Employee Wellbeing Survey

The benefits of benchmarking how your staff experience working life using reliable and valid surveys, tailored to your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions of Employee Well-being Surveys

Organisations that come closest to achieving their potential find effective ways of listening and responding to the experience of their staff. This is the secret of tapping into the vast reservoir of ongoing commitment and energy that delivers results.


Why should my organisation conduct stress audits using the Employee Wellbeing Survey?

To equip your managers with information and tools needed to identify and tackle emerging problems and create a long-term strategic perspective.

The knowledge of how people experience work (including how they experience the outcomes of the policies and practices of your organisation) provides the litmus test of how well your organisation will perform in its sector.

In today’s flatter organisation structures, managers are hard pressed to cope with meeting current demands. They need additional support in order to adopt their wider strategic role and gain a perspective on shaping the organisation and meet the longer-term objectives. Surveys pose specific questions on how well the organisation is performing with regard to a host of key issues including:

  • Communicating direction and goals
  • Policy and emerging issues in key areas of stress, harassment, bullying and discrimination
  • Productivity, workload and performance culture
  • Providing appropriate service conditions and benefits
  • Supportive training and development opportunities
  • Quality of management and supervision

How should we choose which survey to use?

Cost is a very poor guide to choosing which survey to use. Some high quality surveys like our Employee Well-being Questionnaire are not expensive, and some “homemade” surveys with no research pedigree are very expensive.

You need to answer the following questions:

  • What are the credentials of the authors and how much experience do they have in the field of stress management?
  • How long has the survey been subject to research and what evidence is there for the reliability and validity of the instrument?
  • Has the survey been standardised and are there norms against which you can compare and benchmark your staff responses?

If you are offered a quick and convenient solution, but one that evades straight answers to these questions, you run the risk of basing future management advice and action on doubtful data.

Don’t get confused by offers of “package deals” with employee counselling and other “bolt on” programmes. These are separate issues to the core question of which survey to use and should be judged on their own merits. The key question here is: “Which survey will give us the base line information we need to draw valid conclusions in a cost effective way?”

What do surveys measure?

Psychological Health: is a measure that is sensitive to work and out-of-work pressures. Staff members who score low on this measure are likely to report feeling drained, have trouble concentrating and difficulty making decisions. They may feel anxious and unable to cope, whereas staff that score high on this dimension feel equipped to face challenges, are relaxed and confident about the future.

Job Satisfaction: measures the extent to which staff members perceive the organisational features of their work setting as providing opportunity for personal development and positive engagement with the purpose of the organisation. Such staff members are likely to be happy with their supervision, consider their job prospects to be good, feel part of a team and feel able to use their abilities to the full. Staff members with low scores on job satisfaction are unhappy in their jobs or the organisation.

Workload: This is a subjective assessment of work pressure or job demand and includes those elements of work that are perceived to place additional and unwelcome organisational demands on staff. Those scoring high on this scale would consider that too much of their time was spent on paperwork and meetings and may feel that they worked to unrealistic deadlines.

Engagement: measures the extent to which staff members are fully engaged with the mission and objectives of the organisation. Absenteeism and Presenteeism are extremely costly and over 58% of the cost associated with reduced productivity can be traced to poor psychological health and employee stress.

The Quality of Working Life Survey (QoWL) is a well-researched scientifically validated instrument for measuring Employee Wellbeing and diagnosing any dysfunctional elements impacting on organisational health. The following scales provide diagnostic information:

  1. General Well-being (GWB)
  2. Home-Work Interface (HWI)
  3. Job and Career Satisfaction (JCS)
  4. Control at Work (CAW)
  5. Working Conditions (WCS)
  6. Stress at Work (SAW)

In addition to the standardised QoWL Survey, further items can be included to cover aspects of work life which clients deem to be important. These items will be surfaced in consultation with our consultant and include issues such as Bullying and Harassment, Equal Opportunity etc. Should clients wish to conduct a similar survey in future, the application of standardised procedures will facilitate the comparison between the responses. The objectives to be achieved could include the analysis of the changes in staff response as a means of tracking changes from one timeframe to another. It is assumed that some of these changes in perception of staff will provide a means to assess the impact of management action in those areas that staff perceive as problematic. Alternatively, any significant deterioration in the perceptions of staff will indicate cause for closer scrutiny and possible intervention on the part of management.

What do surveys contribute to our leaders and managers?

The Employee Well-being Survey is an organisational audit tool that is brief and has easy to understand items. It is suitable for all working groups. This means that response rates of staff to anonymous postal surveys run by JQA is high and clients are able to draw valid conclusions from the reports. The result is a reliable and valid understanding of how staff members respond to a range of issues which tell you how well you are achieving your organisational goals. Our research has shown that knowledge of the three core dimensions mentioned above at the group and organisational level surveys are able to:

  • Provide an overview of the well-being of staff
  • Serve as a health check for the organisation to decide whether there are problems of morale or occupational stress that need to be addressed
  • Identify work groups, departments and divisions where there may be problems to do with workload, job satisfaction or psychological health
  • Measure the impact of organisational change programmes and stress management programmes
  • Evaluate EAP (Employee Assistance Programmes – where an external agency acts as a counselling provider to an organisation)
  • Provide data to allow benchmarking of individuals or teams relative to organisation or industry norms.

Why should my organisation use external consultants to conduct the survey?

Our recent experience has, once again, confirmed that independent, qualified external support is needed in order to produce a valid outcome. A client organisation conducted internal research to uncover a suspected bullying problem, but found no evidence. The anonymous survey conducted by JQA pinpointed the problem and enabled the organisation to deal with it in a professional way.

This supports the common sense understanding that staff place more confidence in external surveys, and will provide candid responses if an independent research group assures them that their responses are confidential and that the findings will be impartial, thereby encouraging them to participate.

After a suitable interval, the survey should be repeated to assess the impact of the interventions implemented after the first survey, and to identify any outstanding issues in the group.

Once we know where our problem areas are, what can we do about them?

Our consultants have been hand-picked and cover all the disciplines required to make adjustments to your organisation design and business processes. Our expertise covers business process engineering, matching people to challenges, training and development, finance and accounting procedures, legal and ethical issues.