Employee Engagement Survey: Ultimate Guide (+ 50 Survey Questions)
They say that employees are a company's most valuable asset. And it's true! A company is nothing without its employees. That's why keeping your employees happy and engaged is crucial.
Companies with engaged employees see an increase in revenue twice greater versus those with low engagement levels because engaged employees:
- are more productive;
- are more enthusiastic;
- provide better experiences for customers;
- and remain with their employees longer.
But employee engagement remains the Achilles' heel of many organizations, probably yours too.
So what can you do to make sure your employees are engaged?
One great way to get started is by conducting an employee engagement survey. You need to gauge how your employees feel about their work, company, and co-workers before making a plan or strategy.
In this article, we will define
- employee engagement survey,
- its types, and
- the best practices for implementing them.
We'll also give you pointers to keep in mind when interpreting employee engagement survey responses.
📝 What is an employee engagement survey?
An employee engagement survey is a questionnaire given to employees to assess their level of engagement with their work and company. It is a valuable tool designed to gather point-in-time data on employees' sentiments regarding their work and implement insights.
But why do you need to measure engagement?
Disengaged employees cost the world a whopping $7.8 trillion a year in lost productivity. That's equal to 11% of the global GDP!
Need we say more?
➡️ Check out 46 extra statistics on employee engagement you cannot ignore in 2022.
If you are committed to employee enablement, you can also use engagement surveys to gain insight into what tools and resources your employees need to improve their productivity.
❗️ 5 reasons an employee engagement surveys is important
Here are some reasons every organization needs to conduct periodic employee engagement surveys.
It helps you predict employee behavior
Employee engagement primarily shows how enthusiastic, happy, uninterested, or unhappy your employees are and why they feel that way.
Implementing employee engagement surveys helps you understand whether they are satisfied with their job and would show up or go out of their way to make a project successful. It will also help you predict the consequences of disengagement.
For example, improving employee engagement can reduce absenteeism by about 41%, according to Applauz.
Gives employees a voice
Engagement surveys allow employees to express their thoughts, give suggestions on company cultures and policies, and provide rare insight into customer interaction with your products.
Engagement is directly related to being heard, and employees feel more satisfied at work when managers listen to and act on their complaints.
Helps you identify what's working (and what isn't)
"Regular surveys allow you to uncover issues and weaknesses you may not even be aware of and find solutions to improve the work environment." Maciek Kubiak, Head of People at PhotoAiD.
The quote above shows that employee engagement helps companies identify what's working and what's not from their employees' point of view. For example, a team bonding activity may be well-intentioned but inconvenient for your employees, so it does more harm than good. The only way for them to communicate this is through anonymous employee surveys.
This is the same for company policies. Gathering data from these surveys can help you know where to intensify efforts and ideas you need to scrap.
Helps change employee behavior
Answering survey questions helps people reflect on their attitudes and trigger change, which is called the 'question-behavior effect.'
According to Sprott et al., when people are questioned about their intentions for the future, they are more likely to report socially desirable results subsequently.
Asking questions about a person's future behavior allows them to ponder the desired results and how quickly they want to achieve them.
More importantly, people's attitude to work changes when companies respond to the data from these surveys. You may notice:
- higher retention,
- lower absenteeism,
- improved customer centrism,
- higher revenue generation,
- and an overall improved employee engagement experience.
Increases employee retention
Employee engagement is proportional to employee retention, and having periodic surveys will trigger employees to engage more with their work and your company's policies.
High turnover companies can't build strong company cultures because there are few long-term employees to demonstrate exemplary behavior.
Also, employee engagement helps employees to bond with the company and feel aligned with its mission, increasing retention rates.
🔍 6 Types of employee engagement surveys
Employee engagement surveys may measure different things, depending on what's most important at each point in time. Here are some of the most popular survey types used to measure employee engagement in a company.
A culture survey gets employees' points of view and measures them with the company's vision to see if they align. It assesses the workplace environment and the daily life of employees.
This survey type is more regular. It is a short check-in survey on workplace communication, work environment, job role, satisfaction, etc. Many companies conduct employee pulse surveys monthly or quarterly.
This survey type happens every 12 months. The average employee tenure is two years, so this standard industry survey helps to ensure that each employee takes at least one survey while working for you.
Employee (360°) feedback survey
This 360° survey examines employees from all possible viewpoints at once. It looks at their relations with colleagues, subordinates, supervisors, managers, customers, vendors, and management.
A confidence survey helps gauge employees' belief in their employers and vision. It's an excellent survey for start-ups, as it reveals employee morale.
This survey contains questions like "how confident are you that the company will still be running in five years?"
Career testing survey
This type of employee engagement survey is more specific and actionable. It's a tool that organizations utilize to place employees in roles in which they can perform better.
The questions are on skills, aptitude, preferences, etc., and it's a great way for companies to keep employees within their company.
🪜 Conducting effective employee engagement surveys (step by step)
Conducting an employee engagement survey can be tedious. It often requires proper planning and setup.
For new companies, conducting the first survey is a challenge. Unfortunately, there's no material guide or buy-in from senior leaders, so we recommend the seven-step process below.
1. Understand where you are now
You need to ensure you have a grasp of your company's situation and how it will affect your survey. Focus on:
- Prior surveys on employee engagement and other topics;
- Employees' level of interest or enthusiasm;
- New or recurrent company policies;
- Departmental events.
2. Set a goal
It's essential to set precise goals based on the above information. Goals give you a clear direction and keep you on track.
You should set a goal for the number of responses you want to receive, survey timeline, and cross-departmental participation levels.
3. Identify the themes you want to assess
There are several types of employee engagement surveys, so you need to be specific about what themes are important in your present survey.
You can consider career progression, customer focus, interdepartmental communication, employee safety, diversity, inclusion, etc.
4. Define the audience
It's essential to start by identifying a representative employee audience for your survey. Unless the survey is specific, you should limit your audience to people from different departments, levels, branches, and ranks.
This group serves as a baseline you can use to measure the increase or dip in engagement in the future.
5. Take advantage of your internal communication
A survey is usually more successful if employees are well-informed of its purpose. Consider informing them of why you're implementing the survey, the projected timeline, the benefits, and what the company intends to do with the feedback.
6. Choose the right questions to ask your employees
Your survey questions should be precise, clear, and formulated intentionally for your company's situation. The right questions don't only point to areas that need improvement; they also reveal what you are doing excellently.
What makes a good engagement survey question?
A good survey question makes a committed employee ponder their feelings for your company and its mission.
- Your questions should be 100% centered around your company.
- Use a 5-point Likert system to simplify your questions.
- Word your questions neutrally.
- Focus on questions with actionable answers.
- Avoid HR jargon, ambiguity, or abbreviations. If you need to use abbreviations, ensure you define them in the survey sheet.
7. After the survey: tell the story with the data
Run your survey for 2-4 weeks before collecting and collating data. Then determine engagement based on work involvement, level of awareness, discretionary effort, intent to stay, and employee pride.
You can simplify this process with the Employee Net Promoter Score (ENPS), a scoring system designed with the right questions to track employee engagement.
The most crucial part is translating this information into a readable form. It's difficult to impress anyone with raw statistics and data. However, presenting a visual story based on that data will trigger enthusiasm and foster action.
✅ 50 Employee engagement survey questions you must ask
Here are some practical quantitative and qualitative employee engagement survey questions to inspire you and get you started on the right note.
🎯 Performance & engagement questionnaire
- Would you like to be more involved in any of the company activities? If yes, why and which one?
- Do you see yourself still working here in 2 years?
- Do you feel accomplished after completing your assigned tasks?
- Are you proud of your role on this team?
- Do you have a clear understanding of what the company's goals are? Kindly explain.
- Do you understand how your work aligns with the company's goals?
- Do you often use innovative methods to accomplish your task? If yes, kindly explain.
- I feel confident in expressing new and innovative ways in my work.
- Do you feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks assigned to you?
- Can you arrange time off work when I need to?
🌟 Company culture questionnaire
These questions help to examine the workplace environment and if they have a healthy work-life balance.
- Is the workplace culture positive and supportive?
- Does the company provide resources that make you feel supported and included?
- Do you feel comfortable asking for help if you lack the necessary skill set to accomplish your goals?
- Do you have a good working relationship with your colleagues?
- Do you think your manager values your opinions?
- Do you think your manager provides support and the necessary resources to complete your tasks?
- Has the leadership of this company expressed a clear vision that motivates you?
- Do you think the leadership communicates the company's situation to you in time?
- Do you share some values with the company? If yes, kindly state them.
- Does the company care about your well-being?
- Do you feel confident bringing up issues without fear of retribution?
- Does anyone on your team ever willfully undermine your efforts?
- Do you feel like you are making an impact with your work?
- Is the work you do important to you?
- Do you feel favoritism isn't an issue in the company? Kindly explain.
- Do you feel the organization's leadership treats all employees fairly?
🌱 Employee development questionnaire
These questions show you areas to improve on career development and employee enablement.
Autonomy & enablement
- Do you have enough freedom to decide how to do your work?
- Can you access all the resources you need to do your job well?
- Do you think your manager supports your development? Kindly explain.
- What are the good career opportunities you've identified in this company?
- Do you think your team members have your back?
- We hold ourselves accountable for accomplishing assigned tasks. Agree? Strongly agree? Disagree?
Recognition & feedback
- Do you get recognition for a job well done?
- Do you get feedback on how well you do your tasks?
- How often do you use the company's bonus or benefits on your purchases?
- Are you satisfied with the company's current benefits?
Future orientation questions
- Have you recently thought about leaving the company?
- Do your work challenges aid your career development?
🤝 Crisis & change management questionnaire
This shows how you respond to and support your employees through crises and sudden changes.
- Do you think the company adjusted well to the post-COVID work reality?
- Despite the high inflation rate, are you optimistic about remaining employed here?
- Does working remotely hurt teamwork? Kindly explain.
- Can you maintain a healthy work-life balance while working from home?
🌈 Diversity & inclusion questionnaire
These questions help to advance diversity and inclusion based on physical impairment, ethnicity, race, sex, and gender.
Striving for diversity
- Do you think the management is committed to diversity?
- What can we do to make the company more inclusive?
- Do your team members use gender nuances that make you feel suppressed?
- Do you think everyone has equal opportunities to succeed at this company?
- Does the company include diverse perspectives when making decisions?
- The company provides opportunities for input before making fundamental changes. Do you agree?
- Do you feel like you belong at this company?
- Do you think the company accommodates your unique needs?
💡 5 Best practices for your employee engagement survey
The points below discuss the best practices when constructing and designing employee engagement surveys. These best practices will help you avoid wasting time, money, and effort.
Be mindful of your survey length
Long surveys can be time-consuming, meaning employees must spend valuable time answering these questions.
So, it's best to keep the survey under 80 questions, and it should take 15-25 minutes to run through them.
Analyze data and metrics thoughtfully
Dedicate some time to look through your data and analyze insights. You can benchmark your results against other companies in your industry and past surveys within your company.
Automated follow-up after the survey
Online surveys have the advantage of automated follow-ups, which keep employees in the loop. So, create feedback and let employees know when the survey closes and reaches the next implementation stage.
How to communicate the results
You must communicate results to all stakeholders. Sharing results shows employees that you are taking their considerations seriously. It also creates a transparent system, builds trust, and inspires the management to take necessary action to improve lacking areas.
Once you've analyzed your data, create your action plan
Management must utilize the insights from the survey to create new organizational goals adjusted to employees' realities. You can develop an employee engagement action plan to implement these goals.
👀 4 Factors to keep in mind that can help you interpret your surveys better
Here are some factors that can help you interpret your surveys better.
Concentrate on areas with a high impact
When analyzing the survey responses, you can't dive into every comment or data point. Instead, identify what needs more attention, such as lower and higher metrics, and act on them.
Look for patterns
People sometimes say similar things differently, so you need to watch for cues that show employees have the same sentiments about a thematic subject in the survey.
Don't overanalyze low-scoring areas
Employee engagement surveys don't assess your management skills, so it's important not to take them personally.
Expect low-scoring areas and identify the responsible policies or changes.
Divide the data by employee personas
Each employee is different and may receive company policies differently. Therefore, it's best to create employee personas and slice your data under them for a more accurate analysis. This will help you understand their unique needs and expectations.
➡️ Build an employee experience that people love with Zavvy
At Zavvy, we understand that employees are a business's greatest asset. So, we help companies create employee experiences that will unlock their team's potential through our employee development software and 360 feedback software.
What we provide is more than just a system to measure employee engagement. It's a complete solution that offers the tools and resources you need to create a culture of learning and performance and enable your workforce.
With our employee feedback feature, you can:
- Run a fully-automated feedback process, fully customized to your needs.
- Save hours of work from admin tasks.
- Seamlessly notify and remind employees.
- Gain an overview of task progression, as well as actionable insights.
- Enable more meaningful conversations that drive performance, engagement, and development.
- Identify who your A-players are, who needs support, and where.
Start your journey to an engaged workforce today with Zavvy!
1. What do employee engagement surveys measure?
Employee engagement surveys measure commitment level, workplace satisfaction, and employees' passion for their work.
You can gain insight into employees' behaviors and thoughts on their roles and the company culture. It also helps you identify areas that need improvement and things that keep your employees from reaching optimal performances.
2. Why are surveys effective at measuring employee engagement?
Surveys have direct questions that provide insight into employees' engagement, although it may require technical expertise to decode this data.
3. How often should we survey employees?
It's best to survey employees at least annually. This is the standard industry rate. However, you can conduct pulse surveys to address specific needs in your organization.
4. How do I increase my survey response rate?
You should keep your survey short and clear. For example, instead of setting 120 questions, focus on 65 specific questions.
Also, be strategic about timing. There's no point in asking the same questions monthly, especially if you are not implementing the insights. Instead, create surveys only when there's something to ask.