This is Part 3 in a three-part article.
VII. Employee Satisfaction Surveys (ESI)
Employee satisfaction surveys are becoming more common. The surveys are normally set up with questions that are specific to the employee’s department. Surveys may be set up with different scoring systems such as top box scores, a 1-to-5 rating or a 1-to-10 rating, depending on the dealer’s choice.
- General Factors
Specific categories of questions must be set up depending on dealer preference. Some examples may be general factors of the job, such as:
- Are harassment policies are in place?
- Are respect and dignity shown to employees?
- Would the employee recommend the dealership as a place to work to a friend?
- Are you satisfied with the current job assignment?
- Is the benefit package offered by the dealership adequate?
- How do you feel about the future growth of the dealership?
- Customer Relations
The next area relates to customer relations and how the employee feels regarding the dealership’s commitment to customer satisfaction. Some examples may be:
- Reputation for providing a positive service experience.
- If customer loyalty and satisfaction are important goals for the dealership.
- If an employee would recommend the dealership to a friend or family member.
- Pay and Performance
Pay and performance are important to the average employee. In many cases, performance is more important than pay. Employees want to know what is expected of them and how they are doing regarding their level of performance. Some categories to consider:
- Job performance is measured in a fair and objective manner.
- Pay plans consider skill, experience and job performance.
- Timely performance feedback and evaluations that allow the employee to know how they are doing.
- Recognition received for doing a good job.
- Job Enrichment
Job enrichment is a category for the employee to express how they feel regarding their opportunity to improve and how they feel about their part in employee satisfaction. A few categories to consider:
- Does the employee have the authority to make decisions that will improve their performance and customer satisfaction?
- Is the employee offered proper training to support their job description?
- Does the employee understand what is expected of them?
Another category relates to facility issues, such as facility condition and safety, and how the employee views them. Some examples:
- Does the employee have the proper equipment, tools, and inventory to perform their job effectively?
- How satisfied is the employee with the facility and its condition?
- How satisfied is the employee with the safety of the work area?
One of the most important items regarding ESI surveys is related to how the information gathered will be addressed. The way this is handled can turn a positive into a negative if not done properly. Responses should be provided in a timely manner. One option is for the dealer and the employees of a specific department to address the survey results directly. Another option is for the dealer and the department head to meet on the results of the surveys, and then for the manager to meet with his or her employees. A third option, but one that may not be the most effective, is to distribute a memo to address the concerns discovered as a result of the surveys. An ongoing survey given to the employees is a way to determine if the ESI surveys are gaining relative ground and positive results are being achieved.
Employee satisfaction is just as important as customer satisfaction. The high cost of placing help wanted ads, pre-employment tests and training new employees versus retaining a current employee is a significant consideration.
Customers gain confidence and security in dealing with employees they have seen for years. That familiar face may truly be the deciding factor as to whether that customer remains your customer.
Written by David Dietrich