Employee Engagement Surveys for Beginners

Employee engagement surveys measure the level of investment, involvement, and dedication your staff demonstrates in the workplace. They are designed to reveal problems within the organization that are causing your employees to feel dissatisfied, undervalued, and unmotivated.

Your survey results provide invaluable insights into the health of your company and what employees need to stay engaged. Because engaged employees are 12% more productive and motivated than their disengaged counterparts, they’re directly tied to your organization’s future success and profitability.

But despite the benefits of employee engagement surveys, nearly one in five employees have reported that their companies don’t formally measure employee engagement at all. Here at CultureIQ, we’ve helped 800+ organizations measure employee engagement and strengthen their company culture. 

So we’ve outlined some tips and tricks we’ve learned about employee surveys along the way. This page will walk you through:

  • How to create an employee engagement survey
  • The organizational factors your survey should measure
  • Employee engagement survey questions to ask
  • What to do with your survey results

How to Create an Employee Engagement Survey

Employee engagement surveys will give your staff a voice, direct organizational improvements, and offer a way to benchmark your progress. Overall, your surveys will go a long way towards understanding, measuring, and improving employee engagement levels — and highly engaged workplaces see a 10% increase in customer ratings and a 20% increase in sales.

To realize these benefits, we recommend starting with a comprehensive approach that measures the full range of factors that can affect employee satisfaction. Based on those outcomes, you can then narrow your focus moving forward to measure the improvement areas that are most important to your company.

When creating an initial employee engagement survey, we advise our clients to measure the following four organizational factors:

Leadership

Your company’s leadership has a profound effect on employee engagement. They set the tone for your organization, define its goals, and act as positive role models for employees. As such, a critical metric for employee engagement is understanding how well employees believe your executives demonstrate company values, foster working relationships, and lead by example.

Career Development

Base pay and career advancement are the two biggest factors affecting engagement. In creating your survey, aim to find out if your employees understand their career path within the organization. Do they believe they have the support they need to thrive? Do they understand how to fulfill their professional aspirations at the company?

Company Pride

Recent research has found that when employees have pride in their company, they adopt its goals as their own and strive to do what’s best for the organization as a whole. To measure company pride using surveys, ask questions that reveal whether your staff believes in the organization’s future, cares about its vision and goals, and feels that it’s contributing to important causes.

Working Relationships

Many studies have found that employees are substantially more engaged when they have strong relationships at work. When crafted correctly, your surveys can uncover what your employees think of one another, and whether or not they are creating strong friendships and experiencing positive interactions.

Developing a survey that pinpoints the issues specific to your organization is key. Starting with these four factors and drilling in will help. You can also turn to a platform like CultureIQ to easily design and customize surveys that tap into the heart of your company.

Employee Engagement Survey Questions to Ask

Your employee engagement survey questions will determine how effectively you’re able to measure the four key factors that affect your staff: leadership, career development, company pride, and relationships. Consider starting with questions that answer questions on a scale of 1-10, so you can quantitatively measure responses over time.

Because every company has a unique culture and different goals, the questions should be highly customized to change as you uncover opportunities for improvement. If you choose to conduct your surveys with CultureIQ, your dedicated strategy team will guide you through crafting questions that are effective for your specific audience and can elicit the feedback you need.

With that said, there are several general employee engagement survey questions* that offer a great starting point. They include:

*With answers all given along a scale of 1-10

Q: How likely are you to recommend this company to a friend?

This question provides more insight into your staff’s opinion of the company. If your employees would advise a friend to join your organization, it’s a clear indication that they are proud of the company and enjoy their time at work.

This type of question allows us to accurately gauge your eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score), which measures employee loyalty and segments your staff members into promoters, passives and detractors.

Q: How connected does your work feel to the company’s mission?

When employees know, understand, and believe in the company’s mission and values, they’re also more connected to leadership and engaged with their work. Based on this question’s results, you’ll know whether to dig further into employee relationship with leadership and/or the nature of their responsibilities.

Q: How confident are you in your company’s leadership team?

For employees to feel connected to your business’s mission and goals, they need to feel connected to your leadership team. That means having leadership that they collaborate with, that embodies company values, and that clearly communicates high-level initiatives and updates. If respondents indicate they’re not confident in leadership, dig further into the reason why so you can strengthen your leadership — and your business.

Q: How consistently does your manager provide you with feedback?

Getting consistent feedback is a key way for employees to achieve their goals and develop their careers. That feedback helps them lean into the things they excel in, and course correct the areas for improvement. Asking about feedback from managers will provide insights into one of the best ways for employees to receive feedback.

Q: Is there an opportunity for your professional growth at the company?

Engaged employees view their organization as a place where they can grow — not as a stepping stone or a temporary detour on the path to greater career fulfillment. How your staff answers this question can reveal a need to clearly communicate career paths and opportunities within the company.

Q: Does your role have clearly set goals around what determines success?

Employees are more likely to invest in their career development at your company when they have a clear path forward. That clear path is, in large part, determined by a performance-focused culture that identifies what success looks like, with clear recognition when achievements are reached. Ideally, respondents will feel aware of and connected to their respective role’s goals.

Q: How much ownership do you feel you have over your work?

Employees feel empowered when they’re held accountable for their work and have the independence to make decisions regarding their work. The answers to this question will highlight whether or not your team needs to feel more responsibility over their projects.

Q: How happy are you with your work-life balance?

For employees to sustain high levels of productivity and engagement over time, they need a healthy balance between their work and personal life. If survey respondents indicate that they are feeling unbalanced in this area, it’s a sign that burnout, diminished productivity, and retention issues are potentially brewing.

Q: How well does your team collaborate together?

Positive relationships where people cooperate and work well together are a major contributor to workplace and job satisfaction. Ideally, respondents will indicate that they enjoy collaborating, feel supported by their colleagues, and have more positive than negative interactions with their co-workers.

Q: How well do your co-workers and managers treat each other with respect?

In highly engaged workplaces, employees respect one another and feel comfortable providing feedback and constructive criticism. How your staff answers this question will reveal whether or not they are experiencing a positive company culture.

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What To Do With Your Survey Results

Once you’ve distributed the employee engagement survey and collected your staff’s responses, the next step is to assess the results and develop an action plan to create sustainable organizational change that has a positive effect on your employees.

This can be surprisingly difficult, because it involves sifting through a massive amount of feedback and knowing where to direct your resources so they have the greatest possible impact. At CultureIQ, we will review the data alongside you to help establish a clear focus, so you prioritize the areas that matter most to the people in your organization.

When you partner with CultureIQ, you will have the opportunity to work with our seasoned strategy team. They will guide you through the creation of your first or fiftieth employee engagement survey, showing you and your team how to optimize the survey for maximum response and harness your employees’ feedback to dramatically improve productivity, and fulfillment.

Make Employee Engagement Survey Your Priority This Year

Don't just take our word for it!

“Most importantly, utilizing CultureIQ has shown our employees that their feedback is important to us.”

Jacque Kress
SMS Assist

“CultureIQ has been great. I believe all companies can benefit from engaging with their culture in this way.”

Ned Taleb
Nexius

“CultureIQ has been such a meaningful tool for MailChimp. The surveys have helped us improve our internal communication across the board, and employees appreciate the opportunity to share feedback throughout the year. And the customer service is amazing!”

Marti Wolf
MailChimp

“CultureIQ provides our companies with the ability to measure, assess, and take timely and appropriate actions in addressing the engagement of our rapidly growing and evolving global workforce.”

Christina Ptasinski
Crane Companies

“CultureIQ has been a simple, user-friendly and easy to navigate tool that allows us insights into our employees around the globe.”

Allison Down
General Assembly

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