You understand the importance of feedback to your organization. That’s why you’re eager to develop an employee engagement survey.
You’re going to send out a few questions, ask employees to provide their honest answers, review the feedback, and turn that information into meaningful people programs.
Not so fast.
A great employee engagement survey relies on useful, meaningful questions. But it can be difficult to determine which questions to ask your employees. When leaders are unsure, they tend to turn to google and that’s where they find a lot of employee engagement survey templates.
In fact, a search for “employee engagement survey questions” returns over 110 million results!
But quantity doesn’t always mean quantity, so how do you know whether you’re distributing the right questions?
A good starting point is using employee engagement software. The right employee engagement software links the impact of each question back to your organization’s current engagement levels. It helps you determine which questions to ask and what impact they can have on your organization’s engagement levels.
Without this, your organization runs the risk of soliciting and acting on feedback that doesn’t actually impact your engagement levels.
To help you out, we’ve assembled a list of questions that we’ve commonly associated with employee engagement. Keep in mind that the level of impact each question has depends on your specific organization.
Top Employee Engagement Survey Questions
I would recommend this organization to friends or peers as a great place to work.
Whenever you’re going to make a big decision, what do you do?
Sure, you talk to experts and conduct research, but one of the most impactful things you do is ask for opinions from people you trust.
People often turn to experts when it comes to high stakes decisions – like health or finances – and turn to friends when it comes to low stakes, short-term decisions like what activity will be more fun or which restaurant to choose.
But when it comes to those middling decisions – like which company to pick – we tend to rely on a combination of these two sources.
While you might rely on market data or your personal interests to choose a career, whether one company is good or bad can be quite subjective.
So it’s helpful to ask people who’ve actually worked at that company, particularly your friends, family, or trusted members of your network who straddle that friend/expert line.
This means that it’s important for companies to ensure they have a strong employer brand and high employee loyalty which leads to people who are willing to recommend them.
If you obtain a low score on this question, it’s a sign that you have a compromised employer brand and low employee loyalty.
Reviewing the answers to other employee engagement questions, understanding that feedback, and implementing it can help you improve employee loyalty.
I’m happy working at this organization.
How happy are your employees?
Happiness is an important variable to measure. It’s not enough to simply pay your employees. It’s also important to ensure that, for the most part, they enjoy coming to work.
This is especially true in recent years. People are pushing back against horrible bosses and unsatisfactory working conditions.
In some cases, people are figuring out how to get by on less money or quitting their jobs altogether.
As vacancy rates rise and companies fight the war for talent, it’s more important than ever to ensure employees are happy.
At the same time, happiness is a fleeting state. There’s no such thing as being happy every moment of every day, especially when you’re doing work.
This is why experts recommend that employees – and the people who hire them – aim for something different: meaning.
Research shows that people who focus on finding meaning in their work are more likely to feel a sense of well-being. They also tend to be more productive as well.
So if you find yourself ranking poorly when it comes to employee happiness, focus on what you can control which is giving employees a sense of meaning from their work.
You can make employees’ work feel more meaningful by:
- connecting every role back to a larger purpose
- sharing internal stories of employees who have made a difference, or
finding ways to use technology to offload manual and repetitive tasks so employees can focus on the more strategic, creative, and meaningful parts of their job
If I were offered the same job at another organization, I would likely stay at this organization.
This question offers a quick apples-to-apples comparison.
If your employees were offered the same role for the same pay at another organization, and they’d be willing to take the job, it’s a sign that several things are amiss, namely your employer brand, your employee value proposition, and your employee satisfaction levels.
Firstly, your employer brand is the thing that differentiates you from other companies.
That thing is not the specific job an employee is doing. It’s what it’s like to do that job at a specific company.
It’s the reason why someone might excitedly announce they’ve got a new role in the payroll department at Tesla or Apple, even though they’ve worked in payroll at a couple of other companies and never announced those new opportunities with the same excitement.
To start building your employer brand, determine what your values are and communicate them throughout the organization.
Team up with marketing to communicate these values with your company and with the larger talent market.
As more people learn what your company represents, your employees – and prospective employees – will be more proud to work for you, regardless of the role.
There’s also your employee value proposition. Your employee value proposition is something special you offer your employees beyond the bare minimum offered by the market.
That could be an above-market salary. Excellent health benefits.
This could also include a stipend for additional learning and training. Free bus passes. The ability to bring pets into the office. The list goes on.
The best companies choose perks that actually matter to their employees. So instead of offering a pool table, they hear their employees when they say they want a free gym membership and offer that instead.
Finally, employee satisfaction determines whether people want to take the exact same role for the exact same pay at another company.
If your employees feel mistreated, unappreciated, and undervalued, they will leave at the earliest opportunity.
I feel personally driven to help this organization succeed.
It’s 2 pm. A member of your customer service team is on the phone with a subscriber. They’re having an issue with their account.
The employee has a feeling the issue is caused by a misunderstanding between the billing team and the operations team, but it would take a little bit of investigating.
They could try to liaise with both teams and sort things out through a couple of quick phone calls…or they could just send an email with the customer’s complaint.
The first approach would take a bit of extra effort but it would solve the problem more thoroughly and help the customer.
The second approach would pass the buck on to the billing team who would then take several business days to get to the problem, figure out the issue, and get back to the customer.
The first approach is extra effort that they don’t have to take, and they’re starting to get a bit of mid-afternoon drowsiness, so they’re simply hitting “Forward” on the customer’s complaint.
No longer their problem. Time to get a coffee.
If employees don’t think a company cares about them, they won’t put in extra effort to help it succeed.
And there’s not much an organization can do to regulate this through a command-and-control method, since knowledge workers can hold back effort undetected.
It’s easy to measure whether people complete a certain number of units. It’s harder to measure whether people use their critical thinking and creativity to solve problems and make customers happy.
If you obtain a low score on this question, it’s a sign that your employees just consider this another paycheque – a purely transactional arrangement where they do exactly what they’ve been asked to do and nothing more.
My job enables me to learn and develop new skills.
This question helps you assess whether people feel like they’re evolving in their work or stagnating.
While some people may be comfortable doing the same work day in and day out with little change, most high performers want to feel like they’re getting better.
This is especially true in today’s job market where jobs are rapidly changing and employees have to keep upskilling to stay competitive.
Your employees may also want to develop in different ways.
For instance, a portion of your top performers may want to move into management roles.
In this case, they’ll want opportunities to develop their skills in leadership, management, stakeholder engagement, negotiation, and more.
They may also want to gain experience with financial statements and budgeting.
Another portion of your workforce may want to develop without managing others. They may want to further specialize and become better subject matter experts without having people report to them.
Some organizations make the mistake of making professional development synonymous with becoming a manager.
Instead of doing this, companies can offer these individual contributors stipends for additional training, time to work on special projects that benefit the organization, or tickets to conferences in their field that allow them to pick up expertise that they can take back to their company.
Then there are general professional development opportunities that apply to the entire organization. This kind of professional development focuses on skills that will be essential to future jobs, such as data analytics and digital marketing.
I feel that I'm growing professionally.
Do your employees feel like they’re developing? This question helps you gauge whether your existing efforts are having an impact.
Do people feel like they’ve been working hard for and waiting for a promotion that never arrives?
Have they been promised interesting opportunities, raises, or promotions only to be left empty-handed?
This question can help you reveal these kinds of issues.
If you score low on this question, you can organize professional development opportunities that give employees with different goals a chance to grow.
You can organize mentorship opportunities for employees who want to become managers, provide stipends for professionals who want to become specialized individual contributors, and online training modules for employees who want to brush up on digital skills.
You can also ask your employees what form they’d like these professional development opportunities to take. Would they like to have in-class workshops? Online sessions? A stipend that allows them to take control of their own learning and development? This feedback can help you design better employee experiences and professional development programs that actually satisfy your employees.
I am excited about the company’s future.
Are people coming in to work to plug copy into Google Ads, or do they come to work to share the exciting products and services your organization offers to as many people as possible?
Do people come to work to process one invoice after another, or do they show up to maintain excellent relationships with the vendors who make it possible for your company to operate?
The way employees see their job depends a lot on how excited they are about the company’s future.
And the way to get employees excited about their future is to get them behind a shared vision.
So what is a company vision? Your vision is what role you want your organization to play in the world’s future.
It’s not just about what your company does on a day-to-day basis to make money, which is its mission.
For example, your company’s mission may be to create sturdy, reliable cars, but its vision might be to create a net-zero future by championing the creation and purchase of electric vehicles.
Your company’s day-to-day mission may be to provide an online payment gateway but your mission may be to eliminate the barrier to entry for people to start a business, enrich themselves, and support their communities no matter where they are in the world.
Getting a low score on this question? It’s time to clarify what your company is all about and share that with your employees.
I have confidence in this organization's senior leadership team.
Trust is the foundation of a productive, long-lasting relationship. This is as true for personal relationships as it is for professional ones.
Unfortunately, 1 in 3 people say they don’t trust their employer.
This isn’t good news. When people don’t trust their senior managers, they’re more likely to leave.
More turnover equals more recruitment costs that didn’t need to be incurred. And if the trust issue is never resolved, the cycle just repeats itself.
This lack of trust is also a threat to a company’s innovation and creativity.
When employees trust their company’s leadership, they are 23% more likely to share their ideas and creative solutions. And top leaders are not unaware of this.
Over half of surveyed CEOs say that a lack of trust is hindering their organization’s growth.
So how do you increase trust in your organization if you obtained a low score on this question?
You start by recognizing that it’s a long-term process, not something that improves overnight.
A few things you can do over the long term is show appreciation to your employees, ask for feedback and then implement it, and ensure consistency in your communications and actions.
Most days I feel a sense of accomplishment from what I do.
Do your employees feel a sense of accomplishment from their work?
Even highly motivated employees can feel a lack of accomplishment within their job if they are set up to fail or aren’t given the conditions with which to make the most of their talent.
One common way employees are set up to fail is not being given clear instructions or expectations.
They have no North Star to work towards, making it difficult to determine whether they’ve accomplished their goals.
Another reason is a lack of metrics. Without key performance indicators or a specific goal, it’s difficult for employees to keep tabs on whether they’re on track or whether they’re working on something meaningful.
Without clear metrics or KPIs, an employee can put all of their efforts into something that has no meaningful impact on the organization.
It’s also important to reward accomplishments. If a goal’s been set and all the metrics have been hit, place a juicy reward at the end or at least call out that employee’s efforts, so they can celebrate their good work.
My role is an excellent fit with my strengths.
Want your employees to be satisfied?
Help them find roles, within your organization, that are a good fit for them.
This may sound counterintuitive. Work is work. Employees do a job and they get paid, and it’s not a matter of having fun.
But over time, your employees develop a comprehensive knowledge of your customers and business processes.
If they get bored, their satisfaction decreases, and they’re more likely to take a role elsewhere which depletes the organization of its experienced employees.
A more effective approach is to try and place employees in the roles where they’re best suited. A few ways to make this happen are to:
- Coach your managers on how to spot their employees’ talents so they can nominate them for different opportunities
- Assign employees to special projects to give them a chance to try different roles and develop different skill sets
- Increase internal promotion of job vacancies and encourage employees to apply for roles on other teams
I am fairly rewarded (e.g. pay, promotion) for my contributions to this organization.
Are your employees fairly compensated? If they aren’t, they can find out pretty easily by checking online or taking interviews with other companies.
Instead of waiting around for a 2% raise a year, employees are going out to market and getting higher-paying roles for the same work (or a promotion) from other companies.
How can you ensure your employees don’t leave?
Regularly conduct salary benchmarking exercises to ensure you’re compensating your employees fairly.
If you can afford it, consider paying your employees more.
If they’re already satisfied with all other aspects of their employee experience, aligning their salary to what the market’s offering is an easy fix.
I am satisfied with the recognition or praise I receive for my work.
Creating a culture of recognition helps develop a positive company culture and foster better employee engagement and satisfaction. If you receive a low ranking for this question, it’s time to ramp up your recognition program. This can happen through:
- Individual, ad hoc shout outs to team members when they do something impressive
- An annual event that recognize employees for outstanding performance with awards and prizes
- A recognition platform that allows employees to rate or shoutout colleagues for outstanding work.
Start enhancing your employee engagement efforts today
How much each of these questions relate to your engagement levels depends on your particular organization. Sparkbay’s engagement software can help you determine what matters and by how much.
Ready to start enhancing and fine-tuning your employee engagement efforts? Get in touch today.
If you're interested in learning how Sparkbay can help you survey your employees, you can click here for a demo.