Employee engagement is key to running a healthy, successful company. But it’s notoriously difficult to measure. How can you get a solid read on employee engagement?
The answer is simple: engage with your employees. Employee surveys, when utilized properly, can be instrumental in gauging employee satisfaction and engagement. Consistent, quality feedback is essential to meeting retention and recruitment goals.
What defines employee engagement?
What does an engaged employee base really look like? You won’t be able to craft good engagement questions if you can’t answer this one yourself.
We view employee engagement as the enthusiasm and motivation that employees have toward their everyday work. It’s how committed they are to staying at their companies, and how much growth they’re deriving from their jobs. It’s a measurement of how much the company is investing in their workforce.
Employee engagement isn’t just about defining, but rather understanding their experiences. In this article we cover 20 sample questions that you can put on an employee engagement survey to get a better look at your company’s success (or lack thereof) in this area.
How engaged are your employees?
Start with some telling signs that give you a snapshot of your employees’ overall feelings towards the company. The questions that come later can be more specific. For now, just stick with a few simple yes or no questions.
Anonymity may or may not be appropriate at your organization, but it can help support the accuracy and ultimately the value you receive from this feedback.
This question gauges an employee’s pride in what they do. For example, if your employee was asked by a friend during a dinner party about their job, would they be proud of where they work? Responses to this question reflect the internal perception of your company’s brand and mission statement.
This question reflects how engaged employees are with their jobs and their work environment, as recommending a friend to their workplace implies their overall satisfaction with the company. An employee may want to bolster their company’s workforce by referring someone who they believe can improve their output.
However, it’s important to consider that this might not always be the case. Employees might be unsatisfied or unengaged with their work, but may want to recommend a friend because of your company’s benefits or high pay.
To partly address the concern presented in the previous question, this one gets at the present commitment of your employees at your company. This can be a good wake up call for companies that might be scoring higher on other engagement questions. If your employees aren’t actively looking at other places to work, that indicates that they’re highly engaged with your company. Those who are less engaged are likely going to have an easier time answering this question.
This question similarly analyzes your employees’ commitment to your company, but adds a specific time frame to get a more holistic view. Just because an employee isn’t currently looking for another job doesn’t mean they’re willing to stay at your company for the next five years. This question coupled with the one before gives you a present and future look into your employees’ engagement levels.
You might ask this question to gauge whether your employees are motivated to do their best at work every day. For businesses with low tenure – such as grocery stores where you don’t necessarily expect employees to want to stay for more than two years – this is an important question. It generally points to whether you’re getting as much effort from each employee.
Do employees feel supported by leadership?
After gauging overall engagement levels, you can get a little more specific about your company structure and how your employees feel about each component.
You can start with leadership. By analyzing the leaders within your organization, you can identify potential issues and pain points to generate greater engagement through more effective leadership.
Instead of asking about specific relationships between employees and their supervisors, this question looks at how these supervisors are perceived in the broader context of the company. This question allows you to improve leadership training programs.
Proper communication is extremely important for an organization at any level. Leaders should be informing their employees about what’s going to build a stronger foundation for communication throughout the organization.
Communicating relevant information to employees fosters a better understanding of each employee’s task and purpose, while building stronger trust between all levels of management.
In order for your employees to be more engaged, they have to be motivated to perform their duties every day. Leadership is responsible for making sure each employee fully understands how their work contributes to the company’s overall service.
Do employees buy into the company vision?
It’s hard for employees to retain their engagement if they don’t understand the mission and overall goals of the company.
Thus, it’s important to ask questions that gauge how much your employees identify with your company vision to understand their overall engagement with the brand.
It’s hard for people to stay engaged with their work if they don’t receive much credit for it. Once employees know what they need to do to succeed, organizations should reinforce that by recognizing specific achievements.
Employees need to know what is expected of them. If there’s confusion on this point, you’re setting your staff up for failure.
The employee/employer relationship is a give and take. Employees do their best work when they know that they matter to the company. A strongly negative response to this question is a sign that your employees are feeling like cogs in the machine.
Do employees have the tools they need to succeed?
Your employees aren’t going to be engaged if they feel like they’re ill-equipped to do their jobs.
After all, if an employer won’t even bother to give them the proper tools, then why should they put in the effort to do a good job?
Training is valuable for making sure each employee knows what they’re doing in their respective positions. Having a better idea of their duties and feeling competent at their jobs will boost morale and increase engagement. This also means employees are getting more than just a paycheck out of their job.
This question is straightforward – do your employees have the things they need to do their jobs? Keep in mind that “things” might not always be tangible resources like equipment or tools, as it can be intangibles like time or workplace relationships.
Supporting every single need and perfectly supporting every member of the organization is a near-impossible task, but it’s important for employees to feel as if you genuinely want to provide that support. Employee engagement will likely be higher if there is an infrastructure designed to support the workforce and their needs.
Are there opportunities professional growth?
Personal development and organizational health go hand-in-hand. If workers don’t feel like they’re growing in a professional environment, they aren’t going to feel engaged in their work and are more likely to leave.
Through this question, employees can express whether they feel like their managers are interested in seeing them advance and grow their skills. If not, employees might feel expendable, and that attitude will come through in their performance.
This question asks whether employees feel like there are ample opportunities for them to grow professionally. This doesn’t necessarily concern upward mobility or advancement in the company, but rather personal advancement within the company.
Not all employees are committing to your organization for life and that’s okay. By providing a work opportunity that gives back to the professional growth of employees, you’ll find that employees stay with you longer, especially the talented ones.
How are we doing?
Give your employees the opportunity to add to your engagement survey by asking questions like:
Responses to these last questions are likely going to be more open-ended, and give employees an opportunity to voice more specific concerns about their experiences. This can also be an opportunity for employees to specify and contextualize their previous answers.
Remember, collecting feedback is just the first step. You need to proactively use this information to improve your company’s employee experience in ways that boost engagement. Employees will not take your surveys seriously if they don’t genuinely feel that you intend to act on the feedback.
So take what you learn and start addressing the gaps in your employee experience. A more engaged workforce means an overall healthier company.