What is employee satisfaction survey (MTO)?

An employee satisfaction survey measures the extent to which employees are satisfied with their employer. But how does such an investigation work? And why is it important to collect this information? In this article you will find the definition of employee satisfaction research, and you will read how this type of research can be used.


Questionnaire Employees Satisfaction Survey (MTO)


Definition of Employee Satisfaction survey

Employee satisfaction survey (MTO) is used to measure how satisfied employees are with the organisation in which they work.1. An employee satisfaction survey covers, among other things, work content, managers, communication, working conditions and salary. The aim of the study is to identify areas for improvement within the organisation. The results of the study will be converted into action points. The implementation of these action points should lead to a higher degree of satisfaction in a follow-up measurement. This type of research is usually intermittent and applied to medium-sized to large organisations.

In the video below, an example is used to explain how Staff Research can be put in.



Increasing employee satisfaction does not only lead to a higher level of job satisfaction. At the bottom of the line, it also increases effectiveness, less staff turnover and more Profitability.


How is employee satisfaction measured?

Measuring employee satisfaction is usually done on the basis of a questionnaire. These questionnaires exist in many shapes and sizes, from 1-item surveys to2 ('How satisfied are you with your employer?') to extensive multidimensional studies. It will not surprise you that the results of a staff satisfaction survey are more reliable when several factors are taken into account in the survey. Moreover, the inclusion of several factors makes it possible to take targeted action on the basis of the results. The factors of work content, working conditions, cooperation & communication and remuneration & compensation together explain a large part of the extent to which the company is able to achieve its objectives. employee satisfaction3. These factors are reflected in many employee satisfaction surveys.


Important factors in employee satisfaction

Which factors contribute most to employee satisfaction? Although the results of various (large-scale) studies vary widely, clear trends can also be identified. The vast majority of the data show that employee satisfaction is most dependent on the content of the work and the cooperation with colleagues and managers1,3. Salary has less influence on this.

Yet the reality is less clear. Not every employee finds the same factors important. Satisfaction factors can shift between generations. Millennials - the newest generation on the labour market - attach more importance to wages than previous generations, for example.4. This means that they can also be satisfied in other ways. In addition, satisfaction factors vary by age group. Young people, for example, are more focused on development opportunities, while employees in an older age group attach more importance to security and good working conditions. In addition, the type of organisation and the Organisational culture an important role in employee satisfaction.

Employee satisfaction is an important indicator of how employees experience their work, but not the only one. Satisfaction, for example, says little about Employee engagementwhen it's at least as important for the performance of employees. It is therefore advisable to examine both facets in order to arrive at as complete a picture as possible.


Successful employee satisfaction survey

So there are many comments to make when setting up an employee satisfaction survey. The success of such a study depends not only on the methodology, but also to a large extent on communication and follow-up as a result of the study. Especially if the research is outsourced, the follow-up will require a relatively large amount of effort from the organisation. That's why it's just as important to devise and plan an employee survey as the execution itself. Every research project is or will be based on the alignment with the context.



  1. Spector, P.E. (1985). Measurement of human service staff satisfaction: Development of the Job Satisfaction Survey. American Journal of Community Psychology, Vol. 13, No. 6.
  2. Wanous, J.P.; Reichers, A.E.; Hudy, M.J. (2016). Overall job satisfaction: How good are single-item measures? Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 82(2), Apr 1997, 247-252.
  3. Frits Kluijtmans, A. Kamperman (2017). HRM textbook. Noordhoff Publishers.
  4. Campione, W. A. (2015). Corporate Offerings: Why Aren't Millennials Staying? Journal of Applied Business & Economics, 17(4).


9 September 2019

Update: This blog first appeared on 19 February 2017 and was updated on 9 September 2019 with new information.


Please comment

The e-mail address is not published. Required fields are marked with *