Over the past few years, the issues of quality of work life (QWL) and well-being at work have increased considerably. Not surprising when you consider that all the studies come to the same conclusion: happy and committed employees are more productive. It is therefore not surprising either that the use of QWL questionnaires is becoming more widespread.
But what exactly is a workplace well-being questionnaire? And how can we ensure that it is part of an effective QWL approach? Before we get to the heart of the matter, let’s get back to the basics: why offer questionnaires on well-being at work to your employees?
Why a questionnaire on well-being at work?
That’s right, it’s a good question after all. Why this kind of questionnaire?
To answer this question, it is first necessary to emphasise the growing importance of quality of life at work. It is also necessary to understand how an effective QWL approach is constructed.
Well-being at work: a key issue for your company
Today more than ever, employees are looking for meaning in their work. They also have increasingly high expectations of their working conditions. A study by Toluna estimates that for 73% of workers, QWL is at least as important as salary.
In case you are not yet convinced of the importance of well-being in the workplace, here are some key figures:
- 14,310 per employee per year on average (Mozart Consulting/APICIL).
- 86% of companies observe productivity gains after the implementation of quality-of-life solutions at work (Sodexo).
- Happy employees are on average 31% more productive according to MIT (2011).
The starting point for your QWL approach
First of all, let’s remember that a well-constructed and effective QWL approach is often composed of two stages (synthetic vision):
- A measurement and diagnosis stage to understand and grasp the company’s problems.
- An action stage to act directly on the quality of life at work and improve it.
In order to develop quality of life at work, it is essential to measure the feelings of your teams. You must be able to know their sources of stress, satisfaction, well-being, etc.
This is where the well-being at work questionnaire comes into play. It places employees at the centre of the company’s QWL approach. It is they who, through their answers, will steer and direct the QWL policy. This makes it possible to limit inappropriate QWL actions. Actions that would in fact be ineffective.
The main purpose of the well-being at work questionnaire is therefore to orient and guide the rest of the company’s QWL approach.
How to construct an effective questionnaire on well-being at work?
A workplace well-being questionnaire is a survey of employees to assess their working conditions, their level of engagement, and their general level of well-being. The aim is to identify what engages your employees and what makes them happy. Or, on the contrary, to identify the sources of their malaise and disengagement, so that they can be corrected.
Who should be assessed and in what format?
Setting up a questionnaire on well-being at work is the first step in a QWL approach. As a reminder, the latter is a strategic and global company project. You must therefore evaluate all the employees in your company. No one should be left out. Top management, managers, employees, etc. Everyone must be able to give their opinion.
There are many QWL tools available to assess the well-being of your employees:
- The eNPS: Indicator for measuring the professional commitment of employees in a company. It takes the form of a single question. Would you recommend someone you know to work in your company? Ideally, it should be assessed every month.
- QWL surveys: Quality of working life barometers measure the QWL of employees. They can be weekly, monthly or quarterly. QWL surveys make it possible to analyse changes in employee satisfaction over time.
- Employee Satisfaction Survey: This is a more traditional questionnaire used once a year. It analyses in detail the many elements of well-being at work. This is also its shortcoming. Indeed, to analyse in detail the feelings of employees, this questionnaire is very long.
The eNPS, QWL surveys, or Employee Satisfaction Survey all allow you to take the pulse of your teams. They can be used in paper or digital format. But what should be evaluated?
What should be evaluated?
Well-being at work is a very broad concept. There are two ways of thinking for assessing it:
- Measuring discontent at work
- Measuring the dimensions of quality of life at work
The first method analyses the deterioration of suffering at work to measure the well-being of a company. This is the case of Mozart Consulting, for example.
The second method evaluates in-depth the different dimensions of quality of life at work. By analysing employees’ feelings regarding management, work-life balance, or working conditions, it is possible to measure the well-being of employees.
At Teamii we have developed our own QWL barometers analysing all 7 dimensions of quality of life at work set up by our experts. The aim of our well-being at work questionnaires is not so much to know what is going well and what is not, but to understand why!
This idea is essential for the success of your questionnaire. Indeed, a survey that does not tell you the causes of your employees’ well-being or ill-being at work does not allow you to set up action plans.
Don’t forget that the primary objective of this type of survey is to guide and direct actions to improve quality of life at work.
Mistakes to avoid when designing a questionnaire on well-being at work
When designing a workplace well-being questionnaire, there are several mistakes to avoid.
Anonymity is an essential feature of the success of your questionnaire. Indeed, it is imperative that the answers are anonymous to obtain a high participation rate. It is also a prerequisite for reliable and truthful responses. Not guaranteeing this is a serious mistake. Your questionnaires as well as the results lose all their meaning.
Staying on the surface
This is one of the most common mistakes. Indeed, QWL questionnaires are multiplying today. But how many of them actually improve QWL? These surveys should make it possible to identify action levers and areas for improving QWL. But all too often, they simply note a malaise without looking for the cause.
In data collection, a bias is a process that leads to errors in the results of a study. When designing QWL questionnaires, there are a number of biases that must be anticipated. The main biases are related to the timing of the questionnaires. Indeed, an employee is on average happier in summer than in autumn. Similarly, an employee is happier on a Friday than on a Monday. This is why it is necessary to identify these biases, in order to anticipate them and not let them distort the results.
A final mistake would be to stop the QWL process after the questionnaires have been distributed. The analysis of the data is even more important than the survey itself. It is, therefore, necessary to look at the results and study them in detail. Then you have to look for the best actions to take. We advise you to involve your employees, for example by setting up a suggestion box.
You can also survey your employees about the actions you would like to implement. As you will have understood, a QWL questionnaire must be followed by action. It is part of a more global QWL approach, of which it is the starting point.
Drawing up an effective well-being at work questionnaire is a real challenge. You have to take many parameters into account while anticipating the biases that stand in your way.
Furthermore, it is essential to see this type of questionnaire as a dialogue between you and your employees. These surveys could become a privileged means of expression for your teams.
Despite all these difficulties, these surveys are essential. They are the pillars of your QWL approach. So much so that the effectiveness and precision of your actions will depend greatly on their quality!