In order to truly understand what makes a company a great place to work, it's important to explore, evaluate, and improve many different aspects of the employee experience. Our Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey measures eight distinct areas of employee experience, including how employees perceive their physical work environment.
Workplace environment is an area that many take for granted. After all, how much can a “good” physical work environment affect one’s connectedness to their employer? Aren't slick offices and trendy layouts a big investment for a small return? Consider this: poor working conditions have a big impact. When it's too hot or cool, productivity is affected. Poor lighting makes simple tasks difficult. Having a track record of safety is not only the right thing to do, but also minimizes disruption and added expenses.
The Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey
Our Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey is comprised of 78 questions, rated on a 5-point Likert scale, that measure attitudes in eight core focus areas. Additionally, there are two open-ended questions at the end of the survey in which respondents can share what they love about working for their employer as well as what they’d like to see improve.
We surveyed nearly one million employees in the last 12 months and we asked them each a standard set of five questions to measure satisfaction with the work environment at their roughly 6,000 respective organizations. Over the past 15 years, we've learned that when employees agree with the statements below, they're satisfied with their work environment.
1. My physical working conditions are good
This overarching statement covers the employee's general sentiment toward their physical working environment and can be analyzed more closely through the subsequent four statements that dive into those specific factors.
2. My general work area is adequately heated/cooled
Being physically uncomfortable affects your ability to concentrate and complete tasks. It seems elementary, right? But, you would be surprised at the number of employers whose employees express dissatisfaction in this area. New research led by Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health found that students who lived in dormitories without air conditioning during a heat wave performed worse on a series of cognitive tests compared with students who lived in air-conditioned dorms. Does this ever happen to your staff?
3. There is adequate noise control to allow me to focus on my work
Noise is another major factor impacting one's ability to concentrate. And this is not just a concern for factory workers or those in industrial facilities. We often see, in employee engagement survey results, complaints of ambient noise caused by lighting, HVAC, or simply chatter as a result of an open-office concept layout. Consider reducing noise as a distraction in your workplace.
4. My work space has adequate privacy for me to do my job
Privacy is a concern that many employees have, and especially affects those in leadership roles. When we talk about privacy here, we mean in the physical sense. Does an employee have anywhere to step away and take a personal or family-related phone call outside of earshot of her coworkers? Are there functioning doors on the bathroom stalls on a temporary worksite? Can supervisors within your organization discipline and provide the necessary feedback to their employees in privacy?
5. I feel physically safe in my work environment
For manufacturing employees or others whose work is physical in nature, feeling safe is an absolute necessity. In some instances, making physical changes to a place of employment can be expensive, so these modifications are oftentimes delayed or ignored. However, employers must be in tune with areas where working conditions fall short so they can be addressed and corrected. Safety programs and policies should not only be in place, but communicated regularly to the team.
Though this information may come across as a no-brainer, and that you're providing an adequate work environment for your valued employees, make sure that's the case by measuring the pulse of employee engagement within your organization through regular and consistent employee engagement surveys.