Understanding Employee Engagement Surveys: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding Employee Engagement Surveys A Comprehensive Guide

What Is An Employee Engagement Survey?

Satisfied employees are not the same as an engaged workforce. Engagement means that everyone is fully dedicated to their work and is willing to give their 100%. They understand how their role impacts their company and why they need to keep pushing. An employee engagement survey measures how someone feels and acts, giving invaluable insights to businesses regarding their team members. Such surveys should be conducted annually, but preferably on a more frequent basis, to calculate professionals’ emotional and mental connection to their day-to-day activities.

Why Is An Employee Engagement Survey Crucial?

Surveying employees offers HR and leadership a clear picture of everyone’s happiness and engagement levels, realizing the areas for improvement that need strengthening. Surveys allow workers to dig deep into their minds and express what troubles them and what motivates them. Therefore, companies can make responsible internal and external decisions that better impact their employees. The latter feel like their voice is heard and appreciated while the organization is given critical feedback. Using the comments and corrections they receive, they take targeted action to fix issues and enhance employee engagement.

What Are The Benefits Of Such Surveys?

Why are employee engagement surveys important, and why should you conduct them regularly? The biggest advantage is receiving insights straight from the source, which is your workforce. By identifying challenges and cracks, you can start working toward fixing them. Workplace communication improves since everyone is encouraged to be honest and transparent. When individuals feel that their opinions matter, they become more engaged, and their overall satisfaction increases. You can also notice your strong points and feel proud of them. Moreover, you can assess the data collected over time and see whether your implemented changes have improved the situation. As a result, employees trust you and build long-lasting professional relationships, reducing attrition and making it easier to attract new talent.

Types Of Employee Engagement Surveys

Annual Engagement Surveys

Employee engagement and satisfaction reached a record-high 23% in 2022. Annual surveys feature questions aiming to uncover the levels of satisfaction, trust, motivation, and recognition each person feels. For example, questions like, “Do you feel recognized for your work?” and “Do you trust our leadership?” may pop up. The data gathered helps leading figures assess their culture and work toward improving it. In the long run, employee engagement surveys prove to professionals that their opinions are heard and implemented.

Pulse Surveys

These brief questionnaires are sent to employees regularly and aim to get their views on pressing matters, internal communication, work culture, and job-related roles. They are short and specific and wish to check whether prior changes have made an impact. They are hyper-focused and offer continuous feedback that improves employee well-being. Consequently, appreciation is fostered, and company culture is strengthened. Employees learn to listen to each other’s concerns, work to solve them, and collaborate more efficiently.

Lifecycle Surveys

This survey measures employee engagement during different stages of their tenure. They are typically used at acquisition, onboarding, promotion stages, and exit. They aim to check the level of understanding regarding one’s role and expectations, their manager’s competence, team dynamics, reasons for joining or leaving the organization, and whether they would suggest the company to others. Lifecycle surveys discover more about a professional’s experience during the interview stage, how effective their onboarding procedure is, and which are the leading causes for retention.

Examples Of Best Questions For Employee Engagement Surveys

Surveys should not be extremely long, and you should ask questions you are ready to take action on, depending on feedback. Your workforce must be able to see tangible changes applied to areas that require attention. Questions like, “Are you proud to work for us?” and “Would you recommend our company to others?” help you realize the value of employee engagement surveys. You may also ask your workforce whether they see themselves working for you two years from now and if they are thinking about looking for another job at a different company. When it comes to company leadership, you can ask people, “Do our leaders keep you informed?” and “Is your manager a great role model?” Additionally, you should ask professionals whether they have access to the necessary resources for their job, if they are offered development opportunities, and if they are recognized for their work.

7 Question Categories You Should Avoid

Leading Questions

Questions that create bias and lead respondents towards a simple “yes” or “no” don’t provide honest feedback. The best employee engagement surveys do not include questions that start with “Don’t you agree that…” and “Isn’t it true that…” You are not searching for agreeance with your workforce but to uncover areas of improvement and take action on them.

Double-Barreled Questions

Each question should tackle one subject and not multiple ones. For example, asking, “Does your manager keep you informed, and how would you rate our company?” creates confusion and does not let professionals think deeply about each section. So, you must divide complicated questions and simplify them as much as possible so everyone can concentrate on one at a time.

Questions That Breed Confusion

Organizations often make the mistake of adding technical terms to their questions. Keep in mind that not everyone is familiar with overly complex words and may not understand the true meaning of a question. Therefore, their answer won’t be specific or helpful for you. That’s why you should keep your employee engagement survey questions short, simple, and free from acronyms and idioms.

Questions With Negative Connotations

Employee feedback can help you improve, but you should not highlight any negativity in your questions. For instance, instead of asking, “Why is leadership inadequate in employee development?” you may ask, “How can leadership improve its employee development efforts?” Not everyone feels the same about leadership’s role or performance, and you must not paint such a negative picture of your capabilities. If people sense this, they might start believing it.

Circumstantial Questions

You may fall into the trap of asking employees how they would feel if you enforced a specific policy. However, their answer to such a hypothesis will probably not be accurate or reflect their actual feelings. It’s not helpful to force them into a hypothetical emotional state. Instead, focus on existing cases and scenarios to get their present feelings and experiences.

Questions Regarding Sensitive Matters

Including personal questions in your employee engagement survey is guaranteed to make some people feel uncomfortable. Refrain from asking them how their work impacts their relationship with their spouse and kids or whether they are making enough money. There is no clear purpose in these questions, and you may not be able to take action. Also, some professionals may feel like you are infringing on their personal space.

Vague Questions

Asking, “What would you change in this organization to make your work better?” is a popular yet general question that may bring vague answers. Instead, you may ask, “What changes would you make in the onboarding process?” Try to be specific and push employees toward a particular direction. This way, the insights you receive are hyper-concentrated on areas that require extra attention and improvement.

A 4-Step Plan For Conducting An Employee Engagement Survey

1. Select Your Design And Establish A Goal

Before starting your survey, you must set clear objectives and expectations. Based on your company’s values and the data you need to collect, you can design your questionnaires. After you decide on your main values, you may create benchmarks that guide the survey. For example, a survey might focus only on employees’ motivation to perform their daily work. The next step is to start designing your survey, choosing a simple and easy-to-understand structure. Your goal is for both workers and managers to read the results and act on them. Additionally, you should set strict guidelines and include both mandatory and optional questions.

2. Identify Your Themes

Surveys for employee engagement typically revolve around certain themes a company wants to measure. Areas like career progression, collaboration, communication, recognition, leadership, resources, and development are all important. However, you should not focus on multiple themes for one survey. Create different surveys that concentrate on only one theme. You may then proceed to craft 30–50 relevant questions based on your employees’ experiences.

3. Craft Relevant Questions

Devising the right questions can seem challenging to many, but it is actually a creative process. Think of your needs and how your workforce fits into your strategy. Ask simple and concise questions that direct people’s attention to your goals. Imagine the different answers you may receive and how useful these insights can be. Including your managers and executives in the question-creating process is a great idea since they can share extra knowledge regarding your core functions.

4. Excite Your Employees And Promote The Survey

Your workforce must understand the importance of the survey so they pay close attention to their answers. You may use third-party providers to ensure anonymity and fairness. Everyone should realize how important this survey is and why it is an integral part of your organization. Once they have a clear picture, they will be passionate about providing their feedback. Organizations must promote their surveys by sending mass emails and adding them to the company’s bulletin board.


After the results of your employee engagement survey are in, you should be transparent and share them with your employees so they know what the general consensus is. Keep them involved in later steps as well by setting your measures and assigning everyone tasks. This way, employees are aware of the areas that need improvement and work devotedly toward fixing them. Their loyalty and trust in their company increase, and they feel like important pieces of the organization.

Looking for the best tool for your team? Check out our directory to find, choose, and compare the eLearning Industry’s Top Employee Engagement Software.

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