Job satisfaction is something companies try to quantify and measure through the use of surveys. Over the years satisfaction surveys have been called opinion surveys, climate surveys, and now, engagement surveys. Although the names have changed, they are designed to measure employees’ attitudinal responses towards work. Knowledge gained through these surveys is great, but what the company does with it is another story. What are some practical purposes of these surveys? In others words what can they actually be used for, besides merely knowing how people feel?
If a company or organization is not planning on making a change or assessing the effects of a recent change based on the satisfaction surveys, the organization might as well not have the survey at all. The only exception to the above is if the organization is conducting its first job satisfaction survey for point of reference.
Job satisfaction surveys are practical when they are determining the results of a recent change, such as a management change or a new human resource activity. If the result of the survey is negative relative to the last one, then one can assume the change had a negative effect on employee satisfaction. If otherwise, the change made a positive impact on employee satisfaction. The course of action the organization chooses to take based on these surveys is up to them, but from a standpoint of lowering turnover it would be advisable to revert a negative change and continue and consider intensifying a positive change.
In addition to reducing employee turnover, job satisfaction surveys may in themselves make employees feel their opinions matter. For a successful modern corporation to thrive I believe employee opinions do matter.