Employee engagement surveys are a great way to gauge how content employees are. By collecting data on a regular basis, whether monthly, quarterly, or yearly, employers can discover better ways to keep their employees happy and engaged.
Because employees who are disengaged tend to leave companies earlier than those who are more involved and satisfied, it is important to create a survey that probes into employees’ thoughts and can be used to help foster a corporate culture of employee engagement.
Although it might seem like an easy task to put together a few questions, have employees answer them, and then look at the results, the creation of an employee engagement survey is actually more complex than that.
Complex doesn’t mean impossible, though, and with enough planning and thoughtfulness, you can create an effective employee engagement survey that will help you retain employees and give you valuable feedback to help them stay engaged with your company.
Listed below is a general outline for creating an employee engagement survey.
Naturally, you might need to tailor and adjust some of these tips to suit your company’s particular needs.
Set goals and objectives
What are you trying to measure with your survey? Obviously employee engagement is the main component, but if your goal is to simply gather data and do nothing with it, it might be a good idea to think past that.
Figuring out more about your employees and how they view their relationship with your company can help you increase their engagement, leading to higher productivity. Knowing this can help you strategize with managers and other leaders in your company to produce the right types of questions for your survey.
Determine the types of questions you want to ask
There is a multitude of ways to ask employees about their engagement. The only true definitive pitfall to avoid is asking employees simple yes or no questions. By not accessing more detailed feedback, you limit your options to help disengaged employees feel more content in the workplace.
Here are some more effective ways to ask employees questions in your survey:
1) Create spectrums for employees to express to what degree they agree or disagree with a particular statement.
For example, you might state, “I am often given opportunities to voice my opinion” and then add a spectrum beginning with “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree.” Making each question a statement with which employees can identify is an effective way to gauge employee engagement.
2) Consider using time-based questions.
Making statements like “I enjoy coming to work” and having employees rank their preference on a scale from “Always” to “Never” can be a good tool to measure whether employees feel valued and engaged on a daily basis.
Obviously, you can’t ask time-based questions on the entire survey, but you can create a specific section for questions like these.
3) Incorporate open-ended questions.
Instead of having employees check boxes and circle numbers the whole time, use a portion of your survey to ask them about their own thoughts.
It’s wise to put this part of the survey toward the beginning; after going through several questions, employees sometimes skip questions that require more thought, especially if they’re placed at the end.
4) Use a ranking system to determine employees’ priorities.
List a series of vital components of your workplace environment. Ask employees to rank the importance of each one according to their personal preferences. Finding out what’s important to your employees can be vital information when determining how to increase workplace engagement.
5) If you want to get a daily indication of employee engagement, try using a short end-of-day question as employees leave.
Ask them to gauge their happiness for that day using emojis or smiley faces. If a string of negative feedback appears, use that information to look into what could help employees enjoy their time at work more.
6) Determine whether or not you want your survey to be anonymous.
Keep in mind that employees may be more likely to express their dissatisfactions if their names aren’t attached to surveys. An alternative to asking employees to put their names on surveys is to simply ask for the department they work in.
Establish a survey format and length
This step will likely be specific to your company. Make sure to keep your questions geared toward employee happiness and engagement. Use a combination of the aforementioned ways to ask employees questions.
Keep the survey short and simple. It shouldn’t take employees an eternity to tell you about their satisfaction at your company. This point is especially important if you plan on doing monthly or even quarterly surveys.
Depending on how large or small your company is, it might make sense to use an online survey or simply distribute hardcopies.
Communicate your goals and purpose to employees
It’s vital that employees know why they’re being surveyed and what you plan on doing with the data. Letting them know the why, the how, and the when of your survey will foster trust and understanding.
Giving employees a heads up about your initial survey is also beneficial if you plan on putting surveys out on a regular basis. They’ll know what to expect whenever you collect more data.
Collect surveys and analyze the data
Once all of the surveys have been completed and collected, look through the feedback you received. Highlight and discuss trends that you notice across the surveys with managers and other leaders.
Once you’ve assessed the surveys, work toward fixing the problems that your employees have pointed out to you. If it’s a large issue, bring in more people to voice their opinions and brainstorm.
Keep records of past surveys
It doesn’t make any sense to collect data and then not track employees’ satisfaction over time. If you implement big or even small changes, you’ll want to note the difference in employee engagement that will become evident in the answers on subsequent surveys.
Keeping records of your past surveys will allow you to track and see the change in employee satisfaction.
Sample Employee Engagement Survey Questions
To help put you on the path for creating an effective employee engagement survey here is a list of sample questions from SHRM.
Employee Demographic Information
- What is your job role?
- What department do you work in?
Development / Role-Based Questions
- I am satisfied with my opportunities for professional growth.
- I am pleased with the career advancement opportunities available to me.
- My organization is dedicated to my professional development.
- I am satisfied with the job-related training my organization offers.
- I am satisfied that I have the opportunities to apply my talents and expertise.
- I am satisfied with the investment my organization makes in training and education.
- I am inspired to meet my goals at work.
- I feel completely involved in my work.
- I get excited about going to work.
- I am often so involved in my work that the day goes by very quickly.
- I am determined to give my best effort at work each day.
- When at work, I am completely focused on my job duties.
- In my organization, employees adapt quickly to difficult situations.
- Employees here always keep going when the going gets tough.
- Employees proactively identify future challenges and opportunities.
- Employees in my organization take the initiative to help other employees when the need arises.
- Employees here are willing to take on new tasks as needed.
- Employees in my organization willingly accept change.
- I am satisfied with my overall compensation.
- I am compensated fairly relative to my local market.
- Communication between senior leaders and employees is good in my
- I am able to make decisions affecting my work.
- Management within my organization recognizes strong job performance.
- My supervisor and I have a good working relationship.
- My coworkers and I have a good working relationship.
- Senior management and employees trust each other.
- Employees treat each other with respect.
- I am satisfied with my total benefits package.
- I am satisfied with the healthcare-related benefits offered by my organization.
- I am satisfied with the amount of paid leave offered by my organization.
- I am satisfied with the retirement plan offered by my organization.
- I am satisfied with the workplace flexibility offered by my organization.
- My organization has a safe work environment.
- I am satisfied with my overall job security.
- My organization’s work positively impacts people’s lives.
- My organization operates in a socially responsible manner.
- My organization’s fiscal well-being is stable.
- I am satisfied with the culture of my workplace.
- I understand how my work impacts the organization’s business goals.
- My organization is dedicated to diversity and inclusiveness.
Takeaways: Employee engagement surveys can be an extremely useful tool for finding out the culture of engagement in your company. By using these tips and finding out what kind of surveys help your company the most, you’ll be able to find out if your employees are as engaged as you think they are.