12 Employee Survey Questions You Need to Ask During the Pandemic

Lori Li
8 min read
Oct 26, 2020

The Essential COVID-19 Employee Support Survey Template 

Is this pandemic taking its toll on your employees? 

We are now more than seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and a reported 33% of workers in the U.S. are still working remotely—a trend that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. 

However, what started out as an interesting work-from-home experiment has since become a stressful and trying time for many employees.

For those who are back in the office, things are still far from normal.

During crises like the coronavirus, leaders need to be mindful of how well employees are coping. We also need to understand how we can better support them.

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With COVID-19 cases on the rise again throughout the country, doesn’t it seem like a good idea to check in with our employees? 

Why Conduct a COVID-19 Employee Support Survey?

During crisis situations like this pandemic, a strong internal communication system is crucial. We need to listen to understand and effectively convey our messages with our employees.

Suffice it to say that building and maintaining a strong company culture during these challenging times is difficult. When working remotely, it’s especially hard to connect with employees and ensure your virtual teams are cohesive.

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A COVID-19 work survey gives you the opportunity to gauge the effectiveness of your internal communications—as well as your organizations’ response to the pandemic. It can also help you identify the challenges your remote workers are facing and evaluate how good you have been at addressing employees’ concerns.

(Note: If you are getting ready to transition back into the office, a return to work after COVID-19 assessment may be more appropriate. This particular COVID-19 survey template is designed to help you understand how to move forward as an organization during this pandemic, or any other crisis.)

Employee Survey Template about COVID-19

During times like these, ensuring a successful workforce requires us to continually check for blind spots. 

After several months of remote work, we need more than just a needs assessment. We also need to reflect as an organization and adjust accordingly.

Here are 12 essential COVID-19 survey questions to ask your employees to get the insights you need.

Employee Survey Questions to Assess Leaderships’ Response to COVID-19

1. How much do you agree with the following statement:

Overall, I am satisfied with my organization's response to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation.

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

If your employees’ don’t feel supported or trust that you're doing the right thing, your company culture can suffer. 

By taking the time to find out how your employees’ feel about your response to the COVID-19 situation, you can get a better idea of how much your employees’ trust your leadership.

If your ratings are lower than you’d like, take a close look at your other responses, and send a follow-up survey to learn more if any patterns emerge.

2. Please answer the following question:

What are your top two concerns or suggestions (if any) that you'd like us to consider to get through the COVID-19 situation?

By asking your employees’ about their top concerns and suggestions up front, you can engage them and learn what matters most to them.

This open-ended survey question also gives you the chance to identify trends within your company and prioritize what you need to address as an organization. 

As you analyze your survey results, compare the top trends for this question with each of your other responses. Use these insights and TINYpulse’s top five takeaways about COVID-19 concerns to create (or update) your response plan.

Employee Survey Questions about Confidence in Your Organization During a Crisis

How much do you agree with each of the following statements:

3. I don't feel anxious about the future of our organization.

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

4. I don't feel concerned about losing my job.

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

Undoubtedly, our employees are worried about the economic crisis COVID-19 has caused. 

For larger organizations, the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) found the pandemic has caused almost 40% of employers to decrease hours and 19% to decrease pay rates.

That’s in addition to the layoff and permanent headcount reductions. This can give our employees a lot to think about. 

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If your survey results are slightly lower for this section, don’t be alarmed. It’s natural for employees to be concerned given our current circumstances. 

Instead, do what you can to ease your employees’ fears. 

Be as transparent as possible with changes to your workforce and keep the lines of communication open for employees’ to ask questions and share their thoughts.

Employee Survey Questions about Internal Communication during COVID-19

How much do you agree with each of the following statements.

5. I feel my organization has done a great job with internal communication regarding the coronavirus/COVID-19.

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

6. I have safe channels to share any concerns regarding coronavirus/COVID-19 or its impact.

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

Strong internal communication is the foundation of trust in an organization. 

Our employees’ want to know what’s going on—especially during a crisis. They want to know how our future plans may affect them. They also want to be heard and given opportunities to have their concerns addressed.

“Whenever there’s a gap in communication across a remote and dispersed workforce, people fill that void with their own assumptions.” —Dr. Rajiv Kumar, president and chief medical officer of Virgin Pulse 

If your internal communication results are low, dig deeper. Follow up with your employees and conduct an internal communication survey to identify where the breakdown is happening. 

Employee Survey Questions about Working from Home During a Pandemic

How much do you agree with each of the following statements:

7. I have everything I need to do my job while working from home.

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

8. I feel that I am as productive working from home as I am in my normal working environment.

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

9. Please answer the following question:

What else do you need to help you work remotely more effectively (e.g., desk, chair, monitor and headphones)?

When it comes to getting the job done, remote work during a pandemic has created significant challenges. 

Instead of printing a form at the office to sign, our employees are having to come up with unique workarounds to complete their daily tasks due to COVID-19 precautions. Unfortunately, even though remote work has been the norm for several months, our employees still may not have everything they need to succeed.

Good news: You might find the solution is as simple as allowing them to pick up their office chair. Or it may be more complex, requiring a financial investment—like ordering standing desks for their home office.

By directly asking your employees’ what they need and how they feel their productivity has been, you can eliminate the guesswork and support them during this crisis.

Employee Survey Questions about Virtual Team Connections

How much do you agree with each of the following statements:

10. I feel highly connected to my team as we work remotely.

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

11. I have the right amount of virtual contact with my colleagues on a weekly basis.

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

More than 30% of remote workers have reported they don’t get any face time with their coworkers during the pandemic. And this can be problematic, especially when COVID-19 may have decreased connections in each employee’s personal life, too.

Even in a virtual work environment, face-to-face meetings (both formal and informal) are important for maintaining team relationships. In fact, two of the top reasons employees’ want to return to the office are socializing and collaborating in person.

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What’s more, strong virtual relationships are also crucial for our mental health.

Isolation and loneliness have been linked to several negative mental health outcomes putting employees at risk for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. 

During these unprecedented times, it’s more important than ever to ensure our employees’ have the personal connections they need.

Lower survey results in this section may mean your employees are struggling. Take the time to build in some virtual team-building activities and ensure your managers are having their teams connect with the camera on.

These small steps can go a long way toward cheering everyone up.

Employee Survey Questions about Management Effectiveness During a Crisis

How much do you agree with the following statement:

12. I have regular, productive 1-on-1 sessions with my manager.

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

One-on-one meetings are often undervalued. But they’ve proven time and time again to increase employee engagement and productivity. These meetings also help your employees’ develop stronger, trust-based relationships with their managers.

With the constant change and pressure caused by the pandemic, these meetings are more critical than ever. These meetings are how we can help our employees' feel supported and engaged in their work.

And just because your employees’ are having one-on-one sessions with their managers, it doesn’t mean these meetings are productive. 

If your survey results are low for this question, make a systematic plan to incorporate (or improve your existing) one-on-one meetings throughout your organization. 

See TINYpulse's Five-Step Checklist For An Effective One-on-One Meeting to get started. 

How Can You Support Your Employees during This Crisis?

COVID-19 has undoubtedly changed the way we interact and engage with our employees. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have just as strong of a company culture and workforce as we did pre-COVID.

As leaders, we need to focus on our connections and make sure we continue to humanize our employees. Ensure their voice is heard.

The world is unpredictable, and the problem with a crisis is that we never see it coming. 

By asking our employees what they need from us and reflecting on how we’ve handled COVID or any other type of crisis or social change, we can better support them. 

This, in turn, helps us develop stronger relationships and create a more productive and engaged workforce—to the benefit of every employee, every customer, and every stakeholder.

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