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Employee engagement surveys are a key way to build an engaged and productive team. Ask these 25 engagement survey questions to assess and improve your company initiatives.
There aren’t many topics everyone agrees on in business.
But ask a hundred leaders whether they’d prefer a team of disengaged employees or a team of engaged employees and chances are they’ll agree that the answer is: engaged employees (by far).
Leaders intuitively know that employees who are excited about their jobs and feel connected to their company are better for business. Engaged employees are more productive, loyal, and present. They enjoy their jobs and are more likely to achieve great results.
But how do you know if your employees are actually engaged? Start by sending regular employee engagement surveys.
Employee engagement is a measurement of how your employees feel about their work and your company. Just like any other feeling or emotion, engagement will ebb and flow over time.
That’s why using regular surveys to measure employee engagement is key.
Engagement is driven by many different factors, most of which are hard to isolate. Regular surveys over time allow you to establish a baseline and to keep your finger on the pulse of how engaged your employees are. As you make changes throughout your organization, consistent surveys help you gain insight into how those changes are affecting engagement.
Building an effective employee engagement survey is part art and part science.
You’ll want to be strategic about the questions you’re asking, but simply copying and pasting someone else’s survey is a recipe for failure. A better approach is to first understand the fundamentals of how to build an engagement survey, then to get into specific questions you can use.
So before jumping into specific survey questions, here are a few foundational things you should know:
We’ve compiled 25 employee engagement survey questions below. Most of these are examples of structured questions, and you can have employees respond on a 1-10 scale or a Likert scale.
Feel free to add open-ended questions to dive deeper into specific areas, just be cautious about making your survey too long. You’ll need to find a balance that works for you, but typically the longer the survey, the lower the response rate.
These are examples of core questions you can ask to understand your employee’s engagement with your company. They’ll help you assess how connected your employees feel to your organization and highlight areas you need to work on.
Jon Hill, CEO at executive search firm The Energists, shared that last question.
“Belonging is crucial for all other aspects of engagement, and it comes from feeling respected, heard, and valued in the workplace,” he says. “When [our score at this question] is lower than we’d like, I’ll meet with individual team leaders to review how they’re giving feedback and praise to their reports. We also look at these responses along demographic lines to determine if we need to do more work on inclusion and bias reduction.”
It’s often said that “people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad managers.” These survey questions will help your leadership team understand employee perception around goal-setting, communication, and their direct managers. They’ll also help you catch issues early so that you can provide appropriate training and support where needed.
It’s hard to stay engaged with your job if you feel unsupported or unequipped. These questions will help you uncover areas where you can invest to make your employees more effective in their roles.
Opportunities to learn and grow are the top driver of workplace culture. Study after study shows how important learning and development (L&D) is to employee satisfaction and retention. Questions like these will help you understand if your employees feel their expectations around growth at work are being met.
Asking about compensation can be tricky when about half of employees feel they are underpaid for their roles. But compensation is a vital part of employee engagement and retention, so you can’t ignore it. Surveying your team about their entire compensation package—salary, benefits, and other forms of recognition—is the best way to understand their overall perception.
As mentioned before, you can drill down into any of the above areas by following up a structured question with an open-ended question. On top of that, it’s often useful to include a few places for employees to provide general feedback about their experience at your company.
While open-ended questions aren’t as easy to analyze, they’re often a gold mine of candid feedback and improvement ideas that you’d do well to capitalize on.
Emily Sander, Chief of Staff at FusionZONE Automotive and certified coach at Next Level Coaching, is a big fan of this last question because of how flexible it is. “You can preface this with whatever context is most relevant or helpful—make it big picture and company-wide, or focus it on a specific team or process.”
Think of engagement surveys as you do with medical checkups. It’s important to do them regularly enough to get ahead of potential issues and keep a healthy workplace culture. If you do them too often, people will start skipping them or will get annoyed.
At Kona, we do a whole company engagement survey each quarter.
We think this is a good default rhythm for most companies. It gives you several data points across each year to check engagement, but it’s not so frequent that you’ll risk frustrating your employees. We also supplement these quarterly engagement surveys with daily check-ins through Kona, the product, which helps managers know how their team members are feeling and builds camaraderie and rapport across the board.
An employee engagement survey that doesn’t lead to action is a waste of everyone’s time. Once you’ve received feedback from your team, here’s a crash course on how to take advantage of it:
When combined with analysis and an effective action plan, an employee engagement survey becomes a powerful tool for continuously building a better company culture. While we’ve tried to provide a great selection of survey questions to make launching your engagement survey easy, it’s in the follow-up and taking action that most companies get stuck.
This isn’t easy work. But it’s worthwhile, and it’s what separates the good companies from the great ones.