It’s safe to say that happier people are more productive at work. However, very few organizations work on measuring and improving the satisfaction levels of their workforce. Unbridled focus on generating more revenues, rather than understanding and improving satisfaction, and the resulting motivation of its people, can be an existential threat to the modern organization. The question is, does the happiness of its people translate into better profits and business success for an organization?
Excellence being one of our core values, is something that we try to practise in everything we do. Conducting a bi-annual job satisfaction survey is one example for striving to continuously improve and be considerate towards our team members’ well-being. While there is no perfect methodology for gauging job satisfaction accurately, we realized that anonymous satisfaction surveys are probably our best bet.
The survey is divided into 9 categories which we consider crucial dimensions that affect happiness at work:
Compensation and Benefits
Culture and Growth
Each category covers up to 5 questions where each person shares their level of satisfaction on a scale of 1-6. Even though we were tempted to go for a likert scale (5 point), we wanted people to make a conscious investment in deciding whether their feeling about a particular question is overall positive or negative with no option for neutral.
Many companies turn to conducting such surveys annually. However, we believe surveys need to be short, frequent, and more actionable for everyone. Surveys thrive on trends in data, therefore we have created categories of questions that clearly indicate satisfaction trends for what we consider, crucial dimensions that affect happiness at work. Here, in no particular order, are the categories for Arbisoft’s biannual, anonymous, satisfaction survey:
After each satisfaction survey, the actions we took led to higher satisfaction levels in the fourth iteration. According to our most recent survey in July 2020, we managed to improve our scores on a number of questions; resulting in an overall increase in satisfaction percentage.
A vast majority (nearly 93%) of people chose between the top three positive sentiments. Nearly 70% of people chose either 5 or 6 on the scale to indicate an extraordinary satisfaction level.
Compensation and Benefits
While analyzing the results one major finding was that as we increased monetary benefits, we saw a significant drop in the satisfaction level from the past surveys. On a scale of 1 – 6, you can see that the number 6 (extremely satisfied) decreased whereas number 4 and 5 increased from the Dec 2019 survey, indicating that many people are beginning to get dissatisfied.
This could be because of a number of reasons; people tend to compare their bonuses with their peers and potentially assume that their work was not recognized and rewarded without any bias or some could have unclarity about the transparency of the process which leads to some form of dissatisfaction.
Going further, the results of the survey also validate the market competitive salaries offered at Arbisoft by reporting a 72% satisfaction rate amongst the respondents regarding their salaries, however we can see a significant decline in the extremely satisfied category. It could be because of the reason previously mentioned and because the process itself had to be more transparent and objective. We have started to work on a new framework that will improve the salary review process and hopefully result in better satisfaction level in the future surveys
The company offers numerous priority benefits in order to optimize productivity and happiness. The survey requires the respondents to arrange the benefits in order of priority for them. According to the survey, the two most liked benefits were free lunch and flexible work timings.
People and Management
Next up is the people category, this includes Team lead, Senior leadership, POD and Coworkers.
We believe the senior leadership plays an important role in the quest of maintaining a healthy organizational culture. The leadership tends to define the organization’s values and what culture should be within the company. People operations and development department (POD) plays the part of developing and maintaining that culture by bringing in the best talent that is a good cultural fit and then providing them with the same kind of care that’ll help them feel more aligned with our core values.
92% of the respondents were satisfied with the senior leadership and their contribution to everyone’s well-being.
Approximately 95% of them agreed that the POD deals with their concerns and requests with courtesy.
At Arbisoft, we aim to instill decision making skills and confidence in our people. For this reason, more autonomy is given to the managers in accordance with a flat hierarchical structure as opposed to a tall hierarchical structure. The survey validates the effectiveness of this approach by reporting an 91% satisfaction amongst the team members regarding the competency and leadership skills of their team leads. They also agreed to having no difficulty in communicating with their managers regarding issues.
Culture and Growth
We also strive to achieve better business outcomes by emphasising on knowledge sharing through workshops, seminars, online courses, certifications and access to the necessary software and hardware needed for professional growth. These efforts are directly correlated to the survey results showing 91% of the respondents chose that the company has a “culture of continuous learning”.
Furthermore, 88% of the respondents also agreed on being recognised and rewarded for their work which serves as positive feedback that will help them excel further in their professions. 79% of the respondents believed their quality of work directly aligns with their capabilities and skills while 94% agreed that they have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
We believe that the periodic surveys have helped us in progressively improving our culture at Arbisoft. It is for that reason that 95% of the respondents were overall satisfied with the company culture and 92% responded that they were happy and content with their current jobs. 90% stated they would not leave the company if offered the same benefits and salary elsewhere.
Apart from the respondents who are satisfied with the company culture; we are happy that we received critique as well. It gives us an opportunity to reflect better on our shortcomings. Some of the comments/suggestions we came across were:
We strive to take our satisfaction level even higher and in order to do that we must sublimate the critique into our strength. We pride ourselves on wanting to learn more about our peoples’ wellness — what motivates them, what weighs them down — measuring it and then taking steps to improve it. This survey is just another one of many initiatives that we’ve taken to make Arbisoft a friendlier and more open place to work in, where the people feel heard and at home.