Employee satisfaction survey (MTO): the ultimate guide

by Danique Geskus | Mar 19, 2024

Increasing competition for talent, the importance of employee wellness, changes in the way people work and the changing needs of new generations require a thorough understanding of what motivates and keeps employees happy. An Employee Satisfaction Survey (MTO) is a valuable tool that helps companies measure these aspects and identify issues. In this guide, we discuss the critical role of conducting an MTO in attracting, retaining and motivating talent in a competitive job market.



What is an employee satisfaction survey?

An employee satisfaction survey (MTO) is a process conducted by an organization to measure and improve employee satisfaction and engagement with the organization and its policies, processes and working conditions. The purpose of an Employee Satisfaction Survey is to gain insight into employee satisfaction. Through structured questionnaires, various aspects of work and organization are evaluated, such as the work environment, workload, salary, career development, and relationships with colleagues and supervisors. The goal is to understand how employees feel about their work and the organization as a whole.



Why is employee satisfaction important?


Labor market competition

With the increasing competition for talent in many sectors, it is more important than ever for companies to ensure a satisfying work environment. An MTO can help companies understand what motivates and keeps employees satisfied, enabling them to remain competitive in attracting and retaining talent.


The increasing importance of employee wellness

Companies are increasingly recognizing that employee well-being is directly related to productivity and business outcomes. An MTO can be a valuable tool to measure how employees feel about their work and work environment, and to identify potential issues that need to be addressed to improve employee well-being.


Changes in ways of working

Developments such as the rise of remote and flexible working, especially accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, have significantly changed the way we work. These changes can bring about new challenges and stress factors for employees. An MTO can help identify these challenges and understand how best to address them to maintain or improve employee satisfaction and productivity.


Changing needs of new generations

The expectations and values of the new generations entering the workforce, such as Millennials and Gen Z, differ significantly from those of previous generations. For example, these new generations place more value on things like flexibility, meaningful work, ongoing learning and development opportunities, and a company culture that promotes diversity and inclusion. An MTO can be essential in understanding how well the organization meets these changing needs and making adjustments where necessary to remain attractive to this talent.



7 steps for creating an Employee Satisfaction Survey

Preparing an effective Employee Satisfaction Survey (MTO) requires careful planning and a clear strategy to gain meaningful and actionable insights. Here are some crucial steps organizations can take to develop a successful MTO:


1. Define the objectives

Before you begin, it is essential to clearly define what you hope to accomplish with the research. Want to measure overall satisfaction, examine specific aspects of the work environment, or gain insight into the impact of recent changes within the organization? Clear objectives help shape the questionnaire and ensure that you collect relevant data.


2. Design the questionnaire

The questions should be clear, unambiguous and relevant to the objectives of the study. Use both closed and open-ended questions to gather quantitative data and qualitative insights. Closed-ended questions provide structured data that is easy to analyze, while open-ended questions can offer deeper insights into employees’ experiences and opinions.


3. Ensure anonymity and confidentiality

Employees must feel safe to answer honestly without fear of repercussions. Guarantee anonymity and confidentiality of responses to get reliable and sincere feedback.


4. Communicate about the research

Inform employees of the purpose of the MTO, how the results will be used, and emphasize the importance of their contribution. Good communication can increase response rates and create more engagement in the process.


5. Implement the research

Choose an accessible method to distribute the survey, such as online survey tools, that are user-friendly for both the organizer and the respondent. Make sure the survey is compatible with different devices to make participation as easy as possible.


6. Analyze the results and take action

After collecting the data, analyze the results to identify patterns, trends and areas of concern. It is crucial to translate the findings into concrete action plans to improve the work environment and increase employee satisfaction and engagement.


7. Share results and next steps

Communicate key findings and planned actions to employees. This shows that their feedback is taken seriously and contributes to a culture of transparency and continuous improvement. Successfully creating and conducting an MTO is an ongoing process that must be repeated regularly to keep a finger on the pulse and continuously improve the work environment.


Alternative to a comprehensive employee satisfaction survey: eNPS

eNPS, or Employee Net Promoter Score, is a method companies use to measure employee loyalty and satisfaction. It is based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS), a commonly used metric in customer satisfaction surveys. Want to know how to calculate your organization’s eNPS? Read our entire blog on the eNPS here.

It is important to remember that the eNPS provides an overall picture of employee satisfaction but does not offer detailed insights. For a more complete picture of employee satisfaction, it is useful to combine the eNPS with other metrics and feedback methods.



3 tips when analyzing results

Analyzing results from an Employee Satisfaction Survey can be a challenging task for organizations. There are several factors that make the process complex, such as determining a “good outcome,” the subjectivity of assessments and the overwhelming amount of information.


Tip #1: Determine good results when analyzing your MTO

Defining what a “good outcome is” It can be difficult to define a clear standard and interpret what you can consider a positive or negative outcome. Subjectivity of judgments: What is considered a good outcome can be subjective and depend on the individual perceptions and expectations of the interpreter. By working with benchmark data from similar organizations or industry data, organizations can better assess whether their results are above or below average. Learned offers standard benchmark data from similar organizations based on 18 scientifically proven employee engagement themes.


Tip 2: Confusion due to conflicting results

Long questionnaires with different questions can lead to conflicting answers and results. For example, an employee may respond positively to one question related to their workload, but respond negatively to another question about work-life balance. It can be confusing to interpret these conflicting results and draw a coherent conclusion from them. By working with a questionnaire that is scientifically based, you avoid questions that are multi-interpretable. For example, use the free Learned Employee Engagement model. This model consists of 18 themes and more than 70 questions that scientifically contribute to employee engagement.


Tip 3: Overwhelming amount of information when analyzing

Long questionnaires can quickly require you to analyze large amounts of data. This can be overwhelming and make it difficult to identify key patterns and trends It lacks a clear theme with associated questions. The Learned engagement model combined with the Learned platform helps you bring order out of the chaos By reporting the results by theme and then zooming in on the underlying questions, you quickly have the insights you are looking for.



Is an employee satisfaction survey mandatory for organizations?

You may be wondering if it is legally required to conduct an employee satisfaction survey. Well, actually no. Well, actually no. In the Occupational Health and Safety Act, work pressure, work stress and undesirable behavior are considered psychosocial workload (PSA). However, it is mandatory to include this strain in the risk inventory and evaluation (RI&E), along with other occupational risks.

In addition, the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers to implement a policy aimed at preventing PSA. And if preventing it is not possible, the policy must be aimed at limiting it. Although an employee satisfaction survey is not specifically mentioned as an obligation, it can help identify work pressure, work stress and undesirable behavior and possible areas for improvement.

It is important to emphasize that promoting a healthy work environment and employee well-being is a shared responsibility. Having active policies to prevent or reduce PSA is essential. As an employer, this shows that you are committed to the well-being of your employees.



Learned: employee satisfaction survey software with built-in analysis features.

Learned helps you implement a data-driven talent management strategy. Discover blind spots to increase employee engagement. Gain the insights you need to take action with the powerful reports. As a result, we facilitate the analysis of MTOs. Try Learned now for 14 days for free!



How often should an organization conduct an MTO?

At a minimum, an organization should conduct a comprehensive employee satisfaction survey (MTO) annually to get a consistent picture of employee satisfaction and engagement. For organizations actively working on improvement initiatives, it may be valuable to conduct short pulse surveys more frequently. This approach enables organizations to respond more quickly to feedback and measure the impact of changes.


What is the average cost associated with conducting an MTO?

The cost of conducting an employee satisfaction survey can vary depending on several factors. Including the size of the organization, the methodology chosen, and whether to work with outside consultants. For small organizations that use in-house resources and free or affordable survey tools, costs can be relatively limited to the time employees spend on the survey. However, larger organizations or those who opt for an in-depth approach with outside expertise can expect significantly higher costs. These costs can run into tens of thousands of dollars for comprehensive studies with detailed analyses and reports.


How does an organization deal with very negative feedback or serious problems that emerge from an MTO?

When an MTO reveals serious problems or negative feedback, it is important for an organization to take these issues seriously and develop a plan of action. This begins with an in-depth analysis of feedback to understand the root causes of the problems. An action plan, ideally with employee involvement, should then be developed to make targeted improvements. Open and honest communication about findings and planned actions is essential to maintain trust and demonstrate the organization’s commitment to improvement. Regular updates on the progress and impact of the measures taken help make the process transparent and demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement.

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