GuidesEmployee experienceThe ultimate list of employee engagement survey questions

The ultimate list of employee engagement survey questions

Last updated

26 June 2023

Author

Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Lara Leganger

Engaged employees are your company's biggest asset. They work hard, promote organizational goals, collaborate with co-workers, and boost morale. 

Yet they're not the only employees who impact overall performance. Disengaged employees and those who aren't actively engaged also significantly impact company performance.

You may be able to spot your most engaged employees by their performance and enthusiasm. Still, it's not always easy to determine your workforce’s overall engagement level. 

Disengaged employees are likely to complete required tasks and may never complain about their role. Meanwhile, employees who are content but emotionally disconnected from their job can suddenly decide to churn. 

Employee engagement surveys are powerful tools that can provide insight into how your employees really feel about your organization. 

The survey questions can even help you uncover ways to improve employee engagement and boost morale and performance. 

Let’s find out how to use these surveys and the best questions to ask. 

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is the emotional and professional connection an employee feels for their organization. It encompasses how employees feel about their work, team, and company. 

Engaged employees are committed to their roles. They connect with the organization's mission and want to help achieve the company's objectives. Engagement spurs changes in behavior, resulting in distinct advantages for the companies they work for.

Gallup’s research across 276 organizations, 54 industries, and 96 countries revealed these benefits of employee engagement:

  • 81% reduction in absenteeism

  • 43% reduction in turnover

  • 64% reduction in safety incidents

  • 41% decrease in product defects

  • 18% increase in productivity

  • 10% increase in customer loyalty and engagement

  • 23% increase in profitability

What is a good example of employee engagement?

No single factor embodies employee engagement. It's an emotional connection an employee feels to their company, so it’s different for everyone. 

Yet, employee engagement is more than simply being satisfied with your job. As a result, employee behaviors often reflect how they truly feel.

Engaged employees:

  • Are less likely to accumulate unexpected absences

  • Frequently collaborate with co-workers and supervisors

  • Work purposefully

  • Share innovative ideas

  • Respond well in a crisis

  • Spread positivity and boost morale

  • Set and achieve personal and professional goals

  • Use constructive feedback for improvement

  • Seek opportunities for advancement and career development

How do employee engagement surveys benefit employees?

Employee engagement surveys benefit employees by allowing them to share information that can improve their experience. 

Surveys create a platform where workers can share opinions anonymously, which is critical. 

A study by Elements Global Services found that 49% of workers have neglected to report something for fear of retaliation. 63% fear losing their jobs if they complain, and more than 60% don't think things will change if they report problems. 

Even if these fears are unfounded, employers and employees suffer the consequences of a lack of communication. You can’t improve a workplace if you don’t know what the issues are. 

How do you prepare employees for an engagement survey?

A successful survey yields specific results to drive organizational improvement, and it’s important to prepare your employees by: 

  • Sharing your intentions with employees to communicate the value they can offer

  • Preparing employees for the survey by holding a meeting or sending out memos

  • Asking for employee input about the subject matter and specific questions to include

  • Encouraging participation and emphasizing that the survey is anonymous. 

How much does it cost to conduct an employee engagement survey?

The cost of a full-service employee engagement survey ranges from $3,000–$25,000

Companies can conduct surveys in-house or outsource them through a third-party company. 

Factors that affect pricing include: 

  • The number of participants

  • Survey length

  • Analysis methods

If you conduct surveys in-house, you may be able to cut costs with templates and other tools.

Why should you use surveys to measure employee engagement?

Surveys have several features that make them optimal for measuring employee engagement, including:

  • The anonymous format allows employees to share opinions freely.

  • Employers can create surveys with a specific focus.

  • Surveys provide measurable data that you can use to implement change.

  • Conducting a survey tells employees that you care about their contributions. 

50 employee engagement survey questions

A carefully planned and well-conducted employee survey can provide a great deal of information about how employees experience your organization. 

For the best results, plan your questions around your organization's needs, and incorporate questions surrounding multiple satisfaction and engagement points. 

The following survey question examples cover the basic areas of interest that companies should include in every employee engagement survey. 

Employee satisfaction questions

Questions in this category measure views, attitudes, and perceptions of workplace operations. They explore why employees may not be satisfied in their roles and what actions could offer improvement.

These questions may ask about employment, compensation, balance, and other areas that impact overall job satisfaction.

  • How do you feel about work today?

  • Are you proud of working for [company name]?

  • Do you believe the organization considers your best interests when making decisions?

  • Do you enjoy working with your team?

  • Do you think management maintains adequate communication with employees?

  • Do you feel excited about coming to work?

  • Does your current role challenge you?

  • Are you satisfied with your current compensation and benefits?

  • Do you have a good understanding of your responsibilities?

  • Are you able to use your strengths in your job every day?

  • Do you have fun at work?

  • Do you have adequate resources to complete your job to the best of your ability?

  • Do you feel valued by this organization?

  • Are you comfortable collaborating with co-workers and supervisors on projects?

  • Are you satisfied with your work-life balance?

  • Do you think you're treated fairly in this organization?

  • Is feedback taken seriously by the leadership team at this company?

  • Are you comfortable speaking up about problems at work?

Organizational alignment questions

Employee alignment with company goals is a critical part of employee engagement. Both parties can benefit when an employee's goals align with the organization’s. 

Questions about alignment dig deeper into an employee's perception of the organization and how it operates. They may include questions about the employee's opinion of the company's mission and environment.

  • Have you been provided with the resources to understand the company's mission?

  • Does the organization's vision and objectives inspire you?

  • Do you think we provide quality products or services?

  • Do you think company management is invested in your success?

  • Are you satisfied with how the organization reacts during a crisis or disruption?

  • Do you think your work contributes to the company's purpose?

  • Do company leaders model the company's core values?

  • Does your manager recognize your full potential and delegate tasks accordingly?

  • Does [company] recognize and reward you for your contributions?

  • Do you find your work for [company] meaningful?

  • Does [company]'s culture foster a comfortable, supportive work environment?

Future orientation questions

Valuvox conducted a survey conducted among 1,157 employers and 1,583 jobseekers during January and February 2023. 

It revealed that 47% of employees plan to stay in their current organizations during the coming year, while 37% are looking to prioritize career growth. 

Future orientation questions can help you gain insight into your employees' plans. 

The questions in this section can help you learn more about the approaches you can use to improve employee retention

  • Do you see yourself working here in a year?

  • Do you think you have good opportunities for professional growth within the organization?

  • Are you actively or passively seeking new employment opportunities?

  • Have company managers or leaders asked about and supported your career goals?

  • Do you think the company provides good learning and development opportunities?

  • Do you receive appropriate recognition when you do good work?

  • Does the company motivate you to do your best in your role?

  • Would you recommend this company as a good place to work?

  • How could your supervisors make you feel more appreciated?

  • Does this organization have the capacity to support your long-term career goals?

  • How do you like to be rewarded?

Open-ended questions

Employee engagement includes nuanced opinions and emotions that aren't likely to be extracted from Likert scale questions alone.

Open-ended questions provide employees with a text box to share their opinions. 

While open-ended questions offer a wealth of data, it's crucial to use them effectively. Limit open-ended questions to a few well-worded, relevant questions for your organization. 

These questions are specific enough to generate effective answers without leading:

  • Are we doing some things well here?

  • What practices do we need to change?

  • Can you share some problems with our company culture?

  • Is there anything preventing you from doing your job well?

  • How can managers encourage employees to participate in collaborative projects?

  • What resources could the company invest in to help you do your job better?

  • How do you think communication/collaboration could be improved at [company]?

  • What actions can we take to make you feel more motivated or engaged?

  • How would you describe communication within your team?

  • What else do you think we should have added to this survey?

Using survey results

Conducting a survey is pointless if you don't analyze the results and use them to direct change within the organization. Not following up on a survey could harm employee morale. 

Using the survey results shows employees you value their feedback, improving their engagement. 

When they’ve completed the survey, thank employees for participating and provide a timeframe for analysis. 

Reiterate that the survey was anonymous and will not attribute individual employee responses to their owners.

Surveys can bring up some unexpected emotions and truths. Acknowledge these discomforts and resist the impulse to reject negative responses. 

Analyze and synthesize

Use tools and templates to divide data and categorize results to analyze the results of your employee engagement survey.

Take these steps to ensure your survey follow-up will meet your employees' expectations:

  • Categorize data by employee persona to reflect the difference in opinion between employees, managers, and executives.

  • Compare scores to industry benchmarks to see how your efforts compare to your competitors.

  • Divide employee engagement into five main factors, including: 

    • Intent to stay

    • Work involvement

    • Effort employees are willing to put into their work

    • Company pride

    • Willingness to recommend the organization

  • Organize your data into easy-to-digest charts, visuals, or presentations. 

  • Share the survey results with employees and ask for suggestions to improve employee engagement.

  • Craft a plan of action to improve organizational engagement—focus on high-impact areas.

  • Share your action plan with employees to hold you accountable for improvements.

Final thoughts

Employee engagement is essential for optimal performance, production, and earning potential. 

More importantly, it establishes your organization as a quality workplace that rewards employees for their contributions. 

Routinely checking in for employee insights into how they feel about your company ensures you can recruit and retain employees during unexpected disruptions and economic slowdowns. 

Your employees are your company's biggest asset. Employee engagement surveys help you to recognize and meet their needs.

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