Employee engagement is the key to company success. It has an impact on performance, retention, motivation and the overall employee experience. In the following words we delve into the crucial realm of employee engagement surveys.

Explore with us their importance, implementation, and optimization within the modern workplace and make use of the +85 employee engagement survey questions and 3 templates we provide.

What is an employee engagement survey

As we all know, employee engagement plays an important role in any company’s success. Engaged employees are more satisfied, motivated, productive, and committed to the work they do, leading to better business outcomes. But, how can companies measure their level of employee engagement? The most powerful thing you can do is create an employee engagement survey.

Before delving into the creation of an employee engagement survey, it’s essential to understand the concept of employee engagement. Although we can relate employee engagement with employee satisfaction, these are not synonyms. Employee engagement refers to the commitment employees have towards their jobs and their company.

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, how can you measure something as intangible as employee engagement? Well, there’s a process for measuring employee engagement correctly, and its main protagonist is surveys. An employee engagement survey is a structured set of questions designed to gather qualitative and quantitative feedback from employees

This feedback can help companies identify areas where engagement may be lacking, it is a great tool to uncover the causes of disengagement. This is done by getting information about how employees feel, what they think about their company and team and obtaining insights about their employee experience.

Objectives of an Employee Engagement Survey

An employee engagement survey is a great tool for companies to gather information and enhance the overall satisfaction and engagement levels of their employees. The primary objectives of conducting employee engagement surveys are aimed at understanding and improving the overall employee experience. These objectives are:

  • Assessing employee satisfaction: employee engagement surveys aim to evaluate the levels of satisfaction among employees considering diverse aspects of their employee experience. These aspects include their role in the company, company culture, relationships at work, opportunities for growth, and overall job satisfaction, among others.

  • Identifying areas of improvement: these surveys can help uncover specific areas of concern for employees. Whether these are related to communication, leadership, or workload, surveys shed light on these issues so that they can be addressed in time.

  • Understanding employee needs: by collecting feedback in employee engagement surveys you can understand the needs and expectations of employees. You can uncover needs related to training, better work-life balance, communication, or additional benefits.

  • Reducing employee turnover: surveys can identify burnout in time and, therefore, prevent turnover, enabling proactive retention efforts.

  • Measuring evolution: by conducting employee engagement surveys periodically, companies can discover how engagement evolves over time and relate it to their ad hoc initiatives. This procedure allows for ongoing adjustments to engagement strategies.

  • Improving the employee experience: the mere act of asking employees for feedback enhances morale and shows employees that their opinions matter.

  • Driving organizational change: employee engagement surveys are key in driving meaningful change within any company. They provide the necessary data to implement new policies, programs, changes and strategies to work on employee engagement.

  • Transforming feedback into a habit: these surveys allow for a structured feedback loop, promoting open communication between the company and the employees. In this way, employees can understand that their opinions matter and the company is committed to addressing their concerns.

You can set up multiple goals for conducting employee engagement surveys. The objectives will always depend on your company needs and current situation. Still, remember that, when thoughtfully implemented, surveys serve as a strategic tool to improve employee engagement, foster a positive work environment, boost morale, and drive company success through its most valuable asset, its employees.

How to prepare an Employee Engagement Survey

An employee answering an employee engagement survey with her laptop

Creating an effective employee engagement survey requires planning carefully, adopting a strategic mindset, and having a well-structured approach. The process involves 7 steps to ensure the survey brings meaningful insights and drives actionable results:

  1. Defining the right KPIs
  2. Setting clear objectives
  3. Ensuring anonymity and confidentiality
  4. Defining a survey timeline
  5. Choosing relevant questions
  6. Choosing the right measuring scale
  7. Collecting all responses
  8. Implementing an employee engagement survey tool

1. Defining the right KPIs

At the beginning of the process of preparing an employee engagement survey, defining the right KPIs is fundamental.

Why defining KPIs at the beginning of the process helps?

  • Understand your company’s current situation: getting insights about the current state of employee engagement levels in your company will give you the guidance you need to carry on the process. This information will help you identify what needs to be improved to set your survey objectives.

  • Measure the progress: imagine that analyzing the survey results you identify a major problem in your company. The next step will be defining actions that improve that situation. How can you know if you’ve made any progress if you don’t set the initial value of your employee engagement KPIs?

What KPIs should you be tracking to analyze employee engagement?

  • eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score)
  • ESI (Employee Satisfaction Index)
  • Employee retention rate
  • Employee turnover rate
  • 90-day failure rate
  • Work-life balance rate
  • Recognition among employees
  • Employee participation in surveys
  • Employee absenteeism rate
  • Employee performance

But, how can you measure the 10 KPIs? Take a look at these formulas to measure employee engagement KPIs. These formulas will walk you through the process of measuring employee engagement the right way to gain valuable insights.

2. Setting clear objectives

Before crafting your employee engagement survey, you have to define your goals. Determine what are those aspects of employee engagement you want to assess; job satisfaction, leadership, communication, development, or other factors. 

Consider the importance of this step as your objectives will guide the entire survey creation process. Having defined clear objectives will ensure that your employee engagement survey focuses on the most crucial areas for improvement within your company. 

But, how can you define those goals?

  • Talk to people: talk to some employees to gather different perspectives. Understand the key challenges, strategic goals, and areas of concern they believe the company should work on. Take this chance to prioritize the areas that need immediate attention.

  • Review previous surveys and feedback: to identify trends, recurring issues, and areas where improvements were made. This will help you identify persistent problems and measure progress over time.

  • Align with company goals: whether it’s to enhance productivity, reduce turnover, foster innovation, or improve customer service. Always try to design the survey in a way that targets aspects that directly impact your corporate goals.

3. Ensuring anonymity and confidentiality

Maintaining anonymity and confidentiality in an employee engagement survey is crucial for getting honest feedback from employees

How can you ensure anonymity and confidentiality?

  • Communicate privacy measures: explain that responses are gathered and reported in a way that makes it impossible to identify individual respondents. Here it’s highly important to make employees understand that their feedback is safe and won’t be linked to their identities.

  • Don’t collect identifying information: design your employee engagement survey in a way that it doesn’t collect names, emails, IDs, etc. 

  • Aggregate data: group and evaluate the data collectively, not individually. It helps in protecting individual identities.

  • If you’re unable to provide the above: implement a third-party survey tool. Using an independent employee engagement software will reinforce the idea of confidentiality. It’ll also help employees feel safer in providing honest feedback. However, first, make sure that your new provider offers anonymity surveys!

4. Defining a survey timeline

Establishing a realistic timeline for your employee engagement survey is important to ensure participation and meaningful feedback.

How to set a realistic timeline?

  • Consider the duration: determine a duration that gives employees enough time to respond without making the process too long. We recommend giving at least 1 week and a maximum of 2. 

  • Avoid busy periods: consider your company calendar to launch the employee engagement survey. Avoid conducting the survey during busy work periods or vacation periods. Remember that you need maximum participation to succeed with your survey.

  • Consider data processing time: this stage is key for getting meaningful insights from the survey responses. Ensure that there’s enough time to analyze the results before moving on to the action planning phase.

  • Communicate progress updates: updates employees periodically on the progress of the survey. Communicate response rates to keep employees engaged and informed throughout the process.

5. Choosing relevant questions

Including the right questions is highly important to ensure that your employee engagement survey brings valuable and actionable insights. 

What should you take into consideration?

  • Consider the multiple dimensions of engagement: include questions that cover various dimensions of engagement. These can be job satisfaction, career development, and work-life balance, among others. Adopting a holistic approach will provide you with a comprehensive view of the overall employee experience.

  • Mix quantitative and qualitative questions: in this way, you’ll gather both statistical data and descriptive feedback. Quantitative data provides measurable results, while qualitative responses offer context.

  • Focus on actionable feedback: design questions in a way that prompts actionable feedback. Rather than just asking about satisfaction, ask about the specific factors contributing to satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

6. Choosing the right measuring scale

Choosing the right measurement scale for employee engagement survey questions is essential to capture responses in a way that data is easier to interpret.

How can you choose the right measuring scale?

  • Don’t use one type of scale only: evaluate various scales commonly used in surveys. You can use Likert scales, semantic differential scales, or numerical scales. 

  • Avoid complex scales: don’t use scale options that are confusing. While it might be tempting to use, these scales can lead to inconsistent responses.

  • Align scales with the type of question: for example, for questions requiring a range of agreement such as satisfaction levels, Likert scales are suitable. And, for binary questions, a simple yes/no scale is appropriate.

  • Consider including ‘not applicable’ or ‘neutral’ options: this allows employees to express themselves when they don’t have a strong opinion. This will avoid forced or inaccurate responses.

  • Provide clear instructions: explain what each point on the scale means and ensure the instructions are accessible to all participants.

7. Collecting all responses

Collecting and managing all the responses received from an employee engagement survey is a critical phase in the process.

How can you manage this phase effectively?

  • Select your survey distribution method: how will you send out your surveys? The method you choose will lay the groundwork for data collection. Consider if you need an employee engagement survey tool, email, paper forms, or a combination of several methods.

  • Track and encourage participation: the success of your survey will depend on the quality of responses gathered. Monitor employee participation throughout the employee engagement survey process and stress the importance of employee participation by sending reminders. 

  • Analyze responses and identify patterns: time to start analyzing the collected responses. Look for patterns, trends and discrepancies within the data. Categorize responses anonymously, but based on departments or other relevant segments to identify specific problem areas. Never set up segments that could give you clues to identify individual employees.

  • Communicate the findings to employees: take this chance to outline action plans to address concerns and implement changes based on the feedback received.

  • Store data: and feed it into your people analytics reports. Maintain records for future reference and benchmarking purposes. Use all these data to make better and more accurate employee engagement surveys in the future.

8. Implementing an employee engagement survey tool

This step in the process can save you a few hours. Implementing an employee engagement survey tool will allow you to manage this process more effectively. In fact, this tool should be implemented just before the third step; ensuring anonymity and confidentiality. From there, the rest of the process will be a cakewalk. Remember that an employee engagement survey tool guides you through the process to make it as intuitive and powerful as possible.

What are its benefits?

  • Getting data-driven insights: collect and analyze data more efficiently. Survey tools provide you with actionable insights for improving your engagement strategies.

  • Automated and customizable surveys: most employee engagement survey tools allow you to tailor your surveys to your company’s specific needs. This ensures having relevant questions that align with your goals.

  • Ease of use: these tools are usually very powerful and very easy to use. They make survey crafting, distribution, and analysis intuitive  for both administrators and employees.

  • Real-time feedback: survey tools provide you with timely answers, allowing you to start working on problems in time.

  • Anonymous Responses: transferring your surveys to such a tool will ensure 100% employee anonymity. There is no leakage of personal information.

14 Tips when preparing employee engagement surveys

Once the above 7 steps have been internalized, consider the following tips. As we all know, developing an effective employee engagement survey requires careful consideration of several factors to ensure its success. Here are 14 tips you can keep in mind to ensure that no detail is left to chance:

  1. Keep your surveys clear and concise: clear and easy-to-understand surveys tend to yield higher response rates. Avoid jargon or complex language. Make sure the survey is simple and does not take up too much of the employees’ time.

  2. Test the survey: before launching it company-wide, conduct a test with a small group to identify any potential issues. This test will help you to refine and improve the survey before you send it to the whole company.

  3. Communicate the purpose to employees: emphasize the importance their feedback has in improving the employee experience. Clear communication to employees will result in higher quality responses.

  4. Personalize the survey: if possible, personalize the survey by addressing employees by their names, pronouns or department.

  5. Show the progress: add a progress bar to show employees how far they are in the survey. This small gesture encourages completion.

  6. Time estimation: if possible, show the estimated time to complete the survey. In this way, managing employee expectations regarding the duration will be easier.

  7. Consider mobile access: create a mobile-friendly survey to make it easier for employees to access the surveys.

  8. Thank you message: after completion, show a thank you message to employees to acknowledge their participation.

  9. Consider the variety of languages: adapt the survey for different languages within the company to comply with diversity.

  10. Don’t include too many mandatory responses: this will prevent unnecessary pressure on employees.

  11. Include a “not applicable” option: for questions that might not be relevant to all employees.

  12. Include a comments section: but not for all questions. Offer employees the possibility to write additional feedback beyond the 1-5 questions.

  13. Set a deadline: this will encourage timely responses.

  14. Include an introductory video or message: explain to employees the purpose and value of the survey.

We all try to follow best practices guided by People experts in everything we do to ensure that the process is as effective and efficient as possible. When it comes to employee engagement surveys, it should be no different, right?

85 Employee engagement survey questions

When crafting your own employee engagement survey, take these questions into consideration. This section includes the mandatory questions and others that apply to each of the 7 factors that drive employee engagement. However, remember that your survey has to contain a subset of questions tailored to your company goals and needs. 

Mandatory questions:

  1. (The eNPS question) On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend [company name] as a good place to work?
  2. Do you consider yourself an ambassador for [company name]?
  3. Would you nominate [company name] for the “best place to work” awards?
  4. Would you recommend the products or services offered by [company name]?
  5. Would you be happy to be a client of [company name]?

Job satisfaction:

  1. On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with your role in [company name]?
  2. Do you feel that what you were told you would do during recruitment aligns with what you are actually doing?
  3. Do you feel appreciated and valued in [company name]?
  4. Do you feel motivated to give your best at work?
  5. Do you enjoy working with your team?
  6. Do you feel proud to work for [company name]?
  7. Are you satisfied with the opportunities for professional growth and development you’ve been given in [company name]?
  8. Do you feel that you can maintain a healthy balance between your work and your personal life?
  9. Are you able to disconnect after work?
  10. How satisfied are you with your level of autonomy at work?
  11. Are you satisfied with your salary?
  12. Do you miss any benefits that you would like [company name] to incorporate?
  13. What would you change about your role?

Corporate values:

  1. Do you believe [company name] values align with your own values?
  2. Do you feel aligned with [company name] long-term vision and goals?
  3. Do the mission and purpose of [company name] motivate you?
  4. Is the workplace culture inclusive?
  5. Are ethical practices encouraged and followed in [company name]?
  6. Are there unnecessary rules and regulations in [company name]?
  7. Are you proud of what we do in [company name]?
  8. In [company name], are professionalism and results valued above personal relationships?

Work environment:

  1. (For remote workers) How satisfied are you with the support you receive?
  2. (For remote workers)Do you consider that the remote tools and technology implemented in [company name] are effective for communication and collaboration?
  3. (For remote workers)Do you feel included in the company’s culture while working remotely?
  4. Which aspects of [company name] culture would you like to change?
  5. Do you feel [company name] supports a healthy work-life balance?
  6. How often do you experience stress at work?
  7. Do you feel [company name] works to prevent stress?
  8. Are mental health and wellbeing initiatives supported by [company name]?
  9. Do you believe [company name] fosters a diverse, equal and inclusive work environment?
  10. Are the facilities and resources [company name] provides adequate for your daily tasks?
  11. (For in-office workers) How comfortable are you with lighting, temperature and workspace?
  12. Are safety measures followed in [company name]?
  13. Are company policies and procedures clear and easily accessible?
  14. Do you feel [company name] processes are efficient?
  15. Do you feel [company name] is committed to sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives?

Feedback and communication:

  1. Is communication transparent and effective in [company name]?
  2. Are your goals and objectives clearly communicated?
  3. How well does [company name] communicate its future plans and objectives?
  4. Are your opinions valued in the decision-making process?
  5. If you have a new idea, how likely are you to share it with the team?
  6. How satisfied are you with the frequency and quality of the feedback received?
  7. How accessible do you find the channels for providing feedback in [company name]?
  8. Are you informed about all changes within [company name[?
  9. How well does [company name]  involve employees in change-related decisions?
  10. Have [company name] implemented enough mechanisms for conflict resolution?
  11. Do you feel listened to and supported when dealing with work-related conflicts?

Leadership & fellowship:

  1. Do you feel a sense of unity in the team?
  2. Do you feel your manager trusts you?
  3. Do you feel your colleagues trust you?
  4. Do you trust your manager?
  5. Do you trust your colleagues?
  6. If you ask for help, will your manager help you?
  7. If you ask for help, will your colleagues help you?
  8. Is there open and effective communication with your manager?
  9. Is there open and effective communication with your colleagues?
  10. Do everyone collaborate equally to achieve common goals?
  11. Do you feel that your team collaborates effectively on projects?
  12. Do you feel your manager is concerned about  your professional growth?
  13. Do you feel your manager listens and responds to your needs and concerns?
  14. Do you believe your manager is a good leader?
  15. Are team goals and strategies effectively communicated by your manager?
  16. Are changes and decisions within your team or [company name]  communicated transparently by your manager?

Employee recognition:

  1. Do you feel your manager appreciates and recognizes the work you do?
  2. Do you feel your colleagues appreciate and recognize the work you do?
  3. How often do you recognize your colleagues and manager for the work they do?
  4. How often are your achievements recognized and valued?
  5. Are you satisfied with the frequency with which your work is recognized?
  6. Are there sufficient incentives to encourage recognition among team members?
  7. When you receive recognition for your work, do you think it is honest and meaningful?
  8. Does [company name] celebrate your achievements and learning?

Professional development:

  1. Does [company name] promote a culture of learning and development?
  2. Are you satisfied with the development opportunities provided by [company name]?
  3. Do you have the opportunity to work on your skills through constant training?
  4. Does [company name] put at your disposal a development plan designed to improve your skills?
  5. Do you feel that you have enough freedom to decide how to do your job?
  6. Do you have the necessary resources to perform your job effectively?
  7. Is your work a challenge for you?
  8. Do you have the autonomy to make decisions within your role?
  9. Do you feel [company name] supports your long-term career goals?

Employee engagement survey template

To facilitate the employee engagement survey process, we have compiled a comprehensive downloadable template with 3 survey options. These templates are balanced for gathering information on the 7 most critical drivers of employee engagement. Also, they are designed as we recommend at Nailted, with 11 questions; 10 plus the eNPS question.

You can use this template to cover your first 2 months of employee engagement measurement, sending each of these surveys every 3 weeks.

At Nailted, we understand the importance of designing customized employee engagement surveys to suit your specific needs and align with your own culture. Therefore, while these templates provide a great starting point, we encourage you to tailor these questions to align it with the purpose you’ve set for this process.