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Employee Satisfaction Measurement

A major part of satisfaction analysis is to assess the employee's current satisfaction of the company, its services, benefits, and values. Personal attitudes and actions toward a situation are highly conditioned by beliefs about the situation. Employee Satisfaction comprises the set of beliefs, ideas, and impressions that a person holds of a situation.

The first step is to measure the employee's satisfaction using the following scale.

If most of the respondents circle the first two or three categories, then the company's task will be to address those dimensions that are generating dissatisfaction.

Another aspect of satisfaction concerns how important the dimension is to overall employee satisfaction. While it may be thought that to measure this aspect, one only has to ask the employee, how important is this to your overall satisfaction, many tend to rate all dimensions as important. A better way to determine importance is to correlate the employee's satisfaction responses to the dimension with the employee's overall satisfaction responses. This correlation value (from 0 to 1)

The two scales can be combined to develop insight into the nature of the challenge. Suppose employees residents are asked about their satisfaction and attitude toward four dimensions A, B, C, and D. Their responses are averaged and shown below.
Figure 1: Employee Satisfaction Analysis
Dimension D has the most positive satisfaction value: Most employees are highly satisfied and it is highly important to them. Dimension B is less important to most employees, but they are generally satisfied with it. Dimension A is viewed negatively, but fortunately, it is not held with much importance. Dimension C is seen as a poor satisfier, and it is highly important.

Resources may then be more clearly allocated to improving employee satisfaction to the most important dimensions.

An organization seeking to change its employee satisfaction must have great patience. Perceptions are "sticky" and persist long after the organization has changed. Perception persistence is explained by the fact that once people have a certain image of an object, they tend to be selective perceivers of further data.

“Dissatisfaction with working life is a problem, which affects almost all workers at one time or another, regardless of position or status. The frustration, boredom, and anger common to employees disenchanted with their work life can be costly to both individual and organization. Many managers seek to reduce job dissatisfaction at all organizational levels, including their own. This is a complex problem, however, because it is difficult to isolate and identify all of the attributes, which affect the quality of working life”…Richard E. Walton.*

According to Walton there are 8 primary dimensions, constructing the Quality of Work Life measurement, which are presented in the graph below.

Figure 2: Quality of Work Life Measurement

1. Adequate and Fair Compensation

  • Adequate Income
  • Fair Compensation

2. Safe and Healthy Working Conditions

3. Immediate Opportunity to Use and Develop Human Capacities

  • Autonomy
  • Multiple Skills
  • Information and Perspective
  • Whole Tasks
  • Planning

4. Future Opportunity for Growth and Security

  • Development
  • Prospective application
  • Advancement opportunities
  • Security

5. Social Integration in the Work Organization

  • Freedom from prejudice
  • Egalitarianism
  • Mobility
  • Supportive primary groups
  • Community
  • Interpersonal openness

6. Constitutionalism in the Work Organization

  • Privacy
  • Free speech
  • Equity
  • Due process

7. Work and the Total Life Space

8. The Social Relevance of Work Life

* Reprinted (adapted) from Richard E. Walton, “Quality of Work Life: What is it?” Sloan Management Review, Fall 1973, pp. 11-21, by permission of the publisher. Copyright 1973 by the Sloan Management Review Association, All rights reserved.

Alexandria Marketing Research Group, Inc. 212 1/2 W. 5th St., Joplin, MO 64801, Phone: 888.420.8884
Revision Date June 5, 2008