There are several considerations in determining where to focus your efforts.
- First, look for the items that rank highest in importance -- the ones with the highest correlations with overall satisfaction. Typically, their correlations will be +.50 or higher. These are the items which merit top priority.
- Next, see how well you are rated on those items.
The ones on which you receive high ratings don't need improvement -- but it's important not to let performance slip, or you could be in trouble.
Pay close attention to those on which your ratings are not so good -- they show not only where you need to improve, but also which improvements offer the best pay-off in increased employee satisfaction.
- Different types of people often have different needs in the workplace. If sample size allows, it is important to redo the importance analysis for key segments, such as people of different ages, incomes, or job types.
It's not uncommon to find that different variables drive, for instance, the satisfaction of exempt and non-exempt employees.
That means any across the board shift in HR focus may leave a large number of employees unhappy. Shifts in HR focus may need to be tailored to target the specifics of different groups.
- Items with less than +.30 correlation to overall satisfaction deserve less attention, even if the performance scores are dismal. Improved performance won't have any consequential effect on overall satisfaction.
- Finally, always pay attention to any specific complaint mentioned by a large proportion of employees in response to open-ended questions. What's needed to be done usually is self-evident.