Employee surveys are suffering, and it's probably because you're not asking the right questions. To get the most out of your employee engagement survey, you can't expect to ask any old question whenever you feel like it. The correct employee engagement survey questions need to be asked at the right frequency to get a continuous stream of helpful feedback.
02. 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.
03. 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 in rapid succession.
04. 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 productive and engaged. If employees are feeling lopsided, then that’s a red flag that signals burnout is right around the corner.
05. Hypothetically, if you were to quit tomorrow, what would your reason be?
Bad communication, lack of transparency, feeling unvalued — these can all be uncovered by asking this question. Responses to this ultra-insightful of engagement questions will inform you if your employees feel like they’re there to stay or if there are underlying issues that are driving them to look elsewhere for work.
Questions to ask employees about their manager
06. Do you feel valued at work?
Our research has revealed that only 21% of employees feel strongly valued at work. Use this question to gauge how valued workers in your organization are feeling.
07. 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.
08. The last time you accomplished a big project, did you receive any recognition?
Feeling valued at work is a huge motivator. This question will help uncover if leaders (or peers) have missed the mark when it comes to recognition. If employees don't feel their hard work is properly recognized, you can work together to find a solution to this problem.
09. 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 be to 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.
Employee survey questions about culture
13. Do you feel like the management team here is transparent?
Our previous research found that transparency is the number one factor that contributes to workplace happiness. In our 2019 Employee Engagement Report, however, we found that only 22% of workers believe management is very transparent — despite that nearly twice as many managers consider themselves transparent.
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?
Our previous research has also uncovered the fact 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 employees think your organization’s culture is worth waking up every day for.
How do you plan to send out the employee engagement survey? Annual surveys are still popular. Listen to one of the people management leaders sharing her thoughts on the benefits of breaking down the annual survey to weekly pulses:
It's true that 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. Learn more about measuring your employee engagement with our Advanced Guide to Pulsing.
Book a FREE assessment to understand your current status on employee engagement and see how to increase employee satisfaction.
Got a Favorite Question?
The beauty of employee feedback surveys is that there are 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.
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- The Advanced Guide to Employee Surveys