Employee Engagement Surveys: The 20 Questions You Need to Ask

by Sabrina Son on Oct 7, 2015 5:00:00 AM
Employee Engagement Surveys: The 20 Questions You Need to Ask by TINYpulseEmployee engagement is suffering. A poll by Gallup found that a mere 13% of employees are engaged worldwide. So it’s no surprise that Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2015 reported that employee engagement is one of the top concerns for organizations this year.

However, leaders are misguided when it comes to using employee feedback surveys. You can’t just send one out and expect it to magically fix morale in the workplace. But pulse surveys give managers the upperhand in all of this. When you're probing employees once a week, you're able to truly stay on top of workplace sentiment.

Here are 20 employee engagement questions you need to ask your employees:

Workplace Satisfaction

1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you at work?

If you want to get straight to the point, this question is undoubtedly the most direct in relation to workplace satisfaction. Find out where your company’s morale falls on the 10-point scale.

2. Would you refer someone to work here?

How likely an employee would refer someone is a reflection on how satisfied this person is at their job. If they’re unhappy with their job, you can bet they don’t have much good to say to their friends about the company.

3. Do you have a clear understanding of your career or promotion path?

Another poll by Gallup found that employees who get the opportunity to continually develop are twice as likely to say they will spend their career with their company. Find out if your workers have a clear understanding of what lies ahead of them. If their answers are negative, you’ll need to start offering developmental opportunities to prevent people from quitting one after the other.

4. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your work-life balance?

Employees need to balance work and their personal life in order to be most productive and engaged. If employees are feeling lopsided, then that’s a red flag that signals burnout ahead.

5. Hypothetically, if you were to quit tomorrow, what would your reason be?

Bad communication, lack of transparency, feeling unvalued — these can all be uncovered in this question. Find out whether your employee feels like they’re there to stay or if there are underlying issues that are driving them to look elsewhere for work.

Feeling Appreciated and Valued

6. Do you feel valued at work?

Our Employee Engagement and Organizational Culture Report revealed that only 21% of employees feel strongly valued at work. Use this question to gauge how valued workers in your organization are feeling.

7. How frequently do you receive recognition from your manager?

Find out how the leadership team is doing with recognizing their employees. If the majority of workers have said they’ve gone more than two weeks without recognition, there’s a good chance morale is dropping. And that can lead to disengagement, loss of productivity, and attrition.

8. The last time you accomplished a big project, did you recieve any recognition?

Feeling valued at work is a huge motivator. This question will help uncover if leaders (or peers too) have missed the mark when it comes to recognition, and you can work together to find a solution to this problem.

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Employee Retention

9. Do you believe you'll be able to reach your full potential here?

Employees want to work at a place that will nurture their desire for growth. The more opportunities for growth your organization can offer, the longer employees will stick around.

10. If you were given the chance, would you reapply to your current job?

This is a tricky question — the happier an employee is at their current job, the more likely they would reapply to that very same position. So if an employee rates on the lower end of the spectrum, then they’re most likely unhappy and won’t be at the job for long.

11. Do you foresee yourself working here one year from now?

A question like this is pretty self-explanatory. However, it can say a lot about your retention rate. If a majority of your employees are saying they don’t see themselves working here in one year, you’ve got some changes to make.

12. Do you believe the leadership team takes your feedback seriously?

No one wants to work at a place that ignores their employees. When leaders don’t take feedback or suggestions seriously, it shows that they’re not committed to making improvements. And frankly, it makes employees feel unvalued.

Organizational Culture

13. Do you feel like the management team here is transparent?

Our 2013 Employee Engagement Report found that transparency is the number one factor that contributes to workplace happiness. Find out how well your leaders are doing with providing information to their employees.

14. With eyes closed, can you recite our organization's values?

That same Employee Engagement Report found that only 42% of employees know their organization’s vision, mission, and cultural values. A low number is unsettling because it’s saying that employees are doing their work without any real understanding of how they’re contributing to the company or that everyone isn’t working on the same page.

15. What three words would you use to describe our culture?

Fun, suppressive, supportive — find out what your employees think about your culture. Use the results to find ways to strengthen and improve your culture to suit your employees’ needs.

16. On a scale of 1 to 10, how comfortable do you feel giving upwards feedback to your supervisor?

A workplace should never be a hostile environment. Nor should it be one that’s suppressive. Employees should feel comfortable providing feedback to their supervisors so that they can continue to offer suggestions for improvements.

17. Do you feel like coworkers give each other respect here?

You want to build a culture where people respect one another — not one where heads clash. Dig under the surface to find out how employees truly feel about each other. If they’re not supporting one another, it’s time to start doing team-building activities.

18. Do you believe we live authentically by our organizational values?

Do your employees feel like the organization’s values are just meaningless words on the walls? Or maybe they believe leaders aren’t living out the values. Either way, an organization’s values are there are guidelines for behaviors and decisions.

19. Does our executive team contribute to a positive work culture?

Are the top leaders in your organization fostering a positive work environment or a negative one? With this survey question, you’ll be able to go behind the scenes and find out how well leaders are upholding the organization’s culture.

20. Do you have fun at work?

Employees spend so many hours at work. Find out if your organization’s culture is worth people waking up every day for.

Anonymous employee surveys are an important tool for fighting disengagement and attrition. But you’ll need to act on this feedback by sharing it with your employees and working with them to find solutions to improve the workplace in order to truly foster an engaging environment.


Got a Favorite Question?

The beauty of employee feedback surveys is that there are so many ways to ask each question. What unique or creative questions have you used in your employee surveys? Share them with us in the comments section below!

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in June 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. 


Free Guide to Pulsing Employee Surveys

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This post was written by Sabrina Son

Sabrina is the managing editor for the TINYpulse blog. A Seattle native, she loves her morning (or anytime) coffee, spending her weekends on the mountains, and of course, the famous rain.

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