Employee engagement surveys are an effective tool for obtaining quantitative and qualitative information about your workforce. These surveys can provide insights into employee sentiment and connectedness to the organization, their teams, and their work.
Designed to measure employee engagement, these surveys can ask any number and type of questions. Often, organizations struggle with knowing what the right questions are to ask and why.
This article will cover:
- Why employee engagement questions are important
- 20 of the best questions to include
- Categories of questions to consider
- Frequently asked questions about employee engagement
Why are employee engagement questions important?
Employee engagement questions get at the heart of employee satisfaction, relationships, attitude, and commitment. They can provide rich details about what’s working with your leadership, communications, and learning and development programs. They can also provide insights into how effective managers are at inspiring, supporting, and recognizing employees.
There are multiple benefits to understanding where your organization stands when it comes to employee engagement questions in your surveys. Strong employee engagement leads to the following organizational benefits:
- Higher employee retention
- Lower absentee rates
- Better work products and outcomes
- More efficient work processes
- More experienced employees
- Enhanced customer service
- Fewer mistakes and less need for rework
- Stronger teams and work relationships
- Improved recruitment efforts
- Increased revenue and profitability
The benefits of strong employee engagement are significant. That’s why measuring engagement through various questions is so critical.
24 employee engagement questions to ask your employees
The questions below include yes/no queries, rankings, and open-ended responses. The questions in your survey likely will be of all three types and may include prompts to gather more information.
1. Are you proud to work for the organization?
This question is an important one to gauge an employee’s satisfaction with their employer. Satisfied employees are committed to the mission, vision, and values. They reflect that satisfaction in their work and their attitude towards coworkers, leaders, and customers.
2. Would you recommend this organization as an employee to your friends?
This question may seem familiar. A similar version is often asked as part of a Net Promoter Score survey by brands.
The employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is a way to gauge how willing employees are to tout their employers. Typically scored on a scale of 0 to 10, the eNPS sorts respondents into three categories. Promoters enter a 9 or 10, passives enter a 7 or 8, and those scoring 6 or lower are detractors.
The question gets at whether employees will spread the word positively or negatively to others. It’s a good question to include regularly in an employee engagement survey as, over time, you can compare results.
3. Do the organization’s vision and values inspire you?
The organization’s vision and values need to be relevant for the employee to be fully engaged. People want to work for organizations whose mission they believe in. This question gets at whether employees see themselves as participants in achieving those vision and values statements.
The question also addresses whether an employee will reflect those organizational values to fellow employees and customers.
4. Is your supervisor committed to your success?
Managerial commitment to employee success is so important to fostering positive employee engagement. People often gravitate to (or leave) managers based on a supervisor’s role in furthering their success. Managers who are committed to employee career development, individual work accomplishments, and professional growth can do wonders.
5. Is your work meaningful?
Do your employees feel that their work matters? Meaningfulness can dramatically shape how connected your employees feel. They are also able to weather disruptions or minor bumps in the road if they believe their work is valuable.
6. Do you see yourself working here in a year?
Quiet quitting and the Great Resignation are popular phrases today, with good reason. Millions of Americans are quitting their jobs each month, often in response to how engaged they feel. The COVID-19 pandemic had an outsized influence on Americans’ perspectives on work.
Asking how apt people are to remain in their jobs in the next year can be an indication of satisfaction or dissatisfaction on the job. It can also indicate upcoming changes, good or bad, in the organization’s employee retention rate.
This question may be accompanied by an open-text field that asks why someone may be considering leaving in the next 12 months.
7. Do you have the tools to do your job well and advance your career?
Having the right tools to do one’s job is critically important. Tools here can mean many things, from physical tools to software to talent. An additional question can ask what resources are necessary to do their job effectively.
Employees who feel they have the necessary tools for success are more likely to be satisfied and engaged. Otherwise, there can be increased frustration at not having the best resources to do good work.
8. What can we do to improve your engagement at work?
This open-ended question is an important one. It gives employees an opportunity to provide direct input on how they can be better engaged. Employees will likely appreciate the opportunity to give direct feedback and share ideas they may not have heard expressed previously.
9. Are you motivated to go beyond what is expected of you in your role?
How much extra effort are your employees putting in? Engaged employees are far more apt to display more initiative. Less engaged employees are likely to do the bare minimum at most.
The question and an open-text field asking why can help determine what’s most effective in boosting employee engagement.
It’s especially important in industries where tenure is typically low, such as those with a large seasonal workplace. Those employers will not necessarily get the best information from “Do I see myself here in a year” queries.
10. Is there good communication about what is happening with the organization?
Strong communication is very significant in boosting engagement. Employees want to know what’s happening in the organization, especially on progress toward company goals. If there’s a good foundation of regular and consistent communication, even if the news is bad, organizations build trust.
Communication must also not be limited to the formal outreach an organization does. Good communication is necessary from managers and other leaders at regular intervals, such as in one-on-one meetings.
11. Do the systems and processes support getting work done efficiently?
This question speaks to operational infrastructure. Do the procedures and day-to-day practices make sense to employees? Are there lots of workarounds or “don’t pay attention to the manual” actions in play?
Employees may roll their eyes or become frustrated if the processes and systems do not work. While not ALL systems and processes need to be perfect, employees want faith in the organization’s procedures and operations.
12. Do you know what to do to be successful in your role?
This question gets at a basic, fundamental tenet of employee engagement. People desire to know what they need to do to be successful.
For some employees, such as those in sales jobs, the amount of revenue generated through closed sales demonstrates success. But for others, there needs to be a clear understanding of what success looks like.
Organizations need to develop individual, measurable goals. They also need regular check-ins, from annual evaluations to weekly one-on-ones, to measure and gauge progress.
Beyond understanding what it means for personal success, employees want to know how their work connects to institutional goals. By understanding the relationship of their work to broader initiatives, employees see how their work matters.
13. Are day-to-day decisions made to improve quality and business outcomes?
Employees want to believe that decision-making is in the best interests of the organization. It’s a top engagement driver. Employees who believe that day-to-day decisions are made for other reasons will question leadership.
When employees don’t doubt the reasoning behind decisions, faith in the leadership and the organization overall prospers. When skepticism and questions abound, engagement and confidence in leadership can plummet.
14. Do you have enough time to do quality work?
What happens when employees feel stressed, rushed, or without enough time to do good work? Often, they bring work home with them, eroding work-life balance and leading to burnout.
When the number of work responsibilities means employees can’t do work they feel good about, workers can become discouraged and lose motivation. Understanding workflows and the pressures around completing good work can do wonders for engagement rates.
15. Do you usually take work home with you?
This question is closely related to the one above. Other questions in this area can ask about working outside of scheduled hours, on weekends, or over holidays and vacations.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is one of the most valued attributes employees crave, especially in a post-pandemic world. Follow-up questions to this one can probe why they bring work home and how much time is spent on it.
16. Do you feel the organization is a good place for you to develop and advance your career?
Employees want opportunities to learn skills, hone talents, and gain the knowledge necessary for career success. Organizations that reliably provide learning and development opportunities have higher levels of employee engagement.
17. Do you know and see how your work correlates to the organization’s success?
The big picture here is how an employee connects their work and its outcomes to the organization’s success. Employees who can see the correlation and are engaged are going to be more committed to helping their employees succeed.
18. Do you feel the organization cares about your physical and emotional well-being?
Wellness today is important for workplace safety, absenteeism, and employee retention. Employees want to know their employers care about their health and are doing what they can to support healthy behaviors.
19. How prominent a role do office politics play in the workplace?
Rumors, gossip, and power dynamics are unfortunate realities in nearly every organization. The degree to which office politics affects the workplace and workers can create a negative employee experience at any level.
20. Are you satisfied with your compensation and employee benefits?
Employee compensation is an important consideration as part of employee satisfaction. Answers to this question can reflect several factors. For one, it can directly address an employee’s own compensation, including benefits.
In addition to whether an employee feels fairly compensated or underpaid, answers may reflect how they feel about coworkers. If employees feel others are overpaid, they can be dissatisfied in the workplace.
It’s important here to consider compensation and benefits. Follow-up questions can ask for details about specific benefits to determine which are meaningful and valued. It can also help shape assessments of which benefits might be added to increase employee engagement.
21. Are you excited to come to work today?
Excited is a strong word and is included in this question intentionally. This question will likely elicit strong responses. Whether an employee is fully engaged, not very engaged, or neutral, this question provides an opportunity to dive further.
You can also follow up on answers to this question by asking what makes them excited or not excited about coming to work.
22. Are you recognized for your accomplishments at work?
Recognition is vital to employee engagement. Employees want appreciation for work well done, especially from their managers and supervisors. Employees who don’t feel recognition are more apt to leave.
23. Are the leaders good role models for others?
Employees want to see that their leaders are an inspiration, acting in ways that benefit the organization, and drive business outcomes. They will also emulate leaders’ behaviors regarding work ethic, morals and ethics, and treatment of others.
24. What else should we have asked you in this survey?
No survey instrument is perfect, and employees may want to provide feedback on items not covered or clear. With open-ended questions like this one, you’re apt to get additional insights that you may not have considered otherwise.
The answers to this question can help improve future employee engagement surveys. They can be full of qualitative information that can provide new dimensions to your engagement solutions.
Employee engagement FAQs
Below are several common questions about employee engagement.
How best to ask the right employee engagement questions?
There are many ways to ask employee engagement questions. The most widespread is surveys.
Long-form, comprehensive surveys that address multiple areas are a way to gather a lot of information. They should be sent regularly but not too frequently, typically annually. They can be complemented by pulse surveys, which are quick queries designed to focus on one area.
One-on-one, small-group, and focus-group conversations are other excellent ways to get more detail on a small set of matters related to employee engagement.
What tools are available to track employee engagement?
There are many employee engagement tools that can launch your survey. Look for products specifically designed to build employee engagement surveys like Culture Amp, Office Vibe and TinyPulse. These tools should also be customizable and provide reporting and analytics to help you share and interpret survey results.
Organizations that commit to surveying employees about engagement have taken an important step. Establishing a baseline and asking good questions help steer your employee engagement strategy.
At Gusto, we help employers connect more deeply with and support their employees. Our services support employee onboarding and benefits, combined with talent management and data to support decision-making.