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Top employee engagement survey questions

Employees’ opinions and experiences matter. When you know how they feel about the workplace and what keeps them engaged, then you are better informed as to how to organize your company to keep people engaged and performing at their peak ability.

 You can find out more about how much employees care about their work with an employee engagement survey. What does an engaged employee look like? They could encompass any of the following qualities—usually, most or all of these apply.

·      They work hard, often over and above expectations.
·      They engage in positive communication, asking for and offering help.
·      They have a passion for the brand.
·      They exhibit company values at work and in their personal life.
·      Other employees gravitate toward them and look up to them.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, disengaged employees pull undue amounts of energy from the team. They lower productivity and keep your company from being effective, efficient, and profitable. Even worse, their disengagement spreads out to others and can cause a negative domino effect that is difficult to recover from.
 
So, how do you determine which employees are engaged and what keeps them that way? An employee engagement survey is the best way. Utilizing a collection of employee engagement questions regularly helps you as the boss, manager, or leadership team to understand employee morale and do what you can to keep it running high.

Top Employee Engagement Survey Questions

Before you hand out an employee engagement survey to your team, you need to compile a list of effective employee engagement survey questions. This survey should include plenty of areas that ask deep questions about an employee’s experiences, such as:
 
·      Satisfaction with their work
·      Alignment with company goals and values
·      Future goals and expectations
·      Relationships with colleagues and hierarchy
·      Understanding of expectations and duties
 
Within each category (and your employee engagement survey should be fine-tuned to your exact company, employees, and unique setup), there can be any number of employee engagement questions that can help to accurately determine how engaged each worker is and where improvement might be required (on their end or yours).


Use the following list as a jumping-off point to inspire you in creating employee engagement survey questions that effectively assess your workplace culture. Based on your own company’s structure and mission, you may want to include other sections or deeper questions on your employee engagement survey.

Questions Concerning Satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is often asked about in numbers or on a range, but in reality, it’s quite subjective. An employee determines how “satisfied” they are with their work based on several different aspects of their job. Therefore, you’ll need plenty of questions on your employee engagement survey that can give you a full picture of how each person feels.

How do you feel about work right now?

Focusing on the present moment is a great way to get to the heart of the matter and focus on how the employee is currently approaching their work. Although they might be feeling better or worse on the day they’re filling out the employee engagement survey than they usually do, this question opens up the conversation to larger talks about how and why feel the way they do.
 
This is one of the most critical employee engagement questions because when your team knows that you truly care about how they feel, they are more likely to not only be engaged but to give their full effort and ask for help when necessary.
 
Of course, you’ll often get a negative answer to this question. This is important to take with an open-minded attitude, though, because employees who are struggling to enjoy their work or put forth appropriate engagement can give you clues as to how to alter your management style or your workplace so that people better enjoy their work.

Would you pass on job openings here to people you know?

If an employee would encourage someone they care about to work for your organization, then it’s a good sign that they feel supported in their work. Getting a “yes” answer to this question on an employee engagement survey is a great sign that things are going well. Alternatively, if they wouldn’t want to “expose” someone to the current environment, that’s a sign that something needs to change—fast.

How do you feel about getting out of bed each day to go to work?

The phrase “case of the Mondays” became common because so many people dread going to work after a relaxing, freeing weekend. However, this isn’t always the case. Some people truly love their careers and enjoy being a part of a cohesive, supportive team.
 
When you have highly engaged employees who look forward to tackling projects and furthering the mission each week and each day, that enthusiasm spreads to the rest of the team. When people aren’t engaged and look at work as drudgery, it gives you the space to ask how you can make working as an employee more fulfilling.
 
Asking this question on an employee engagement survey can feel daunting, but if the answer isn’t what you’re looking for, know that it’s an opportunity to improve.
 

Questions Concerning Company-Employee Alignment


Every company should have a mission and a vision, which state what the organization is trying to do and how they go about accomplishing this. What is their goal and how do they want to be seen by the world? Employees aren’t always required to align with a company’s values, mission, and vision; however, when they are, they’ll be much more engaged and more likely to put forth a high level of work and positivity. Think about putting your company’s mission and vision statements at the top of each employee engagement survey, too.

 

What do you find meaningful about your work?


Research shows that people who know that their work has a greater purpose are more likely to be engaged and work above and beyond the expected norms. When work is meaningful, people are willing to put their heads down and get through tough times because they know they are valued and important.
 

Do you feel recognized for your accomplishments?


No matter what level an employee has attained or what type of work they do, they want recognition for their hard work. Studies show that receiving recognition for accomplishments is one of the biggest factors in people’s levels of engagement.
 
Your employees probably don’t come right out and ask for your praises, though. Many people feel that seeking out praise is looked down upon, or they don’t want to be seen as only doing work for the affirmation. Thus, it’s your job as the leader to give it out without being asked.
 
This employee engagement survey question can come with a set of sub-questions, too. Even though everyone wants praise, people respond best to different types. If you have a smaller group of employees and can differentiate recognition, ask questions on the employee engagement survey that lead you to understand which of the five ways your employees best receive affirmation. If you have a large organization, make sure that your recognition pulls from all of these to ensure that you hit everyone’s points.

  • Words of affirmation (e.g., specific, detailed, one-on-one words, company-wide announcements about achievement, personalized thank you notes)
  • Physical affirmation (e.g., high-fives, fist bumps, firm handshakes, eye contact)
  • Quality time (e.g., lunch out on the company, pop-ins to someone’s office)
  • Gifts (e.g., gift cards, gift baskets, small tokens of appreciation, company swag)
  • Acts of service (e.g., leadership taking on lower-level work to help out, lightening someone’s load)


 
Do you feel that your boss holds your success as a priority?


Your employees are expected to come to work every day and give their best. When they feel that their boss wants them to succeed and will do what they can to help employees, it creates an environment that is well-suited to employee engagement.
 
If you get answers that lean toward the negative here, you can show that you are invested in your employees’ success by asking them questions, checking in on projects, and offering your assistance. On the employee engagement survey and in everyday conversation, ask them what their short- and long-term goals are and follow up regarding what support they need to get there.


 Is the workplace culture supportive and comfortable?


Sure, some people work well under pressure. However, working well under positive pressure (like a deadline for a big project that you’re proud of) is different from being asked to perform while being watched like a hawk or having more work piled on top of you with each passing day.
 
People who respond positively to this question on an employee engagement survey are likely to feel that both their leadership team and their colleagues encourage and help them. They experience positive communication and answers of  “yes” when they ask for assistance.
 
Employees whose values are in alignment with the company’s mission and vision are more likely to say that they feel their work environment is positive, too. After reading the employee engagement questions, ask yourself what you’ve done to create an inclusive, tolerant workplace and where you can improve in that area to foster greater employee engagement.


 Questions Concerning an Employee’s Future and Goals

One of a company’s biggest expenses is often employee turnover. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars each year to recruit, onboard, and train new employees, as well as to give human resources support and/or severance packages to those who haven’t been treated fairly. When you use an employee engagement survey to measure how satisfied an employee is and to ask them what they envision for their future, it lets them know that you want them as a part of the team and prepares them for what lies ahead.

Where do you see yourself employed in a year?

Millions of Americans leave their jobs each month and even more consider it. The last two years during the pandemic have given rise to even more people considering other positions that offer more work-from-home flexibility and greater fulfillment.
 
When you open up this question, employees can feel comfortable sharing their honest feelings, whether or not that means staying on board with your company. If they see themselves somewhere else, be sure to ask them what is keeping them from wanting to stay with you. Could the environment be more supportive? Is there potential for upward movement? Are they challenged and given gratitude at the same time?

Do your duties challenge you and are you supported in what you want to do?

There’s a difference between a job and a career. Jobs are something that people do to earn a paycheck, nothing more. Careers offer stimulation, challenge, promotions, and opportunities for growth and development. To attain these, employees need leadership that is going to support them on their climb up the ladder.
 
People see right through busy work and fake challenges. To nurture employees who truly care about their work and want to give their best, ask them questions on an employee engagement survey about how you can support them in their career desires.

How can we support you in achieving your potential here? Do you see a path for your growth?

It’s commonly heard in the workplace to “dress for the job you want, not for the one you have.” This also applies to how employees talk to and interact with each other, and how much engagement they put into their work. However, when they don’t feel that there is any upward movement or anyone who wants to see them succeed, there’s no reason for them to continue putting out significant effort.
 
Don’t be afraid to have employees that want to grow and rise to new heights within your company. When you have people who are reaching higher, it’s a sign that you are influencing them for good.

Conclusion

A well-written employee engagement survey can help you understand who wants to give more to the company and how you can support those people in achieving their goals. It will show you who is aligned with the company and who needs more support so that they can positively engage with the team. Employee engagement survey questions are meant to elicit deep, meaningful answers and conversations, that push your company and team toward growth.
 

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