Employee Attitude Survey - Definition, Benefits, Outcomes

This employee attitude survey overview from PGA Group Consulting Psychologists outlines the purpose, benefits and possible outcomes of the survey method and process, together with the phases it may go through.

Several links to resources on this site, including an employee attitude survey case study are provided after the overview below.


Ideally, there would be no need for the formal measurement of employee attitudes and employee opinions. Employers and managers would be thoroughly and constantly in tune with their staff and the work they perform.

However, events occur so rapidly in many modern organizations - fast staff turnover, a need to take decisions and to act quickly to pre-empt and adapt to ever-changing conditions both within and outside - that it is just not possible to be intimately and intuitively aware of every relevant issue in every domain.

Perception is said to be reality for the perceiver. Dealing with negative perceptions and their resultant behaviours (high absenteeism, and poor commitment, for example) at a late stage can be time consuming and expensive in other than purely financial terms; management may lose credibility and the employer’s reputation may suffer also.

Help is at hand for the concerned employer to identify and head-off the undesirable consequences of negative perceptions through the use of expertly constructed surveys.

Employee attitude surveys are a methodology and a process. They can be designed to focus on employees’ perceptions about a number of issues, for example:

  • Their careers

  • Their jobs

  • The climate in which they work

  • Training and development

  • Organizational design

  • Organizational culture

  • Management and style

  • Sources of stress

  • Sources of satisfaction and/or dissatisfaction

Benefits of Using Employee Attitude Surveys

The benefits of surveying employee attitudes and employee opinions are fourfold:

  • They can assess what has happened in the past and what is happening now: the outcomes of decisions, and the effectiveness of policies and practices can be appraised and evaluated; lessons can be learned for the future.

  • They can pre-empt the negative impact of potential pitfalls: areas of low morale or frustration, latent discontent and dissatisfaction, and wasted areas of investment and effort can be identified and addressed.

  • They address the positives: awareness of sources of morale, commitment and dialogue are stimulated, and predictions about how roles will merge coherently together may be made.

  • They can facilitate change: the organization can respond to altering circumstances and maintain control by predicting areas of change together with direction and pace, rather than merely reacting to situations.

Phases of A Typical Employee Attitude Survey

Once the organization’s brief is understood and properly considered, an employee attitude survey typically will have a life comprising of seven distinct phases:

Phase 1: Development of Attitudinal Dimensions

Open-ended pilot interviews are conducted to develop the attitudinal dimensions for the survey proper. The aim is to identify all relevant factors which staff regard as important in their feelings and opinions about the organization (the climate, the structure, their jobs, for example) which in turn are likely to relate to performance.

Phase 2: Development of the Survey Questionnaire and Interview Schedule

Information gathered from the pilot interviews is analysed. A self-administered employee attitude survey questionnaire and an interview schedule are developed from this analysis. Senior management are invited to comment and to identify and include any issues hitherto not examined.

Phase 3: Refinement of the Survey Questionnaire

Pilot interviews of a random sample of a dozen or so staff are undertaken using the employee attitude survey questionnaire. This process ensures that the survey questionnaire does not contain any ambiguous instructions or questions and that none of the questions elicit negative reactions from respondents.

If necessary, a process of questionnaire refinement and re-interviewing takes place until an acceptable and usable version of the employee attitude survey questionnaire is produced.

Phase 4: Survey Questionnaire Administration

Employee attitude surveys can be administered in a variety of ways, using traditional printed paper document forms, or electronically, via e-mail or the Web for example.

Survey questionnaires are often designed to be self-administered. Respondents usually would complete the questionnaire anonymously and in their own time. Some organizations prefer to provide a controlled facility, such as a room where staff could come to complete the questionnaire, whether paper-based or online.

Phase 5: Post-Survey Interviews

A number of individual interviews are undertaken to provide in-depth evidence which will augment qualitatively the survey data. The interview schedule probes the issues examined in the survey in an open-ended way.

Phase 6: Data Analysis and Report Writing

Survey data is analysed statistically. Post-survey interview data is analysed. A main report containing survey details, results, recommendations and tabulated statistical data is produced. An executive summary report is written also.

Phase 7: Presentation of Attitude Survey Results and Feedback

Senior management are presented with the written reports and a formal presentation is made by the survey consultants, for example PGA Group Consulting Psychologists. Senior managers are invited to provide input into the next stage of feeding the results back to staff.

Subsequently, the survey consultants would produce briefing notes to help managers give feedback to their staff. If desired, PGA Group Consulting Psychologists could play an active part in this process and any remaining follow-up tasks.


Whether conducted expertly in-house, or by an independent professional specialist, employee attitude surveys can benefit the organization, its employees and other stakeholders.

A planned approach to tackling change can be taken using the information a survey can provide.

The organization can respond to events and possibly discover untapped opportunities, rather than attempt to react to factors about which it is not fully informed.


You may find these links on our site to be of interest:

Employee Attitude Survey Case Study - Performance Turnaround
This case study is about how negative performance factors were identified and addressed to the benefit of the organization and its people.

Organizational Benchmark Survey Case Study - Identifying Need
This case study is about how this process helped an organization to identify need, focus priorities and develop new business opportunities.

Stress Audit Case Studies - Successful Stress Management At Work
The stress audit can be classed as a form of specialised survey. These case studies are about how the negative effects of stress at work were identified, addressed and relieved to the benefit of three organizations and their people.

Other relevant site navigation links appear at the foot of this page.

I hope you have found this employee attitude survey overview from PGA Group Consulting Psychologists informative, useful and beneficial.

Should you have any questions, or would like further information without obligation, my team and I would be very happy to help. Details and an e-mail form to contact/locate us can be found here: www.pgagroup.com/contact-pga-group.html

Peter Gerstmann
PGA Group Consulting Psychologists - www.pgagroup.com

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