Although we’re ultra-passionate about developing new methods to measure employee engagement and other key HR metrics (that don't rely on surveys!), we do support any attempt to better understand employee sentiment and improve their experience. If employee engagement surveys are your preferred tool to create a better work environment for your staff, we’re still here to help! So here are questions and examples to guide you in designing your next employee engagement survey.
Making the Most of an Employee Engagement Survey: Examples to Guide You
Employee engagement surveys are the most common method to get feedback from employees and improve the work environment. With surveys, leaders can measure employee satisfaction, identify areas for improvement, and track progress over time. But with all the time and effort that is poured into employee surveys and its analysis, it’s crucial to ask the right questions and maximize its impact on employee experience and company culture.
What is an employee engagement survey?
Let’s recap the basics! An employee engagement survey is a tool for employers to measure the level of satisfaction, commitment, and motivation of their employees. It is used to anonymously assess the degree to which employees are engaged in their work and how they feel about their job and the organization. The survey typically asks questions about job satisfaction, job involvement, and job performance. It also provides employers with an opportunity to receive feedback from employees on their workplace experience.
What is the purpose of an employee engagement survey?
The purpose of an employee engagement survey is to identify areas where employees are either satisfied or dissatisfied with their job, the organization, and management. It can also be used to gauge the overall morale of the workforce. By understanding the employees’ needs and expectations, employers can make informed decisions, create a better work environment, and increase productivity.
How to develop an employee engagement survey
Set the objectives.
Like most (if not all!) projects, the first step is to identify the main objectives of the survey and determine the key areas that you need to shed light on. For a more accurate snapshot of employee engagement, the survey should target topics that are relevant to the main issues you’d like to address. There are several areas to look at, such as job enablement, recognition, career growth, relationships with management, overall happiness, and work-life balance.
Design the questions toward actionable results.
Try to formulate your questions in a positive manner and cover all of the areas that are relevant to your goals. Make sure to keep the questions simple and easy to understand. Find a balance between open-ended questions that will provide you with qualitative data, and close-ended questions for high-quality quantitative data.
Decide on both the duration and the timing.
Do you like answering surveys? Do you like answering lengthy surveys? How often would you happily answer a survey? We all have our limits; and we must admit that surveys can get old, fast. So keep in mind the duration of your employee engagement survey and the amount of time your employees can set aside to accurately complete them. Employees should have enough time to think, reflect, and consider their answers before responding to the survey.
In relation to this, also think of the timing. They say timing is everything, and in some cases it’s true! Try to conduct the survey when workload is lower and people have more time to reflect on their relationship with their job, without much stress or pressure. We’ve seen that employee engagement levels change daily and depending on the current state of an employee. Did they just enjoy a holiday or did they just exert extra effort to meet a deadline? Their current emotional and mental state can affect the results of the employee engagement survey so keep the timing in mind!
Share and act on the results.
In order to ensure full transparency among your teams, once the results are available, it is recommended that you share them. One of the most important factors in building a culture of trust in an organization is transparency and communication. People appreciate it when you trust them with the insights and when initiatives to make improvements are communicated. They may even have innovative ideas on how to improve engagement and work culture for their own teams! Welcoming their ideas is also a step towards improving employee engagement.
Make them regular.
When we spoke to a data and analytics expert about making decisions for the workforce, she said that HR and leaders should be making decisions based on data collected “as close to today as possible”. That said, when you regularly conduct engagement surveys for your employees, you should also get a more updated and accurate picture of your workforce's sentiment. Unfortunately, there is such a thing as survey-fatigue and the bandwidth your workforce has for surveys may vary between organizations. It’s wise to consider this when plotting out your calendar of employee surveys! Make sure your employees see the benefit of the surveys through concrete initiatives and actions so they don’t end up ignoring your survey requests or, even worse, faking their responses.
Employee engagement survey questions: 25 examples to get employee feedback
Sometimes we just need a little nudge and a few examples to get us started. So here are some employee engagement survey questions to get the gears rolling!
- How satisfied are you with your job?
- Do you believe your work is valued and appreciated by management?
- Do you feel empowered to make decisions at work?
- Do you have the resources you need to do your job efficiently?
- Is there a sense of community among your colleagues?
- Do you enjoy coming to work?
- Are you encouraged to voice your opinion and ideas?
- Do you have adequate training for the tasks required of you?
- Are you given opportunities to grow professionally?
- Are you inspired and motivated to do your best work?
- Are you given the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues?
- Is your job secure and stable?
- Is there a good balance between your workload and home life?
- Are there clear expectations regarding performance?
- Are you rewarded or recognized for your successes?
- Is your feedback taken seriously?
- Do you have a good understanding of company goals and objectives?
- Is there a team-oriented atmosphere at work?
- Are you encouraged to come up with creative solutions to problems?
- Are you given the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them?
- Do you feel supported by your manager?
- Is diversity and inclusion represented in the workplace?
- Is there a good work-life balance available?
- Are you provided with professional development opportunities?
- Are you satisfied with the benefits and perks you receive?
The Limitations of Employee Engagement Surveys and How to Overcome Them
As mentioned earlier, we are determined to find survey alternatives to better understand the sentiment of employees and measure important HR metrics like employee engagement. The reason for this is, one, we've met many HR professionals and employees that are simply tired of conducting and answering surveys. Two, our psychologists and data scientists have identified disquieting limitations and issues to surveys and other "self-report" methods.
While we do support you in your initiatives to understand employees through employee engagement surveys and create a better work life for your people, it is important to be aware of their limitations so you can make better decisions for your organization and workforce.
3 Limitations of Employee Engagement Surveys and Self-report Methods
1. The frequency dilemma
Surveys should be administered on a regular basis in order to track employee engagement over time. However, if surveys are administered too frequently, employees may suffer from survey fatigue or become disinterested and the survey may not be as accurate or effective.
2. Are surveys credible?
Surveys are self-reported, which means the data collected is subjective and may not reflect the true feelings of employees. Additionally, surveys may be subject to response bias, meaning that respondents may not answer truthfully or accurately.
3. Do survey results represent the entire workforce?
Surveys can provide a snapshot of employee engagement, but they may not accurately reflect the opinions of the entire workforce. Employees may be reluctant to be open and honest in their responses, or they may not feel comfortable taking the survey.
Overcoming the limitations to surveys
To overcome the limitations of surveys and self-report methods, we’re looking into leveraging data science and machine learning techniques. Artificial intelligence and natural language processing now allows us to analyze business communications and effortlessly identify levels of employee engagement, burnout risk, job satisfaction, and other HR metrics that help us better understand employee sentiment.
This empowers HR departments to limit the number of employee surveys they send out. Should the situation call for a survey, insights from the AI allows HR to design a more surveys that provide deeper understanding.
It’s exciting to be working on the first HR tech solution that is rethinking the data source for sentiment analysis! Call us idealistic, but we believe that clearer and more accurate workforce insights can lead to better, more compassionate leaders and happier work teams.