The Importance of Employee Engagement Surveys

If you feel like you’re not getting the results or insights you need from employee engagement surveys, it’s most likely because you’re asking the wrong questions. While building and designing an employee engagement survey, determining the appropriate questions to ask is an absolutely essential part of the process. 

Below we’ve listed ten questions to consider including in your next employee engagement survey. These questions will yield impactful responses from employees that can then be analyzed and acted on to create buy-in across the organization. 

Employee engagement surveys, when utilized properly, can improve organizational culture, which ultimately boosts your bottom line.

RELATED: Why Employee Engagement Matters to Your Business

10 Questions to Include in Your Next Employee Engagement Survey

1. How happy are you at work, on a scale of 1 to 10?

In order to continuously measure employee engagement over time, this question should be asked to all employees routinely. 

By directly asking employees how happy they are at work, you are getting right to the heart of what drives employee engagement -- happiness and satisfaction. 

People feel happy or unhappy for various reasons, so this question will need to be leveraged in conjunction with other questions that aim to contextualize why people are experiencing particular levels of happiness.

2. Would you refer a friend or family member to work at this company?

This question further contextualizes how happy your employees are with their experiences. 

If the majority of your employees say that they would definitely refer a friend or family member to work at your company, it’s likely that your employee engagement levels are high. 

However, if most employees respond to this question saying that there’s no way they’d refer people they care about to work at your company, you’ll need to do some digging to figure out why that is the case.

3. Do you feel confident in your understanding of your career path at this company?

In order for employee engagement levels to remain high, it’s imperative to proactively inform your employees that you are invested in them, and their future. 

One of the most optimal ways to do this is to work with each employee to ensure that they have a future at the company, and that that future is fueled by growth and promotion opportunities. 

If an employee feels that there is no future for them at a company, they will immediately start looking for other opportunities if they are looking to grow their career.

4. How would you rate your work-life balance, on a scale of 1 to 10?

Work-life balance has become a hot topic and key driver of employee engagement in today’s business landscape. 

While each individual varies in terms of how work-life balance affects their ultimate level of happiness, it’s important to get to know your employees and learn what optimizes their performance.

If long hours in the office are mandatory, that doesn’t always mean increased production. Instead, finding the balance between office hours and free time that works for the employees of your business, while the office hours may be shortened, will result in a more lively work environment and inherently more productivity in shorter time periods.

5. How frequently does your manager recognize your performance and contributions?

This questions aligns with question number three. In order for employees to be engaged, they must feel recognized for their performance and contributions. 

If the appropriate processes are not put in place, and hard work and accomplishments are not recognized, then what is your employees’ motivation to keep working hard and delivering value?

6. Do you see yourself working at this company in one year?

This question aims to measure the elements of longevity that your employee engagement plays on retention. Obviously, if employees are unhappy and unengaged, they will not stay at your company for long.

If you ask this question to employees regularly, and yield responses saying that most people plan to leave within the year, it’s definitely time to focus on evaluating internal growth opportunities, raises in salary, and other methods that will boost retention and decrease churn.

7. Do you feel that the management at this company is transparent and communicates effectively?

Management and the C-suite can often separate further and further from employees over time if proactive measures are not taken. 

In order to maintain employee engagement, the leaders of your organization should prioritize communication to employees that will contextualize the strategic decisions being made behind closed doors.

By explaining the reasoning behind important, organization-impacting decisions, employees will better understand why they are doing the work they are doing, which will create buy in and enhance employee engagement overall.

8. How comfortable do you feel giving feedback to your supervisor, on a scale of 1 to 10?

This question also aims to mitigate the distance between the leaders of your organization and its employees. Communication is a two way street.

Employees want to feel like they are part of a team with their manager, not that they are on a team being managed by their manager. A critical component of this is the ability for employees to provide feedback up the chain of command. If managers and leadership constantly provide the message that they do not want critical feedback, then employees will ultimately feel that their voice does not matter, which has a severely negative impact on employee engagement.

9. Do you have fun at work?

Work should be fun! Not all the time, but at least sometimes.

No employee wants to feel like they never have any fun at work. If you ask this question and receive feedback that your office is a generally fun-sucking atmosphere, it might be worth your while to consider exploring solutions such as company outings, happy hours, and other fun activities that will make working at your company less of a drag.

10. What three words would you use to describe the organizational culture at this company?

This open-ended question allows for a lot of flexibility and potentially diverse feedback. Ultimately, the three words that employees provide to describe your company culture should align with the core values of your business. 

If they don’t, then it’s time to double down on defining the organizational culture, and communicating that culture to employees so that they are intimately familiar with it. Once they feel familiar with the ideal culture that the company is striving for, they can adjust their own individual behavior to better fit that culture.

RELATED: Best Practices for Implementing an Employe Engagement Survey

When to Distribute Employee Engagement Surveys

Employee engagement surveys should be distributed routinely, and as often as on a weekly or biweekly basis. 

A lot of the power that comes with employee engagement surveys comes with the consistency at which they are sent to employees. By maintaining consistency, you can establish a baseline in terms of your survey response data, and measure the changes to that baseline over time. This enables you to record what is working, and what is not working for your employees.