Organisations with highly engaged staff are on average 17% more productive than their peers, subsequently its no surprise organisations want an employee survey process that is as efficient and effective as possible, to keep your staff happy and teams productive.
While it’s vital to have the right survey tools and design; if your current employee engagement survey is not providing the insights you need to help keep your staff happy, it’s most likely due to the fact that you’re asking them the wrong questions.
From questions that relate to an individual’s job role and how it fits with the needs and performance of your company, to those that examine staff opinions about your wider business. When you have the right mix of questions, the insight you can gain from your survey and the positive actions you’re able to take as a result can have a significant impact on your organisational culture and your bottom line.
To help you, we’ve outlined some essential questions below, which if you’re not already using, you should consider including in your next employee engagement survey. We also explain why we have included them and the value they can provide.
Ten Employee Engagement Questions to Help Deliver the Insights You Need
1. How happy are you in your work, on a scale of 1 to 10?
To be able to measure employee engagement consistently over time, this question should be routinely asked to all your employees.
It’s a good question to start with as it can provide a quick top-level overview of satisfaction and happiness levels within your business. It can also be leveraged in conjunction with other questions that probe deeper and help contextualise why people feel the way they do.
2. Would you be happy to refer a friend or family member to work for our company?
This is another valuable question that can enable you to quickly assess how happy your employees are, especially with your wider business.
If your survey results indicate that a large number of your employees would be happy to refer a friend or family member to work at your company, it’s likely that your employee engagement levels are high.
However, if your results are far less favourable, asking this question will provide you with an opportunity to dig deeper and investigate the reasons behind your employee responses, putting you in a better position to make the positive changes you need. To dig in deeper, look at monitoring your employee Net Promoter Score.
3. Do you feel positive about your role and career pathway within our company?
Knowing how their job role fits within their company and how likely they are to progress is critical to the engagement levels of most employees. Those individuals who feel most invested in and positive about the future, are more likely to display higher engagement levels.
In contrast, those that feel unclear or insecure about their future, are more likely to search out new opportunities to grow their career.
So, it’s important to be able to ask this question, because if too many staff are offering the latter response, you’ll need to get better HR processes in place and a clearer pathway for them, so they feel more invested in and safer about their future with your business.
4. How often does your manager recognise your performance and contributions?
Another area that can affect engagement levels and is closely aligned to the question above is the degree to which employees feel recognised for their performance and contributions.
Generally, those employees that feel the most appreciated tend to be the most motivated and hardworking. Therefore, by asking this question you will be better able to assess how valued your employees feel and if there is anything more you could be doing to make them feel more appreciated.
5. How would you rate your work-life balance, on a scale of 1 to 10?
There is no evidence to suggest that the longer hours you work, the more productive your company will be. In fact, many commentators believe we’re much more productive in shorter time bursts.
Subsequently, work-life balance has become more important to many employees. So, getting your staff to rate their work-life balance is a good question to ask them, as it can help reveal if your own working hours could be negatively impacting their engagement and performance levels.
6. Do you see yourself working at this company in a year’s time?
This is another valuable question to include, as it can highlight what impact current employee engagement levels could be have on your future ability to retain staff.
For example, if you asked employees this question frequently, and their responses revealed that most of them planned to leave within the year, it could buy you vital time to work on tactics to help reverse this trend, whether that was creating more internal career progression opportunities and salary rises, or introducing new company benefits to increase morale.
7. How effective and transparent are management communications within the company?
If the right measures are not put in place, it can be very easy for executives and senior managers to start separating from their employees, particularly with regards to their decision-making and actions. Overtime this can create a gulf between leaders and staff, negatively affecting employee engagement levels.
If after asking this question, you get a sense that your employees are unhappy with the way your company communicates big decisions and developments, you can take steps to better prioritise and contextualise to them any future decisions you take.
By knowing the reasoning behind important strategic business decisions, employees will better understand why and what they are being told to do, which should create greater buy in and engagement from them going forward.
8. How comfortable do you feel giving feedback to your supervisor, on a scale of 1 to 10?
This question also aims to mitigate the distance between an organisation’s leaders and its employees.
There can be a fine line between employees feeling like part of a team with their manager, or just instructed by their managers to carry out duties without a say in how things might be performed differently.
If your employees’ response to this question reveals the latter and your managers portray an unwillingness to take onboard any critical feedback, there’s a danger your employees could feel that their voices do not matter, which could harm their levels of engagement.
9. Is your workplace fun to work in?
While we obviously go to work to perform the duties of our job, a bit of office banter and fun along the way can help to relieve stress and keep staff motivated and engaged.
So, if you ask this question and the feedback you receive suggests all is not well among your workforce, you may want to introduce more activities to lighten the atmosphere, whether that’s buying and sharing a cake among the office whenever it’s an employee’s birthday, to organising more company socials for staff to look forward to outside of work.
10. What three words would you use to describe the organisational culture at this company?
By including an open-ended question such as this towards the end of your survey, you can potentially gather a lot more diverse and interesting feedback.
Ideally, you will be looking for the words your employees provide to closely align with the core values of your business.
If they don’t then it’s time to re-look at the tools you use to articulate your culture, from your policies and procedures to your systems, communications and the messages that you transmit. The more familiar your employees are with your culture, the better able they will be to adjust their behaviour to fit this.
Maximising the Value of Your Employee Engagement Questions
While it can take time to build the ideal company culture and a fully engaged workforce, when you ask your employees the right questions the insight it provides should give you a solid foundation to get started.
It’s then vital to use the feedback data you have collected in the right way, if you’re to progress to the next stage. From the initial analysis of your data which can reveal patterns in your feedback indicating where you need to make improvements, to creating a communications plan with a clear set of goals and actions of how you’re going to deliver this within your business. For more information about this, you might like to read a previous blog we wrote entitled: ‘You Collected Employee Engagement Data....Now What?, which explores this area in a bit more depth.
Ultimately, if you have asked the right questions, analysed your feedback data correctly and then devised a clear set of steps of what you will do to improve employee engagement, you will be much better placed to deliver the results your business needs.