Pathways Australia

The Dos And Don’ts Of Effective Employee Satisfaction Surveys

Employee satisfaction surveys are a crucial tool for any organisation to measure employee engagement, motivation, and overall happiness at work. These surveys provide valuable insights that can help management make better decisions and improve the workplace environment. However, a poorly executed survey can lead to skewed results and unhelpful findings. To ensure your survey is effective, follow these dos and don’ts.



1. Communicate a purpose and reasons for the survey

Providing clear reasons for why this survey will be conducted will help employees feel motivated to complete it. While no one likes change, staff surveys can help organisations understand their employees and how to best manage change. Communicating the purpose of the survey will help employees feel included in the strategy. 

Additionally, providing instructions on how to complete the survey and setting a realistic deadline encourages participation. Be sure to communicate the importance of the survey and express gratitude for employees’ time and input.

2. Use the right questions for your organisation

Conducting an employee engagement survey is not a one-size-fits-all solution. While there are many formats of questionnaires available online, not all will be a good fit for your organisation. That’s where Pathways Australia’s employee survey comes in! The ‘Your Say’ employee engagement survey can be tailored to your organisation. This survey was developed with over 2 decades of experience for for-purpose organisations. The Pathways Australia team can help your organisations create questions according to the goal and size of your team.

Including a variety of question formats such as multiple-choice, scales, and open-ended questions helps to provide a comprehensive understanding of employee satisfaction. While closed-ended questions help to quantify data, open-ended questions allow for more in-depth feedback and suggestions for improvement.

3. Maintain confidentiality

Employees must feel comfortable sharing their honest opinions without fear of repercussions. Guaranteeing anonymity and confidentiality will encourage open and truthful responses. Use third-party survey tools and clearly communicate the steps taken to protect the respondents’ identities.

4. Analyse results before coming up with action points

The primary purpose of an employee satisfaction survey is to identify areas of improvement and take action. Analyse the results, identify trends and patterns, and share findings with the organisation. Collaborate with team leaders and employees to develop a plan of action, and monitor progress over time. The Pathways Australia team can help you with analysis and coming up with measurable action plans for improvement in your organisation.

5. Communicate actions and be transparent

Employees are more likely to engage in current and future staff surveys if they see their feedback is valued and acted upon. Share the survey results with your employees, acknowledging both the strengths and areas for improvement. Providing regular updates on the progress and changes being made in response to the feedback will also make staff feel heard and make them feel involved in the organisation’s future. Engaged employees are those who connect with the organisation and feel motivated to progress towards organisational goals.



1. Don’t ignore negative feedback

Negative feedback, though sometimes difficult to hear, is a valuable opportunity for growth and improvement. Identifying areas of dissatisfaction can help the leadership team pave the path for change and keep a growth mindset in the organisation. An employee engagement survey allows the team to answer openly and provides the leadership team with direction to work together to develop solutions. Ignoring negative feedback may lead to disengagement and a decline in overall satisfaction.

2. Don’t use jargon or technical terms

Ensure that all employees, regardless of their role or department, can understand the questions. The survey questions should be easy to interpret. Keep the language simple and straightforward, and avoid using acronyms or technical terms that may not be familiar to everyone. 

Along with this, the survey should be easy to fill out and submit. Whether you are conducting the survey electronically or using pen and paper, the survey should not take up too much time and be easy to complete.

3. Don’t over-survey your employees

While it’s important to gather feedback regularly, avoid surveying your employees too often. This can lead to survey fatigue and decreased response rates. Aim to conduct a comprehensive employee satisfaction survey annually or bi-annually, supplemented with smaller pulse surveys throughout the year.

4. Don’t ask leading or biased questions

Avoid questions that encourage specific answers or assume a particular viewpoint. Leading questions can skew results and provide a false sense of satisfaction. Instead, use neutral language and focus on gathering genuine feedback.

5. Draw up a questionnaire yourself

Job satisfaction surveys need to measure a variety of factors. A well-rounded job satisfaction survey should measure many things, such as management, collaboration, growth and development, well-being, remuneration and more. When measuring these KPIs, it is a good idea to let the experts guide you. Pathways Australia’s ‘Your Say’ employee engagement survey is designed with over 2 decades of management experience. By asking the right questions, this survey helps the leadership team understand their employees and gain insights into their motivations and challenges. 


An effective employee satisfaction survey is a powerful tool for identifying areas of improvement and fostering a positive work environment. By implementing these dos and don’ts, your organisation can harness the power of employee feedback to drive positive change, increase engagement, and create a workplace where employees feel valued and motivated. 

A satisfied and engaged workforce is the cornerstone of a successful organisation, and a well-executed employee satisfaction survey is an essential step in achieving this goal. Contact Pathways Australia to understand how we can help!


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