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Building a Recruitment and Retention Plan

Employee Satisfaction Survey Directions

Directions for Use of Sample Survey and Worksheets

The following directions are for use with the Employee Satisfaction Survey Sample [2.1.2.b.1] and the Employee Satisfaction Survey Worksheets [2.1.2.b.4].

The sample employee satisfaction survey consists of:
  • A section for the respondent to identify his/her division, program, or position;
  • 31 rated questions;
  • A tenure section with categories of length of employment;
  • Five open-ended questions with space for comments;
  • A space for comments for respondents who score any question with a low ranking; and
  • A thank-you statement with a contact person’s name.
These sections can be personalized for your organization. 

Responses used by the survey are:
Strongly Disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Strongly Agree

Sample Survey Question Categories

For this sample, 4 categories have been identified that represent one aspect of the employee’s relationship to the organization. Each item in the survey has been assigned to one of the 4 categories, meaning that the response to that item most closely reflects the topic area being measured. The categories are: 
  • A. Satisfaction with the work or satisfaction with the products the organization provides.
  • B. Satisfaction with the team or work group and related supervision.
  • C. Satisfaction with the organization and perceptions of the organization’s standards and values.
  • D. Satisfaction with pay, benefits, job status, recognition, career development, and training.

Scoring Using the Excel Worksheet

An excel spreadsheet workbook, Employee Satisfaction Survey Worksheets [2.1.2.b.4], is available to assist in calculating numerical averages and percentages for each item and category (A, B, C, or D above).

Open the Employee Satisfaction Survey Excel spreadsheet; click the OK button at the prompt concerning “macros” button on the first pop-up screen.

The Excel spreadsheet has seven tabbed worksheets that correlate to the survey questions; these spreadsheets can be used to document the responses of the survey:
  • The first tab is the “Subtotals” worksheet, to be used to document the cumulative responses of the 31 ranked questions; there is a row for each of the questions on the survey. Place the total of each ranking. The spreadsheet is set up to provide a total count and a percentage assigned to each ranked response.
  • Tabs 2 through 5 are used to document individual responses for the open-ended questions. Each open-ended question has its own tab/spreadsheet. Four columns are available, the first is to list the respondent number, the second is used to document the complete response verbatim, the third column provides space to summarize the answer, and the fourth column provides space to list a generalized topic heading which can be used to sort the responses into topics and for review.
  • Tab 6 is for documenting the explanations for low-rated responses. It provides columns to document: the question number; the verbatim comment; a summary of the response; and the topic used to sort the responses into topics for review.
Subtotal Worksheet
The “Subtotals” worksheet has two sections: “All Factors”, which consists of a listing of all items, and “Summary by Category”, which separates the question by categories A, B, C, and D. Each category includes a list of assigned questions and is shown in a different color.

Both sections have the following columns:
  • “ID” refers to the question number (q#).
  • “Code” refers to one of four category codes (A, B, C, or D); each question is assigned one code.
  • “Text” is the question itself.
  • “Response Counts” is used to populate totals of responses. This section has six columns, labeled from 0 to 5. The “0” column is for documenting the number of respondents that gave no ranking to the question. Columns “1” through “5” represent the total number of participants who gave that response on the satisfaction survey (in this example, response options are Strongly Disagree = 1; Disagree = 2; Neither agree nor disagree = 3; Agree = 4; Strongly Agree = 5).
  • “Total Count” adds up the number of responses you have documented.
  • “Percent Counts” automatically calculates the percentage of each ranking based on the responses to the question. This section has six columns, labeled from 0 to 5. The “0” column is for documenting the number of respondents who gave no ranking to the question. Columns “1” through “5” represent each response option (in this example, response options are Strongly Disagree = 1; Disagree = 2; Neither agree nor disagree = 3; Agree = 4; Strongly Agree = 5).
In the “All Factors” section, questions are listed numerically, 1 through 31.

In the “Summary by Category” sections, only the questions in a specific category are listed.
Once you insert your total responses in the “All Factors” section, they will automatically be listed, totaled, and given a percent value in the “Summary by Category” section. This feature prevents you from having to re-key all the totals again for review.

Open-Ended Question Tabs
Each open-ended question has a worksheet that includes a column for:
  • Posting the respondent number assigned to each completed survey;
  • Posting the answer word-for-word;
  • Writing a summary of the response; and
  • Assigning a topic to the response.
The last two columns (“Summary of Response” and “Topic”) can be shown to management and/or non-reviewers for an analysis of the open-ended responses. This avoids showing word-for-word responses to non-reviewers for confidentiality purposes.

Low Rated Response Comments
The last tab documents low-rated response comments. As with the open-ended response tabs, this tab includes a column for listing the comment word-for-word, one to summarize the comment, and another to list the related topic. The last two columns can be shown to non-reviewers or used for review and analysis of the comments for low-rated responses.

Documenting Responses on the Excel Worksheet

Subtotal Worksheet
Questions are listed in the “All Factors” section in the same numerical order as they are listed in the survey tool.

Gather all the surveys and, for each question, count the total number of responses given for each rating (Strongly Disagree = 1; Disagree = 2; Neither agree nor disagree = 3; Agree = 4; Strongly Agree = 5).

For each question, place the total of the number of responses to each ranking in the assigned cell in the Excel spreadsheet. For example, if 5 respondents answered question 1 as “Neither agree nor disagree” the number 5 would be entered in cell H6 (under the column labeled “Response Counts – 3s” referring to the response “Somewhat Agree”) in the column “Response Counts” in the row assigned to question 1.

If a specific ranking to a question received no responses, place a zero in that cell.

If a question is left unanswered, the respondent is counted by placing a 1 in the “0” column on the spreadsheet. If three respondents did not give any response to the question, place a 3 in the “0” column in the appropriate row.

Complete the totals per response per question for the entire survey.

For each question, the spreadsheet will provide the percentage of participants who selected each response. It will also provide a total count of respondents. This includes those who did not give a ranking. This column will assist in proper documentation of results, as the number of total respondents should be the same in all questions. If a respondent does not give a ranking to a question, the response is listed under the “0” column.

The spreadsheet will transfer your question-specific response counts from the “All Factors” section to the “Summary by Category” section, separated by category A, B, C, or D, without requiring you to re-key the data. The information and percentages can be reviewed by category for trends.

Open-ended Question Tabs
The intent of the open-ended question worksheets is to be able to first document responses word-for-word and then summarize and list a topic for each response to the question. This set up will encourage confidentiality by allowing you to “hide” word-for-word comments once a neutral party has summarized the comment. The use of the summary and topic list provides a method to review related answers for further analysis.

Low-rated Response Comments
As with the open-ended questions, there is a worksheet/tab to document any comments for low-rated responses (as requested on the bottom of the second sheet of the survey tool). If a respondent provides a comment or explanation for the low rating, list the comment word-for-word, have a neutral third party summarize the comment, and assign it a topic. This assists in further analysis and hides the actual response in compliance with confidentiality rules. The use of the summary and topic list provides a method to review related answers for further analysis.

Save the Spreadsheet
Once all the results are documented, save the spreadsheet with another name so the original can be used again as a template.

If you would like to identify the trends from a specific self-selected category, such as employees of “X Program” or staff with tenure of six months to one year, use the spreadsheet only for the responses of those employees. Open-ended responses and low-rated comments assigned to the respondent through their respondent number can remain on the appropriate worksheet for analysis.

Changing the Survey

The survey can be changed and you can still use the calculation formulas of the “Subtotals” tab:
  • To change the focus of the category questions, keep similar questions in the same category/color code on the subtotal worksheet. You can then use the calculation properties of the categories. Delete and type in the new questions in the “All Factors” section and “Summary by Category” section of the worksheet.
  • To add more questions, copy the calculation formulas from the “Response Count”, “Total Count”, and “Percent Count” sections to the new question rows.
Self-identification and tenure categories can be changed on the survey sheet. 

The tabbed worksheets for open-ended questions and comments can also be personalized with different questions while maintaining a vehicle for documentation, summary, and topic analysis.

Please see the related Employee Satisfaction Survey Tips [2.1.2.b.2] for additional information.

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