Measuring happiness: 4 employee satisfaction metrics you need

Looking for ways to reinvigorate your employee retention strategy? Lean on these employee satisfaction metrics to guide you.

What we'll cover

Think of your four top employees

According to data, there’s a good chance that one of them will quit this year. 

In 2021, 25% of employees quit their jobs.

Think about it: you track customer happiness to avoid churn. So, if you want to hang on to your workforce, you need cold, hard data.

That's where employee satisfaction metrics come in. By keeping an eye on these, you can spot a small problem before it becomes a big one.

And best of all, there isn't a sea of data points to muddle over. Here are the only 4 employee satisfaction metrics you need to know.

What is an employee satisfaction score? 

It’s hard to quantify sentiments — but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. 

You can take a combination of data points related to your employee’s satisfaction and get a clear picture of how happy your workers are. 

With an employee satisfaction score, organizations can make adjustments to ensure their workers are engaged, and therefore 17% more productive than their peers.

Happy employees stay longer and are more likely to recommend their job to their friends. 

How to measure employee satisfaction 

You can measure sentiment by finding out the following employee satisfaction metrics. 

1. Employee net promoter score 

Find your employee net promoter score (eNPS) by asking a simple question from your employees: 

On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend working at this organization to others?

This metric gives you a clear picture of how your employees feel. 

To turn the results into actionable insights, divide your respondents into three categories: 

  • Promoters: Answered nine or ten.
  • Passives: Answered seven or eight. 
  • Detractors: Answered six or below. 

Gather insights about what you’re doing well from your promoters and what you could improve on from your detractors. 

Learn more about your passives to understand how to convert them to promoters. 

2. Absenteeism rate

The absenteeism rate measures how often employees don’t come to work due to unexpected sickness or other causes. 

Divide the number of absent days from the total number of working days in a given period — excluding holidays, vacations, and weekends. 

The average absence rate in the U.S. in 2020 was 3%. Use this number to get a benchmark for your organization. 

Employee satisfaction metrics can be tracked over time

A high absenteeism rate across your organization could be a sign that your employees are feeling burnout. They may be overworked and stressed, making them more likely to get sick — or simply call in for a personal day. 

Try to optimize your employees’ workloads, improve your work culture, or provide tools to make their jobs easier. 

3. Employee satisfaction index

Sometimes the best way to understand how satisfied your employees are is to ask them. That’s what the questions in an employee satisfaction index aim to do. 

There is no mandatory set of questions, but the most common questions include: 

  • How satisfied are you with your current organization? 
  • How well does your current workplace meet your expectations? 
  • How closely does your current role match your ideal job? 

Answers should be given on a numerical scale. ‘

Employee Retention Strategy — Equation for calculating employee satisfaction index

You can make questions more specific to get a sense of your workers’ satisfaction with various aspects of their jobs — salary, coworkers, and duties. 

Consider adding your satisfaction questions to a larger survey. 

4. Turnover

Turnover is a measure of how many employees leave your company in a given period. It is a strong tell for how satisfied your employees are since happier employees are more likely to stay at an organization.

Calculate turnover by taking the total number of separations in a given period and dividing it by the average positions. Then multiply the result by 100 to find a percentage. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average turnover in 2020 was 57.3%. This includes both voluntary and involuntary turnover.  

Guru breaks down the average turnover by industry.

This table shows the industry’s average turnover rate, with retail and wholesale having the highest turnover.

If your turnover is higher than your industry average, it’s likely your employees are unsatisfied.

Employee Satisfaction Metric FAQs

What are the metrics for employee satisfaction?

The 4 key metrics to focus on for employee satisfaction are, employee net promoter score, absenteeism rate, employee satisfaction index, & employee turnover

How is employee satisfaction KPI measured?

The 4 metrics we mentioned above can all be used to measure employee satisfaction setting KPIs for each. For example, you can benchmark your turnover rate vs the industry average and set a KPI on being lower than this.

Final thoughts: the 4 employee satisfaction metrics you need to know

To keep your employees engaged, happy, and productive, it’s important to actively track their overall satisfaction in their roles. 

You can do this by surveying your employees and gathering their feedback. With the data guiding your way, it’s easier to zero in on what you can do to improve your organization. 

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