53 Employee Engagement Questions to Drive Your Culture Initiatives

October 5, 2021 Ryan Stoltz
Employee Engagement Questions

Is it farfetched to say that increased employee engagement leads to higher retention, better health outcomes, and a 21% increase in profitability? Well, it’s not, these are all facts from a Gallup survey.

“What gets measured, gets managed,” and measuring employee engagement can begin with something as simple as a survey. It’s all about the employee engagement questions you ask and how you respond to the feedback.

Continue reading to learn about the fundamental aspects of creating an impactful engagement survey!

Why use surveys to measure employee engagement?

improve employee engagement levels with clear understanding of employee experience

The rapidly changing nature of workplaces makes it challenging for leaders to conduct one-on-one check-ins with all employees. In the US, 74% of companies use or plan to use a permanent hybrid work model. Not to mention the businesses that operate entirely remotely.

Employee engagement surveys evolved into a tool that combines the best of both worlds. When properly created, it helps to build trust among employees by showing how their opinions are valued.

On the other hand, it provides the company with tangible data that’ll help in directing them toward organizational growth.

Here are three specific examples of how employee engagement surveys can benefit an organization:

1. Understanding employee perception

One of the key factors that these surveys assess is employee engagement. Simply put, employee engagement is the extent to which employees are mentally and emotionally connected to the entire organization.

Thus, getting a sneak peek at how employees perceive the company can be pivotal. You see, nearly 70% of employees are disengaged from their work and 79% quit because they feel they’re undervalued.

Taking an interest in what employees have to say by sending out surveys and then acting on them results in:

  • Showing openness to feedback from employees
  • Creating a two-way communication channel that gives employees a voice
  • Boost employee retention and productivity
  • Offer suggestions to the organization on how to optimize the workplace

2. Driving effective decisions

The more you understand your employees’ perceptions, the better you’ll be able to make decisions about them. Yet, engagement surveys not only point out workplace issues but also point out organizational pitfalls. Similarly, they highlight the areas in which the company excels.

This type of diverse data gives you a clear image of what steps to take next. Whether they’re steps toward aspects that require improvement or areas that need encouragement.

3. Contributing to benchmarking

A business usually starts the benchmarking process by evaluating key business metrics and practices to establish a reference point. Then it starts comparing the reference to departments within their company, industry peers, competitors, etc.

The information gathered by employee engagement surveys serves as a valuable resource for benchmarking. You’ll have a better understanding of what makes your company unique and what it lacks in comparison to other businesses.

Nonetheless, it all comes down to what you include in the survey. To reap the benefits of engagement surveys, you must ask the right questions.

Example employee engagement survey questions

employee engagement questions

Employee engagement is measured across multiple dimensions rather than just one. In fact, engagement surveys could evaluate one or more of the following factors:

Internal communication

Internal communication is a double-edged sword in all organizations. When a company maintains an open and transparent line of communication with its employees, it creates a more productive working environment.

To explain, when employees understand how their work contributes to the company’s goals, they gain a sense of purpose and motivation. Besides, the more transparent an organization is with its employees, the more trust they have in it.

Whereas, if they’re kept in the dark about the company’s short and long-term objectives, they’ll have an opposite reaction.

Questions that’ll help in measuring this aspect sound like this:

  • Does the organization give enough details about its goals and policies?
  • How transparent do you believe management is with you?

The thing is, according to Gallup, 74% of employees believe they’re missing out on company news, which is a concerning statistic. Thus, the questions should be designed to provoke useful responses while also reflecting a desire to improve.

Here are more effective internal communication questions:

  • How can our company communicate more effectively?
  • How would you rate your awareness of the company’s objectives?
  • Is your direct manager making an adequate effort to keep you informed?
  • Is the company keeping you up to date on your progress?
  • Which company communication channel do you believe is the least effective?
Moodtracker Logo

Team engagement

As previously mentioned, employee engagement represents the connection that employees have with their organization. Because of how rewarding it proved to be, team engagement became a main strategic business objective.

An employee who’s excited to come to work will eventually deliver higher-quality work. He’s also more likely to form a long-term relationship with the organization.

Simple questions like the ones below can reveal how engaged an organization’s team is:

  • How are you feeling about work today?
  • Would you recommend our company to your friends as a great place to work?

There are even survey tools that can help detect the teams’ emotions. Moodtracker, which was launched by Workhuman, is a great example of this. This survey tool goes above and beyond to help employers understand how their employees are feeling.

More questions about team engagement:

  • Are you proud to work for our company?
  • Do you look forward to going to work?
  • Is the work you do for this company valuable to you?
  • Do you ever consider looking for work at another company?
  • Do you think you’ll still be here in two years?

Recognition

One of the leading causes for employees to resign is not being recognized for their progress. It’s been proven that high salaries are no longer associated with increased productivity or job satisfaction.

Money is not defined as a long-term motivator in any industry. When in fact, investing in and fairly recognizing employees to optimize their performance, is the golden egg for businesses.

The following questions will measure how much employees feel recognized:

  • Are you content with the amount of recognition you get at work?
  • How can we make our employee recognition program better?

Employee retention, engagement, and overall satisfaction are all directly related to meaningful recognition practices.

Employee retention, in particular, has a plethora of advantages for organizations. For instance, it saves time and money spent on onboarding new employees, while also improving morale, as well as company culture.

Questions about recognition should be straightforward and focused on extracting the employee’s perspective. They should also include questions about openness to suggestions. Here are examples that meet these criteria:

  • What are your favorite benefits, and what new incentives would you like to see provided?
  • Do you believe you’re valued at work?
  • Are you appropriately rewarded for reaching major milestones?
  • Is our company doing a good job of encouraging employee recognition?
  • Do you get enough recognition from your leaders?
hr professionals collect employee feedback with employee engagement survey

Personal and professional growth

Knowing how well employees are doing in terms of personal and professional development is an incredibly useful insight.

Almost all employees want the opportunity to learn new skills and continue to advance professionally. If an organization doesn’t support this, employees will look for other possibilities. Meanwhile, organizations that provide opportunities for advancement have 34% higher retention rates.

Here are a couple of questions to see if your company encourages employee growth:

  • How many opportunities for professional development do you have in this organization?
  • What additional training or education would help you perform your job more effectively?

Successful employee personal and professional development programs prioritize what employees actually need to succeed. Thus, the majority of questionnaires should include questions such as:

  • How well does our organization assist you in pursuing your professional interests and objectives?
  • Which of our departments would you like to learn more about?
  • Do you understand your promotion and career path?
  • Do you feel challenged daily at work?
  • Do you have a work mentor?

Management and leadership

In the business world, it’s said that “employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” A study found that more than two out of every five people quit because of their manager.

Additionally, this study showed that more than half of those who were thinking about quitting their jobs did so because of their boss.

The management and leadership of an organization is a make-or-break factor. Thus, businesses should always evaluate the effectiveness of this tier. This is done by posing questions about their ability to build positive relationships and their performance, such as:

  • Does your manager respect you?
  • Is your manager clear about performance expectations?

Generally, managers and leaders cooperate to guide employees toward achieving business objectives. They’re also an important part of keeping the team motivated and informed along the way.

Consequently, questions included in the survey should be directed toward this area, such as:

  • Does your manager give you regular feedback on your performance?
  • Does your manager value your expertise and contribution to the company?
  • Does your manager keep his promises?
  • Do you believe your manager genuinely cares about you as a person?
  • Is your manager assisting you in reaching your full potential at work?
employee survey questions about employee experience

Work environment

An employee’s productivity will be influenced by his working environment in some way. Positive work environments help employees feel motivated to produce high-quality work.

While the quality of hire is important, creating surveys with questions like these is also essential:

  • Do you believe your coworkers support you at work?
  • Do you feel comfortable and productive in your workplace?

Toxic environments are typically the result of distrust, a lack of communication, or the culture itself. This results in employee frustration, low morale, and high turnover rates. Therefore, try to include questions like these to get a good sense of the organization’s current work environment:

  • What do you consider to be a good work environment?
  • Do you believe you require more flexibility in your working conditions?
  • Do you feel that management provides equal opportunities for career advancement for all?
  • Do you have the necessary tools and technologies to complete your tasks efficiently?
  • What’s one aspect of working for this organization that stands out to you?

Types of engagement survey questions

Naturally, there are several types of employee engagement questions since it’s measured from different aspects. As you’ll see in a moment, each question type has a specific goal and an effective way to be asked:

Satisfaction

Employees who are generally satisfied with their jobs are more likely to be engaged and productive. Organizations that understand how their employees feel about their work will be able to determine whether or not they’re satisfied.

According to an SHRM survey, the most important factor in job satisfaction is “respectful treatment of all employees,” so that’s a good place to start. In addition, the survey should include questions about workplace culture and the job itself.

Each example below shows how to formulate a question for each objective:

  • Do your managers value your input?
  • Do you like the culture of our company?
  • How frequently do the tasks assigned to you by your manager help you advance professionally?

Alignment

Knowing how closely an employee’s career goals match those of the company reveals a lot about their performance. The alignment type of question examines how well employees understand the business’s goals and how they’re working toward them.

Examples of alignment questions:

  • Do you feel aligned with the company’s objectives?
  • Do you know what’s expected of you to succeed in your position?
employee answering survey questions about company goals

Future-focused

Asking employees future-focused questions makes them feel like they’re a part of the whole. This type of question also reveals the ratio of employees who are willing to stay and those who don’t feel a connection.

Aside from measuring goal alignment, employees should be aware of and involved in the bigger picture. The more they feel included in the company’s vision, the more relatable and meaningful their work will feel.

Besides, knowing how their roles will fit into the company’s future plans gives them a sense of security.

Here are two methods for asking future-oriented questions:

  • Do you understand the company’s future plans for success?
  • Do you know how you fit in the organization’s future plans?

Open-ended

Close-ended questions are those that can be answered with a single word, “yes” or “no,” rating on a scale, selecting a number, etc. This type of question is great for gathering lots of information quickly, but it kills the conversation.

That’s why incorporating a few open-ended questions into an employee engagement survey is extremely beneficial. These questions make employees pause, reflect, and express their true thoughts and perceptions in their own words.

You can select questions based on which areas of your organization you want to investigate in depth. Nonetheless, there are key questions that can provide helpful overviews, such as:

  • What drives you to go the extra mile at work? Tell us about your motivational triggers.
  • Have you met any professional objectives in the last six months? If so, please mention them.

Fun survey question

The main goal of adding fun engagement questions in these surveys is to lessen their formality. Moreover, they open the door to emotional connections. After all, you’re asking employees about their personal lives rather than their professional lives.

Fun or icebreaker questions can sound like:

  • What do you like to do in your free time?
  • What’s one song that could serve as your life’s soundtrack?

Make your employee engagement surveys matter

Do you know what’s just as important as asking the right questions in a survey? It’s responding to the feedback you’ll get.

When an organization listens to and commits to the responses from engagement surveys, they automatically:

  • Strengthen employee trust
  • Increase upcoming survey participation
  • Encourage open lines of communication
  • Boost employee morale

The responses to these surveys are also an excellent guide for future one-on-one check-ins and initiatives. To be more specific, you’ll be able to tailor these meetings to address each employee’s needs and concerns.

You’ll also know what kind of initiative best meets the employees’ current requirements. For example, providing structured career path opportunities or an incentive system for top performers.

conducting employee engagement surveys

Contrarily, surveys that aren’t followed by actionable plans will only make matters worse. Falsely instilling hope in employees raises distrust and eventually destroys their relationship with the organization.

Here’s how to wrap up your employee engagement survey on a high note:

1. Communicate results

It can take some time to gather accurate data and form personal opinions about it. Meanwhile, take quick results and communicate them to your employees as soon as possible to prove initiative.

You can share information about high and low-scoring topics, as well as areas that require improvement.

Additionally, review a few of the comments or responses to open-ended questions. Use some of them to explain how they were insightful and thank the people who wrote them. This shows that you value their feedback and don’t overlook any detail.

2. Make a plan and act on it

You might be surprised by the number of issues that need to be addressed after analyzing all of the tangible data from these surveys.

Create a meaningful action plan that begins with a few of them and gradually works its way up. It’s far better to share a realistic plan with your employees than to make promises you can’t keep.

As you execute, share all positive changes with employees and involve them as much as possible in decision-making.

3. Connect improvements to the survey

Attribute some of the most recent improvements to the surveys to outline how valuable they are to the organization.

You can hold town hall meetings to compare the aspects measured in the survey and how they’re progressing. This will present employees with actual proof of how their words matter.

4. Rinse and repeat

Finally, you must check in with team members to ensure that they’re satisfied with the actions taken. You can also inquire whether they believe one of the actions should be modified.

Then you’ll start the whole thing over again. To keep your organization on track, you must constantly be aware of existing and potential strengths and weaknesses.

Drivers of employee engagement

What motivates each employee to connect with his work differs from one personality to another. Yet, there are core engagement drivers that most employees share. In fact, all of the questions included in this post are based on these engagement drivers.

Here are five examples of drivers that have a direct influence on employee engagement:

  • Recognition
  • Meaningful work
  • Directional clarity
  • Professional growth
  • Belonging

FAQs:

Conclusion

Being familiar with employee engagement questions, as well as when and how to ask them, is a game changer.

It’s the beginning of developing strong relationships with employees and making better decisions. You can even significantly increase the organization’s profitability with consistent effort.

Just remember to send out surveys only when you’re certain you’ll be able to respond to them. It’s best to follow the adage, “don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk!”