25 Employee Engagement Survey Questions You Need To Ask
Employee engagement surveys are a brilliant way to gain feedback from your people about what it’s like to work at your organisation. However, it’s easy to rush into the planning phase, throw some questions together and start asking for feedback. One study showed that only 22% of organisations gain useful survey results. And one of the main reasons was because they covered too many areas and were trying to address too many issues in one survey.
To help, we’ve devised 25 engagement and satisfaction survey questions for you to consider using in your next survey.
Why Do You Need An Employee Engagement Survey?
Essentially, you need to know how your people feel about working at your organisation; otherwise, how can you possibly make any improvements? By gaining a temperature check of different aspects of what it’s like to work at your organisation, you can instigate change in the right areas. You’re not simply speculating what people want; you’re asking them. And this goes a long way in empowering your workforce because it shows you care about them.
In addition, surveys allow you to measure different factors such as motivation, morale, and satisfaction and can help you to assess engagement levels, and highlight future risks. Armed with this knowledge you can put into place action plans to improve weak areas of the business and track the main drivers of engagement.
Designing The Survey
Designing the employee satisfaction and engagement questions is a crucial step in the process, as the wrong questions will give you irrelevant information. The last thing you want to do is get the questions wrong, and then employees see no action or results after their contributions. That’s not going to help engagement levels!
Before you choose specific questions, you need to consider the broader dimensions you want to include. If you’re not focusing on one area of engagement (e.g. learning and development at the organisation), you need to consider the employee lifecycle and ensure that essential employee experience aspects are covered in the dimensions, for example, communication, employee development, compensation and benefits etc.
Selecting Engagement And Satisfaction Survey Questions
Once you have established the dimensions, you can focus on the specific questions. These should provide you with sufficient confidence and detailed insight. The language should be clear and unambiguous.
Gallup studied over 100,000 teams (including over 2.7 million employees) and, from their research, created the key areas they think should be included as engagement and satisfaction survey questions. You may want to include some or all of them in your survey (but please note these can be worded differently to suit your objectives and culture but are a guide to important areas to cover).
- Organisational belonging
- Management and supervision
- Reward and benefits
- Training and Development
- Work culture and environment
Effective communication is essential in most relationships, and that includes the workplace. But it’s multi-faceted; communication must work between managers and direct reports, peers, leaders and employees, employees to managers and so on. So how well communication works within the organisation and within teams will also highlight the extent of psychological safety in the workplace. We’ve chosen these questions:
1. I understand what is expected of me at work.
It’s a simple question, but an essential one. If someone doesn’t understand what is expected of them in their job, team or organisation, how can they possibly meet those expectations?
2. I receive adequate communication from leadership about company change/performance etc.
Communication can be a quick fix, but you need to understand how or where it’s lacking. This question can help you to identify this and then put in place changes to enhance communication about important organisational changes or updates.
3. I feel comfortable contributing my ideas and opinions.
Psychological safety in the workplace is important if not essential. If an employee feels truly safe in giving their opinions or ideas or admitting to mistakes, then performance is likely to be better. And also, think of all the great ideas you’re missing if your people are too scared to voice them.
4. I feel comfortable asking for help if I don’t have the skills or knowledge required to meet my goals.
Research shows that the most productive teams aren’t the ones who make fewer mistakes, but the ones who feel comfortable admitting them. Therefore, your people need to feel comfortable asking for help or support to encourage learning and development.
5. I feel that my opinions count at work.
People want to feel listened to, and if they do feel heard then, they are more likely to continue voicing their opinions and making a crucial difference to the organisation.
Does it really matter if your people feel like they belong in your organisation? Yes, it does. According to research, people who feel organisational belonging save the organisation money and impact the bottom line. High belonging increased job satisfaction by over fifty per cent, reduced sickness absence by 75% and reduced turnover risk by half.
Employees need to understand how their job fits in with organisational values and objectives; otherwise, it may feel meaningless. Questions may include:
6. I feel like I belong in the organisation.
Belonging is essential for most employees, and if the majority of people don’t feel like they belong, you need to know because they may look for another employer. Once you have this information, it’s something you can dig further into with specific pulse surveys or focus groups.
7. The organisation’s values and mission inspire me to perform at my best.
If individuals don’t know the values and mission, you can quickly solve this by communicating them. However, you need to ensure they are exciting, relevant and relatable, otherwise, they may not be inspirational at all!
8. I see a clear link between the company’s values and objectives and my individual job.
We all need to understand how and why what we’re doing in our roles contributes to the bigger picture. If people are missing this, then managers can discuss specifically how an employee’s job makes a difference to the company.
9. The mission or purpose of the organisation makes me feel my job is important.
As above, if people are just coming to work and doing a job to fill their day, it doesn’t make the most productive workforce. However, if they feel like their role is contributing to the company mission, then it should encourage commitment and a sense of purpose.
Management And Supervision
You’ve heard the saying that people don’t leave bad companies they leave bad managers? It’s true. The relationship between a manager and their direct report is one of the most important in the workplace. And if your managers aren’t effectively managing, you need to find out sooner rather than later. If the feedback about management is generally poor, then you know that as an organisation, you may need to step in with management training, mentoring or coaching etc.
Example questions are:
10. My manager sets clear expectations and goals for my performance.
You don’t need weekly or daily goals, and it’s not realistic for managers to set them, but as an organisation, you need to see that your managers are managing effectively! And this includes setting each person clear goals whatever their role or level in the company.
11. My manager gives me regular feedback on my performance.
How can individuals perform at their best or improve if they don’t receive regular feedback? They can’t. This is an important question as an organisation needs to understand where they are with creating a feedback culture and regular manager-to-employee feedback is essential for engagement.
12. My manager helps me to advance in my career.
A manager may not be able to dish out promotions, but people need to understand how and when they can develop and how the company will support them.
13. My manager motivates me to do the best I can.
Motivation isn’t confined to managing in one way, but managers do need to encourage their team members to do their best and work to their potential. Company apps, such as Sorwe, can help to set fun tasks or announcements and this may aid motivation.
Reward And Benefits
Pay matters. One survey of almost 3000 workers found that 44% of those included would leave for a higher salary than their current job. It may not always be the case, but compensation and benefits remain important, especially in a competitive job market. So why not find out what your people think about compensation and benefits in your organisation and include relevant questions in the survey?
These might include:
14. I believe I am paid competitively for the job I do.
Not everyone wants more money, but by understanding the perception of your people about pay then you can do something about it. For example, if you discover many individuals are dissatisfied with pay, but you know that they are being paid at or above the market rate, you can communicate this to them, so they understand how competitive the pay is.
15. I am satisfied with the current benefits that the organisation offers.
As above, you need an understanding of what employees think about their benefits. If there is significant dissatisfaction, it might be an area to focus on with further surveys or in-depth discussions.
Training And Development
Not every employee is desperately ambitious and seeking growth and promotion. Yet, training and development in the workplace are twofold. There are those who will be seeking personal and professional development and so adequate training and growth opportunities will feel essential to them. However, training is also essential for individuals to perform their job properly.
Questions may include:
16. I have the training and skills to do my job.
If basic training for a role is not given, individuals may not possess the skills or knowledge to do the job, which can lead to low engagement and productivity. Therefore, you need to ask individuals about training and development in respect of their job and their growth.
17. I feel there are good career opportunities for me at the organisation.
You don’t need to offer career progression to someone every month, but it could improve engagement if employees know about career development opportunities or if they see others progressing then they can see potential. By getting a gauge on how individuals feel about this, you can see if you need to make existing opportunities more visible or create more opportunities.
18. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
As above, even if there aren’t endless career progression opportunities, it goes a long way to show that you are taking an interest in an individual’s development and listening to them. This will also highlight whether you are close to creating a feedback culture.
Work Culture And Environment
While culture can be impossible to describe or change overnight, anything you can gain about how your people feel about it will help you cultivate it.
However, the physical environment is easier to change if the feedback points that way. The questions you ask will be specific to your systems, workplace or culture but might include:
19. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
If the majority of employees lack the tools or technology to do their job, then that’s something you can potentially change quickly. By asking the question you are gaining a picture of this area and can delve further into the specific problem areas if necessary.
20. The systems and processes at the organisation support me in getting my job done.
Employees don’t want to spend hours trying to get something done because the systems or processes aren't effective or streamlined. By asking this question and finding out more detail, you can put changes or improvements into place.
21. The vibe of the workplace is positive and motivating.
The workplace culture can hugely impact engagement and satisfaction and may be a work in progress. But you need to know what your people really think about the workplace vibe before you can look to change it.
22. I believe my organisation is dedicated to fostering diversity and inclusion.
It’s not a case of just having D&I policies and procedures in place, you need to ensure that your culture reflects this. By asking what people really think about D&I in the organisation, you can foster ways to improve it.
23. I think the company’s physical and mental wellness policies and initiatives are adequate.
Wellness, whether it’s physical or mental, is essential to today’s workplace. If you’re falling short, you need to know as this will impact your current employees and also those you hope to attract.
Here are some other open-ended you could include to gain further valuable information and feedback.
24. What could we be doing better?
This is an opportunity for you to find out where you could make improvements that you have never even considered! Some suggestions may be impossible to implement or irrelevant to what you do, but there could be some doable quick fixes that really make a difference to engagement.
25. Would you recommend working at this organisation to others, and why?
The why is vital here. If your people aren’t recommending you as an employee, then you need to understand why. Again, this question encourages insights you may have no idea about and areas of the business you can tackle to improve engagement and your reputation.
When creating an employee satisfaction and engagement survey, it's important to ensure you are assessing the right dimensions for your organisation and selecting the relevant questions. Since each of these stages is a matter of expertise and directly affects the measurement results, it’s often beneficial to work with an expert in the design of the employee engagement and satisfaction survey for guidance and support.