When it comes to employee engagement and team performance, your people are your experts. They know whether they’re giving their best or watching the clock, willing it to go faster. That’s why employee engagement surveys are invaluable.
If you’re concerned about employee satisfaction at your company—or simply want to better understand what makes your people tick—you should ask them about it. Only then can you get a clearer picture of how engaged your employees are.
With the right set of questions, a simple survey can provide insight into the obvious (and maybe not-so-obvious) ways that leadership, team dynamics, workplace culture, and internal communications affect your employees’ happiness, productivity, and overall engagement.
Preparing employee engagement surveys
Before you jump in, take the time to clearly communicate why you’ve decided to release a survey. Employees tend to be quite skeptical of surveys. They often don’t think surveys in a digital workplace are really anonymous, and they’re worried that there will be retaliation if they’re honest.
Aside from their understandable skepticism, 80% of employees also want to know more about how decisions are made in their organization. Everyone in your company should know why you’re conducting the survey and feel confident and reassured about giving honest feedback.
Employee engagement surveys: Internal communications checklist
To get the most honest and accurate feedback from employees, it helps to prime them beforehand. So before you issue your survey, make sure to send out a message to employees clarifying:
- What you hope to learn from the survey (explain that it’s not aimed at “fixing” a specific issue)
- Who has been asked to participate in the survey (specific teams, departments, etc.) and who will be able to see the results
- Why the survey is (or is not) anonymous
- When survey results will be shared with the wider team
- How survey results might impact company processes/policies
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24 questions for your employee engagement survey
The 24 survey questions and statements below are split into six subsections, each of which addresses a specific area of overall employee experience. The answers you get will paint a clearer picture of how motivated employees are in their everyday work while also revealing potential roadblocks or, better yet, opportunities for improvement.
Each of these statements should be answered on a scale of 1 to 5 or 10 (1 = Completely disagree; 5 = Completely agree). The exception to this is the final four open-ended questions.
Individual Feelings and Beliefs
- I am proud to work here.
- I feel happy at work.
- I would recommend this company as a good place to work.
- I feel motivated by my role/workplace.
Company and Leadership
- I feel aligned with the company goals.
- I believe in our leadership’s approach to achieving these goals.
- I understand how my role relates to the company’s success.
- I know what is expected of me.
Equipment and Support
- I have access to the resources/information I need to do my job well.
- I have enough time to do my job well.
- My work is well recognized.
- I feel inspired to do my best.
Management and Team
- I feel heard and valued by my manager.
- I trust my colleagues and the people on my team.
- I enjoy working with my team.
- Management/leadership show a genuine interest in my career goals.
- This is a good place for me to develop my career.
- I see myself working here in two years.
- I have a clear understanding of the next steps in my career here.
- I am challenged and excited by the work I do here.
- If you could change one thing about your job/workplace, what would it be?
- What’s your favorite thing about your job/workplace?
- What is the company’s greatest weakness?
- What is the company’s greatest strength?
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Following up on employee engagement surveys
People want to know that their contributions are worthwhile and appreciated. That’s why you should set expectations and deadlines around when the results will be shared—it will hold you accountable and reassure employees that the survey wasn’t done for naught. It’s also a good idea to remind people that the employee engagement survey isn’t the only answer to improving working conditions, though it is an important aspect of a much larger plan.
When it comes to sharing the results of the survey, make sure to summarize the key takeaways and themes, ask for people’s feedback or reactions (whether in a digital forum or by making private sessions available), and let them know what you plan to do next and how you plan to address top challenges or concerns.
Without this communication or action, employees may come to feel like the survey was a pointless exercise without an outcome. Ironically, this could disenchant your staff and shift their focus from the screen to the clock. If you’re wondering how to best communicate results with your organization, take note of these five ways to respond to surveys from Culture Amp.
How often you should be asking for employee feedback
Discovering the landscape of your employees’ engagement is a great first step toward improving communication in the workplace, but monitoring and maintaining it is the secret sauce of high engagement.
Survey frequency is an art in itself. You’ll want to issue surveys regularly, but not to the point where your employees never want to look at a five-point scale again. Culture Amp’s chief scientist, Jason McPherson, explains why you should avoid survey fatigue: “Based on what we’ve seen, 90% of companies using continuous surveys can’t keep their response rates above 50% when the same people are being surveyed weekly or monthly.”
Still, you can play around with different approaches. Jacob Morgan, a Forbes contributor and the author of The Future of Work, suggests issuing surveys once every six months, but there’s no one-size-fits-all method that works for every organization.
Gauging employee feedback may not even have to be so formal or structured as long as you honor why you’re issuing the survey in the first place—to maintain an open and constructive relationship between you and your employees.
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