Every organization seeks employee engagement, because that's what drives productivity, employee morale—and ultimately—company growth. So how do you know if your employees are engaged at work? The best thing to do is go straight to the source.
What if you're not sure you'll receive honest answers? In a one-on-one setting, you might not. Reason: Even the highest performer may find it awkward to speak freely. Then there are fears of repercussions. So what's the solution? A well-designed employee engagement survey.
The purpose of an employee engagement survey is to gain honest answers so you can assess employee engagement, identifying company strengths as well as areas to improve.
Here are 15 key questions for your employee engagement survey, to help you assess and improve various aspects of your company culture, including leadership and communication.
Agree or disagree statements
Using these statements for your employee engagement survey can give you a quick read on the health of your company culture. Open-ended questions have their advantages and should be included in surveys; however, agree/disagree statements also give the survey-taker a break from giving detailed answers.
By providing five options—Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree, and Strongly Disagree—you’ll see the varying degrees of employee engagement, rather than a black and white “agree or disagree.”
1. I am proud to work for [organization]
Would your team be proud to tell someone where they worked if asked? This is important to know because when employees are proud of who they work for, they are more likely to be engaged in the office. Presenting this statement with an “agree” or “disagree” option can show how employees (a) view your brand and (b) how well they connect with the brand’s mission and values.
For those who check the “disagree” option, include a comment box that allows them to explain why.
2. I find the work I do meaningful
If you find your work meaningless, you probably aren’t going to be extremely engaged or excited about it. On the other hand, when your team sees and appreciates the positive difference they make, they usually bring far more energy, initiative and effort to their work. Simply put, they are highly engaged—and more likely to stay with your organization long term, helping the company through hard times.
3. I would recommend [organization] to my friends as an employee
Whether or not an employee would recommend your organization speaks volumes about how your company is perceived.
What your employees tell their friends and family about your company may also affect your recruiting efforts. Just as a customer will tell three friends about a good experience but tell ten friends about a bad one, your employee(s) will do the same.
4. I feel excited about coming to work
This question can seem pretty clear cut. Positive responses mean they are excited and therefore engaged at work. Negative responses mean the opposite. However, neutral responses also give key insight to how an employee feels about coming into work each day. Someone who is excited will only give the most positive response, a neutral answer may suggest they are not excited and are disengaged. As a leader, this gives you the opportunity to look further into this and figure out what will make them more excited when they are at their job.
5. I am satisfied with my current compensation and benefits
While salary and benefits are only one piece of the employee satisfaction puzzle, employees who do not feel fairly compensated are likely to be dissatisfied and disengaged. Asking about compensation will help let you know if your employees feel valued.
This is also your opportunity to find out which benefits your team values most, and which ones you may want to consider adding in the future.
6. I enjoy working with my team
If you receive negative responses on this question, you’ll want to start investigating why this is. Is your culture one that encourages collaboration? Do you give your employees a chance to know each other on a personal level? Don't underestimate the power of teamwork and friendly collaboration.
7. I have access to the resources I need to do my job well
A thorough onboarding program, as well as continuous training, can give employees the knowledge they need to do their job successfully. This alone will lower stress levels and help prevent burnout.
This is also your opportunity as a manager to determine whether training programs need to be modified or completely redesigned. I can help with that. For more information, please contact me.
8. The leaders at [organization] are good at communicating important information about the company
Clear communication is the foundation of high employee engagement. If you see a pattern of “disagree” or “strongly disagree,” take proactive steps to bridge the communication gap. This will greatly improve employee engagement, and all the benefits that go with it.
9. My manager is a great role model
Great managers model their expectations and actively bring out the best in their team.
Research shows that over half of employees quit their jobs because of their boss ... all the more reason to pay attention to employee engagement survey answers regarding how managers are perceived. Again, this is an area where training or coaching can prove helpful.
10. [Organization]’s culture is a comfortable, supportive work environment
While most organizations wish to be inclusive and welcoming, it doesn't always turn out that way.
Ask the employees working for you every day. Their answers may or may not be what you want to hear, but they are necessary to creating a diverse and inclusive culture where every team member can do their best work.
Using open-ended questions for your employee engagement survey will give employees a chance to go into more detail about how they feel about you company. As best you can, structure the questions in a way that will yield constructive answers. Examples:
- What is something we are doing well?
- If you could change one thing about your job/workplace, what would it be?
- What are three words you would use to describe our culture?
- What new skills would you like to develop?
- What type of new projects would you like to be involved in?
Increasing employee engagement is a process, not an event. And yes, employees must do their part to make the company a great place to work. But when everyone is working toward the same goals and mission, and working with a strong sense of purpose, employee engagement becomes that much more attainable—and that much more rewarding.