What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement describes the relationship workers have with their employer. Engaged employees are emotionally invested in their workplace. They support the company’s vision and do their best to help fulfill it daily. Engaged workers are productive, motivated and happy.
Numerous factors impact employee engagement, including:
- Leadership styles
- Organizational communication
- Relationships with colleagues and clients
- Technology and tools for required tasks
- Company reputation
- Cultural diversity
- Pay structure and benefits
If employees feel any of these areas are inadequate, they may become disengaged. Unfortunately, supervisors don’t always notice disengagement until an employee racks up a bunch of sick days or leaves the company. This can trigger a domino effect, resulting in multiple resignations from unhappy workers. You may also experience decreased sales and issues with customer satisfaction when employees lack engagement.
What is an employee engagement survey?
An employee engagement survey measures the satisfaction and emotional commitment of workers from your organization. Company surveys that track engagement typically have at least 50 questions, some of which are open-ended rather than multiple choice. Open-ended questions give employees a chance to share detailed responses rather than just absentmindedly penciling in circles.
Employment engagement survey questions should cover everything from current struggles to future commitments. It’s important to know whether your workers see themselves staying with the company for a long-term career or plan to jump ship as soon as a better opportunity arises.
Why is it important to measure employee engagement?
Engaged employees are happy, productive and dependable. When your employees stop caring about the company, their performance typically declines. You may notice higher rates of absenteeism, increased utilization of sick days and decreased customer satisfaction levels.
However, you can’t solve a problem if you don’t realize one exists. Company surveys highlight weaknesses as well as strengths. This helps you pinpoint problems and figure out how to move forward in the future—before you lose your best employees.
Understanding how employees feel about their jobs helps your company make short-term decisions and establish long-term goals. You can address immediate concerns quickly, then work on mitigating minor issues before they snowball into something bigger. Employees feel valued and validated when you tackle their concerns rather than ignoring complaints. This can help open the lines of communication and make workers feel more comfortable about broaching tough topics.
What can employee engagement survey questions reveal?
Company surveys reveal quite a bit about your employees, but only if you ask the right questions. When executed correctly, an employee engagement survey helps you learn more about the following areas:
- Employee satisfaction and commitment
- Managerial performance
- Communication preferences and styles
- Behavior toward and from customers
- Reasons why your company may have a high turnover rate or frequent absenteeism
- Workplace dynamics
- Unethical or illegal activities
- Positive traits your company possesses
Before you create an employee survey, determine what you want to measure and how you will measure it. Many companies compare survey results with similar businesses, as this makes it possible to spot trends and create benchmark goals.
20 important questions for an employee engagement survey
Ideally, your employee engagement survey questions should appear in a variety of formats, including multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank and numerical rating scales. Make sure you use neutral wording, such as “Do you feel our company values its employees?” rather than “Don’t you think our company does a great job showing it values its employees?” You want honest answers, and workers should never feel pressured to respond a certain way.
Responses should be confidential, so consider omitting specific questions about a participant’s race or gender, especially if you don’t have a diverse workplace. Some employees won’t be truthful if they are concerned about exposing their identities.
Many of the survey’s questions should be tailored toward your organization, but there are some questions that are appropriate for nearly any company.
1. How is your workday going?
Don’t just ask about the future when you create an employee engagement survey. Take time to get to know how your workers feel today before launching into a lengthy questionnaire about future goals. This shows employees that they aren’t just a warm body; they are unique people who matter to your company.
2. I look forward to coming to work most of the time.
This can be a true or false question, but you can also use a rating scale from 1 to 5. You should ask this question to figure out how employees feel the majority of the time. If an employee is typically unhappy during the workday, you can gauge the rest of their responses to determine why.
3. I feel like I fit in here.
Engaged employees feel a sense of belonging, even if they don’t have many close friends at work. They are confident in their abilities and know they are an asset to the company.
Consider using a rating scale of 1 to 5 for this question, as an employee may feel happy overall but still have moments where they feel out of place.
4. Do you plan to work here one year from now?
It’s normal to lose some employees over time, but it’s concerning if your company has a high turnover rate. Don’t get blindsided by resignation letters in the near future. Find out if the majority of your employees want to build a future with your company or are just working to pad their resume.
5. There are opportunities for advancement here.
If you have a high turnover rate, it may be because there are very few opportunities for advancement. However, this problem is fixable. Positions may require degrees or special skills that employees are willing to learn, especially if you implement a paid training program.
This question requires a numerical rating scale or a scale that uses words like “definitely,” “not really” or “unsure.”
6. I am proud to work for this company.
Engaged employees take pride in their jobs. If workers are embarrassed to admit they work for your company, there’s a problem. The issue may stem from internal conflicts, personal goals or a negative brand identity.
7. I would recommend this job to others.
Happy employees often tell friends and family members about vacant positions. Stressed, unappreciated employees warn loved ones to steer clear of your company. Find out how your company ranks.
8. I am compensated appropriately for my job duties.
Employees who work long hours and frequently volunteer for overtime aren’t necessarily loyal. This may be a sign that workers are underpaid at your organization.
You may also have employees who frequently take on extra projects from other departments, yet they receive the same salary as workers who do the bare minimum.
9. Do you like your coworkers?
Your employees may not be happy hour buddies or plan family outings together, but they should at least be able to get along. If your coworkers dislike each other, there may be workplace drama, including gossip and bickering.
Consider implementing some camaraderie-building activities if multiple survey participants confess they don’t like their coworkers. Employees often work better when they get along, especially if your company requires extensive teamwork for big projects.
10. Do managers treat employees fairly?
Company leaders should treat each worker with respect. If not, employees may feel stuck in a toxic environment.
You may want to include a comment box for this question for employees who want to share detailed complaints.
11. I have the tools I need to complete my job.
You can’t expect an impressive performance from employees who lack the basic tools they need to do their work. Create a rating scale from 1 to 5 and leave space for feedback regarding tools and equipment that could benefit your team.
12. I would like another position at this company.
Sometimes employees hate their job duties but not the company itself. This question offers clarification.
13. I feel like management values my contributions.
When employees feel unappreciated, they may seek out other opportunities. Find out how workers feel about management in case your employees need a morale boost.
14. I worry about losing my job.
If multiple employees answer yes, consider revamping your management team’s leadership style. Consider practicing vulnerable leadership if you currently take a more aggressive approach, as this can help improve employee engagement.
15. My job promotes personal growth.
Your company should challenge employees without overwhelming them. This encourages personal growth. You can also offer assistance with personal development outside of work, such as complimentary gym memberships or seminar reimbursement.
16. I feel safe at work.
Employees don’t always report racist remarks or sexual harassment. You may also have a faulty security system or damaged equipment. Provide a comment box so workers can clarify when and why they feel unsafe.
17. I receive recognition for my achievements at work.
Employees want to know when they’re doing a good job. Let workers know when they do something good, and consider creating an incentive program if you don’t already have one in place.
18. What are the company’s values?
Don’t assume your employees know the answer to this question. Workers may have no clue what your organization represents, which is a problem because they’re a reflection of your company’s values.
19. What is your biggest complaint about this company?
Get right to the point and ask employees what they dislike about your organization. The answers may surprise you, but remember, each candid response is an opportunity to help your business grow.
You may want to follow up with a question like, “How can we improve?” or “What would make the workday more enjoyable?”
20. What do you enjoy most about working here?
It’s important to know what your company is doing wrong so you can fix the issues. It’s also important to know what you’re doing right so you can keep doing it or implement similar policies.
FAQs about employee engagement surveys
After reviewing the sample employee engagement survey questions above, you may want more info about company surveys. To help, we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions below.
How many questions should an employee engagement survey have?
An employee engagement survey typically has between 50 and 80 questions, though you may need 100 or more. Small businesses with a few employees who know each other well may not need as many questions as large companies.
What is a good response rate for an employee engagement survey?
If you can get at least 7 out of 10 employees to respond, you’re doing great. Many workplace surveys only have a 30% response rate.
You can potentially achieve an 80% completion rate if you cap your survey at 7 minutes or less. However, a short survey may not provide the information you need to improve your organization.
How do you encourage employees to participate in a survey?
It can be tricky to get employees to answer questions, so consider offering an incentive for survey completion. A gift card or company merchandise, such as a hoodie or sweater, may do the trick.
You should also let employees complete company surveys during the workday rather than expecting them to answer questions at home.
Your business may seem like it’s running smoothly, but there can be tension behind the scenes. Don’t ignore potential problems, as this can drive away your best employees and customers. Delve into the strengths and weaknesses of your company by conducting an employee engagement survey.