Surveying Satisfaction in Software

Manage By Walking Around

Early in my management career, the HR department sent out a single-question survey which asked how satisfied we were with our jobs on a scale of 0 (very unsatisfied) to 4 (highly satisfied).  To my surprise, my group had the lowest average score (2.6) in the company. The HR VP predicted a mass exodus and told me that my annual bonus would be negatively impacted. I was mystified because I had heard very few complaints and nobody had left in the previous year.

Not one to leave such mysteries unsolved, I convinced HR to ask my group three more questions:

  • How likely are you to leave the company in the next 6 months?
  • How does your job compare to other jobs that you’ve had?
  • How does your job satisfaction compare with how it was 3 months ago?

The results made me feel better. My group reported they were unlikely to leave the…

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