of potential rewards (like supervisor recognition, public recognition, gift cards, company merchandise, development opportunities, time off phones, etc.) that they may earn for good work.

Rate the level of promotional opportunities available to you within the call center.  Rank these opportunities ranging from “none” to “many,” defining if possible what some of these promotional opportunities might be.

Health and Wellness

Some final factors associated with job satisfaction have to do with the physical work environment itself and how it supports the physical and mental needs of the staff. This might be modified for the at-home worker. 

Do you feel your work area is well-equipped in terms of the following? Answer each with a simple yes or no, including but not limited to: lighting, workstation, seating, ergonomics, break areas, noise, temperature control, meeting space, parking, safety/security, fitness facilities, etc.)

How do you feel about the options for meals available to you during your work shift? This question allows staff to voice opinions about what is a very important topic for some staff. 

How do you feel the company supports individual medical or special needs conditions in the workplace?  This question may assist you in uncovering not just some perceptions from employees, but some adaptations to accommodate special needs.

Attitudes and Commitment

It is useful to wrap up any survey with questions that summarize overall perceptions.  Asking about overall satisfaction in each of the above categories can be a good way to validate survey responses, as well as get an “at a glance” look at overall perceptions.

How satisfied are you with the following?  Rank each with an appropriate satisfaction scale:

  • Nature of the work
  • Training and preparation for the job
  • Ongoing training and coaching
  • Performance evaluation process
  • Recognition and rewards
  • Relationship with my supervisor
  • Relationship with senior management
  • Resources and tools to do the job
  • Compensation

How is working here compared to other places you have worked? Include a scale ranging from “much worse than other jobs” to “much better than other jobs.”  This question provides a useful comparison against other jobs.

How likely are you to remain with the company for more than one year?  This question is a good way to gauge commitment to the job perhaps compared to other opportunities.

How likely would you be to recommend working here to a friend or family member?  Just like many customer surveys ask about likeliness to recommend to others, this is an effective way to judge overall satisfaction and willingness to promote the call center to others. 

Open Questions

Open-ended text based questions are useful so that staff have a chance to say what’s on their minds and voice any concerns not addressed by the multiple-choice survey questions.  While useful and rich in content, the more open questions, the more time it takes for the employee to take the survey and it also substantially impacts the analysis time, so think carefully about including these at the end.

Two useful questions to wrap up the survey may be:

What is the thing you like most about your job? 

If you could recommend changes to senior management to make the center a more favorable place to work, what would they be?

These questions can be answered simply or in great detail and give employees a final opportunity to explain what’s keeping them there or what may be driving them away.

Concluding an Employee Survey

A final consideration for employee surveys has to do with what happens after the survey. Just doing the survey and asking their opinions can have a tremendous impact on the morale of the staff. However, if the survey happens and no feedback is provided, no results shared, or no actions taken, the survey can have just the opposite effect.  Conduct the survey over a brief period of time, compile the results, and share the overall responses with your staff. Showing them the results and acting on the findings can result in a huge payback in terms of job satisfaction which translates into improved performance, better service and a better retention rate.

Conclusion – Three Measures of Success

Best of class contact centers continually gauge how well the various aspects of the operation are performing to identify strengths as well as the performance gaps and areas for improvement.   Continuous improvement depends on a system of measures that point to all areas of the operation that work together to create the best bottom-line for the company, service experience for the customer, and workplace for the employee.

Plan a performance measurement system that encompasses all these views to make sure all your call center stakeholder groups are happy.  Keep an eye on traditional KPIs to address the efficiency and profitability concerns of senior management, but don’t rely on these reports alone. Go straight to the source with your customers and employees to ensure their needs are being met so both will stay with you for the long run.