So now you understand why it is important and why you should have it. The question now becomes – How do I know if I have it? My personal experience is that people make this question harder to answer than necessary. You are a small business with employees (most likely no more than 50 employees), so the easy answer is – ask them.
Now just walking up to Mary the receptionist and saying “Mary, I was wondering, are you satisfied with your job? and working here?” may not be the best way to ask. First of all, Mary might feel obligated to give you the answer you are looking for and not necessarily how she feels. This doesn’t really help you. Secondly, she may give you a hint at what she is feeling but still keeping it safe and not to anger you. Thirdly, she may actually give you a mouth full and be more than you bargained for. Lastly, this doesn’t give you data that you can compare either month after month or year after year. Without the data, how do you know if you have improving?
My suggestion would be to do a survey. Something written and if everyone has access to a computer, make it either a Word or Excel document. The survey will give your employees a sense of security with the anonymity as well as give you a way to quantity your results.
Ok, lets do a survey. The next step is to figure out what you want to ask. Believe it or not, you can ask “Are you satisfied with your job?” The difference here is that you will provide multiple choice answers. Yes or No is not a good answer because people aren’t usually 0% or 100% satisfied, it is usually on a scale. Your scale can be “Satisfied most of the time”, “Satisfied part of the time” or “Dissatisfied most of the time” or “Dissatisfied more than satisfied”. You can create you own, but you get the idea.
You want to ask more than just this question. Ask about if they feel respected in the workplace, do they have the proper tools to their job, does their supervisor listen to their ideas, etc. Give all these question multiple choice answers and add a comment box so people can provide further clarification.
If you are doing a survey, do it at least once a year at about the same time of year. Now with the economy as it, you may think this is a bad time for the survey. I would beg to differ, there is never an ideal time, get the feedback and start improving. That’s another point, if you are not planning on acting on the results – Don’t do it. Employees who provide feedback what to see it acted upon and if you do, they will be more than willing to provide more feedback in the future.