Learning & Development

Employee Engagement Survey Questions: The Best 100 to Maximize Productivity

Maybe employee engagement survey questions are more of an afterthought for your company. While you may think this part of the review process is just a formality, a look at industry statistics may convince you otherwise. According to the latest research, more than 600 U.S. businesses with 50-500 employees were surveyed and 63.3 percent of companies say retaining employees was actually harder than the hiring process. And 81 percent of these businesses see employee turnover as a costly problem. Plus, more than a third of current employees search for a job. As a result, U.S. companies spend $2.9 million per day looking for replacement workers or $1.1 billion per year.

So as you can see, keeping your current workforce motivated and happy is paramount to success. But how do you do this? This is easier said than done and the “once-a-year” formal review process just isn’t effective. But what’s the alternative? Companies today are using employee surveys to look for issues long before they escalate into losing key team members.

Types of employee surveys

There are several different versions of employee surveys. The three most common are employee opinion and satisfaction surveys, employee culture surveys and employee engagement surveys.

Employee opinion and satisfaction surveys

These surveys measure employee views, attitudes and perceptions of their companies which are also referred to as climate surveys.

Employee culture survey

A culture survey will measure the employees’ viewpoints of their companies. And it’s created to assess whether these perceptions align with what the company is trying to convey.

Employee engagement surveys

And the third type of survey is the employee engagement survey. This assessment measures how an employee feels about their organization. It conveys an employee’s' commitment, motivation, sense of purpose and passion for their job and their company.

Implementing employee engagement surveys

While all three surveys are important, let’s focus on employee engagement surveys since this is a key driver in employees’ attitudes toward their workplaces. Once you decide to administer this survey, it’s important to keep a few key points top of mind.

1.  Establish parameters

Many employees don’t see the point in filling out these surveys so they don’t. Or if you get people turning them in it’s from a certain sector of your employee base that doesn’t give you a complete picture of employee satisfaction. So set parameters and a goal in the beginning. Explain why you are giving this survey and how the feedback will be used to benefit the employees.

2. Create objectives

Next, what do you want to learn from your employees? It will be easier to create employee engagement survey questions if you pinpoint what you hope to learn. Ask team leaders and managers for their input. Not only will you have their buy-in, but different department heads may want to understand different employee behavior.

3. Communicate the process

Just before you administer the survey, let employees know how to take it, when it is due and the importance of filling it out honestly. Often employees fear their surveys won’t really be anonymous and therefore don’t answer truthfully. So communication is key in establishing these guidelines will help ensure answer acurracey.

4. Account for cultural differences

If you employee workers from different countries, make sure your survey is understood across different languages. It also needs to be clear enough to answer the questions when employees are off site. Since no one is going to take the time to clarify before answering a question, your survey needs to be very clear on what you are asking.

5. Streamline administration process

One of the issues with employee engagement surveys is getting team members to actually fill them out and in a timely manner. By using a learning management system you can streamline the process. It puts the survey in a centralized area that can be accessed across different time zones and by remote workers as well. Plus, you can assign a deadline to take the survey and send reminders for those who have you to fill it out. This will ensure the process runs smoothly and you get all the data you need within a given timeframe.

6. Share the results

Since you established a level of transparency from the start, you want to be open about the survey results. Many employees are skeptical of employee engagement surveys so you want to be open and honest about the results. Yes point out the positives, but also highlight was areas need improvement for your company.

7. Make changes

Finally, compare your results with your objectives. Where did you fall short? Also, look at the low scoring sections of your survey. Why were these areas low? And what can be done about them? Then create an action plan to correct these areas. Also, let employees know how you plan to correct what’s not working.

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Creating employee engagement survey questions

Once you know the process of administering a successful employee engagement survey, how do you write one? What questions should you ask? How should you organize your survey?

The goal is to organize questions into themes or topic areas so you can gauge levels of satisfaction, the job, the team, the supervisor and views of the organization as a whole. You should aim for around 35 to 50 questions. If you have too little you won’t get a sense of what’s going right and wrong. And on the flip side, if you ask too many questions, your employees will zone out and not answer the questions completely.

Next, you’ll want a mixture of open-ended questions, questions to measure employee engagement level and engagement driver questions. This should give you a clear snapshot of what’s happening with company culture.

Engagement questions

Engagement anchor questions measure how engaged an employee feels on the job. These can range from highly engaged to not engaged on a scale from one to five. Some of those questions include:

  1. I am proud to work for (company name)
  2. It’s easy to get lost in my work
  3. I would recommend (company name) to a friend
  4. I rarely think of working for someone else
  5. I see myself working here long term
  6. (company name) motivates me to work up to my potential
  7. Most days I look forward to coming to work
  8. My job is stressful
  9. My job is overwhelming

Engagement driver questions

Based on research and written in a book by Tracy Maylett, there are five key drivers of employee engagement. These areas are Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact, and Connection or simply M.A.G.I.C. for short. Thinking of engagement in this way is a great way to form employee engagement survey questions around each one of these themes.

  • Meaning

What does the job mean to the employee being surveyed? Basically, it must mean something personally in order for that employee to be fully engaged. Work needs to be something of value or worth. It needs to be something beyond receiving a paycheck, There needs to be a greater purpose. Here are some questions structured around meaning.

  1. I usually find my work engaging
  2. I always want to give my best when I am at work
  3. I find meaning in my work
  4. I see how my work impacts (company name)
  5. I am proud of what (company name) is doing
  6. The management is taking (company name) in the right direction
  7. I am happy to work for (company name)
  8. I am motivated by my environment
  9. I am motivated by my job
  • Autonomy

This means does an employee feel free and empowered to perform their job in a way that they feel is best.  It involves self-governance to a certain level. Autonomy lets an individual create or mold a role and environment around them in a way that is best for themselves and for the organization as a whole. Here are some questions around autonomy.

  1. I feel free to suggest changes within my job role
  2. I have flexibility in the way I get my job done
  3. I have access to the necessary tools to do my job well
  4. Getting approval for new processes is efficient
  5. My team’s communication is effective
  6. My workspace is effective
  7. I have the equipment to do my job well
  8. I have the necessary supplies to do my job well
  9. My workspace is quiet enough to do my job well
  10. My workspace is comfortable
  11. My workspace is ergonomically correct
  • Growth

Due to constantly changing factors in today’s business world, employees need access to training and development. Whether it be a new product rollout or a shift in using a new software program, employees constantly need training. Here are some questions around growth.

  1. I have the skills needed to be my job properly
  2. My training needs are being met
  3. The training provided is effective
  4. If I need further education, I have the necessary resources
  5. There is a clear career development plan for me
  • Impact

A job well done is important, but being recognized for that effort is quite another. Employees want to feel connected to the company, to their job and to their customers. Providing feedback and giving recognition to employees is vital. If an employee is going to spend 40 plus hours a week working for your company, they want to know they have an impact on their work environment. Here are some questions about impact.

  1. I feel my job has an impact on my team’s success
  2. I feel my job has an impact on my company’s success
  3. I am recognized for my hard work by my boss
  4. I am recognized for my hard work by my team
  5. The company recognizes the effort I put in
  6. I feel I have an impact at work
  7. My values match those of the company's
  8. When I perform above and beyond I am recognized
  9. I feel company recognition matches the effort put in
  10. I am happy with the frequency I receive recognition
  11. My manager celebrates my successes and accomplishments
  12. Recognition is meaningful to me when I receive it
  13. My manager cares about the feedback he or she gives me
  14. I understand the goals of (company name)
  15. I believe in the way our management meets objectives
  • Connection

People often leave jobs because they feel it wasn’t a good fit. Just like relationships with family and friends outside of work, employees want a sense of belonging at work. There needs to be a level of connection with co-workers, teams and the company as a whole or they will go looking for a new job. Plus, there needs to be a tie to company culture as well. Here are some questions around connection.

  1. I have a good relationship with my co-workers
  2. I have a good relationship with my team
  3. I like the company culture
  4. (company name) care about the employees
  5. I am proud of my company for making an impact with customers
  6. I am proud of my company for giving back to the community
  7. I am inspired by the mission of (company name)
  8. My work reflects that of (company name’s) culture
  9. I feel everyone is on the same team when it comes to (company name)
  10. My manager recognizes my strengths and uses me to my full potential
  11. I believe in the mission of my company

Open-ended questions

Another great way to elicit employee feedback is with open-ended questions. While sliding scales are an easy way to measure low and high scoring answers, open-ended questions answer why the scoring is the way it is. Plus, it can often lead to change suggested directly from employee feedback. Here are some open-ended questions to consider.

  1. What’s on your mind that you would like to tell the company?
  2. How does your job directly impact the customer?
  3. What job role do you see yourself in two years?
  4. What is your manager asked you to work over the weekend?
  5. What do you do when you don’t agree with what is being asked?
  6. What do you do if a co-worker is disgruntled about a manager?
  7. If you family/friends ask what you do at work, what do you say?
  8. Does (company name) protects against discrimination? How?
  9. Are there unnecessary processes to getting your job done?
  10. What would you tell a friend who says they find their job meaningless?
  11. What if a co-worker says nothing ever changes at (company name)? What is your response?
  12. What is your manager asked you where you think your career is headed. What would you say?
  13. What if your family asked you if you were happy with your job. What would you say?
  14. What do you love about working for (company name)?
  15. What do you dislike about working for (company name)?
  16. What did we miss that you would like to add?
  17. How do you know what is expected of you on the job?
  18. What are the (company name’s) core values?
  19. What is the mission and objective of (company name)?
  20. If you were the CEO of (company name) what would you change?

Want even more creative employee engagement survey questions? Click here to download the complete list.

What do you want to know about your company?

We’ve given you several reasons why employee engagement survey questions are vital. If you want to retain your top talent, be known as a great place to work by job seekers and have a good culture, you’ll want to understand the people working for you. And the best way to do this is by asking for and receiving honest and open feedback. So decide what you want to know most, ask some key questions and then set out to make changes that are best for your employees and the company as a whole.

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