As a business grows, employs more people, and develops a culture, increasing emphasis is placed on job satisfaction, personal growth, and employee understanding of the company vision. Sun Design in Burke, Va., has evolved in such a way, and now, with 50 employees, the $8 million design/build company has begun focusing on its own human capital.

Two years ago, in March and November, the company began mailing an employee satisfaction survey to each employee's home. The survey contains questions in nine categories including compensation, recognition, benefits, performance review, and communication and relationships. Key managers, a field representative, and a salesperson review the results, which are compared with those of previous surveys.

The survey is answered anonymously, and filling it out is not mandatory. Nearly 60% of employees participated in the most recent survey. “They've become more engaged and interested in the survey since being able to see the results, which were shared at our first ‘town meeting' in March,” says Jennifer Kidwell, director of communications.

Survey results have an impact on how the company sets priorities, makes changes and adjustments to existing policies and procedures, and creates new policies. Currently the company is looking into life insurance benefits, something that was identified by a majority of employees as being important. “We're also revamping our performance review process,” Kidwell says, based on survey responses.

The survey fits into the company's core ideology: “We want to create an exceptional experience for all, and it's equally important to do this for our employees as it is for our clients,” Kidwell says.