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Employee Engagement Surveys: Everything You Need To Know

Employee Engagement Surveys Everything You Need To Know

Whether you are running a startup or a decade-old business, conducting an employee engagement survey is crucial for retaining your workforce. 

Every other business is facing the “disengagement” pandemic. Whether it is due to a stressful work environment or unsatisfactory pay, employees are showing high levels of disengagement. 

So what can you do to increase engagement and reduce attrition? 

Online surveys are a cost-effective tool that can help your business measure how engaged employees are and the changes you need to make to ensure higher productivity. 

Surveys can give you ample data to prioritize the voice of the employee (VoE), invest in employee experience, and create the best workplace culture. If you are unsure how employee engagement surveys work or what questions to ask, this blog is custom-made for you. 

Let’s go!

What Is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is a common HR strategy that highlights how dedicated and enthusiastic employees work at the organization. 

Employee productivity is also at the top when the engagement level is at the top. This means engaged employees are more productive than others. 

Employee engagement serves as the backbone of any organization’s success. 

Here are some basic features of employee engagement: 

  • Engaged employees are fully aware of their roles & responsibilities. 
  • Engaged employees are honest and loyal to the organization and their work. 
  • Engaged employees are more emotionally attached to their work. 
  • Engaged employees are more motivated to contribute to the organization’s success. 

There are three major key elements that define engagement 

SAY
When the employees share positive things about their work and organization. 

STAY
When the employees prefer long term association with the organization. 

STRIVE 
When the employees do something out of the box, putting extra effort for organizational growth.

Why Conduct an Employee Engagement Survey

Also known as staff engagement survey, it is a set of questionnaires designed to capture deep insights into how engaged the employees are at the workplace. It also tells about the issues with the ongoing engagement programs and their effectiveness. 

The format varies from place to place and organization to organization. A large company will use a detailed, well-structured survey whereas a company with a small team will create a short survey.

A start-up will have a different engagement survey as compared to an established one. Internal surveys are quick, while external ones are lengthy. Largely, the format and scope of an employee engagement survey depend on its motive.

Employee engagement surveys bring a lot of insights into some key aspects such as 

  • What the employee thinks about the organization
  • Hw motivated they are
  • Their productivity levels

There can be endless reasons for conducting employee engagement surveys. Every organization wants to know how involved the employees are. 

Employees may not speak up about their issues openly, or maybe, some employees won’t find the new leave policies good. Thus, they feel demotivated and disengaged at the workplace. 

Let’s take this hypothetical situation. 

Jane heads the human resources department at FrontMax Pvt Ltd, a shipping and logistics company. Jane noticed a slight dip in the productivity bar. Some of the employees (drivers) looked unhappy but didn’t speak about it. So, she created a small engagement survey and mailed it to everyone. 

The organization had a 20-minute evening break where the employees could unwind themselves from the heavy work. It was reduced to 10 minutes. It turned out that not only the current situation but a few incidents from the past also affected the employees. 

Jane created further strategies to solve the situation based on the survey results. 

Employee engagement surveys are conducted to understand the elements that motivate the employees to work honestly and enthusiastically and the elements that demotivate them.

Read more: 24 Different Types of Survey Methods With Examples

Here are the top 5 reasons why organizations should conduct employee engagement surveys.

1. Understanding the Engagement Level

Yes, we cannot neglect the basic one. The first and foremost reason for conducting an employee engagement survey is to know how engaged the employees are. The data collected will help you find out the key drivers of the workforce. Also, you will understand why some employees are disengaged or performing poorly in a certain time period. 

These ‘engagement’ elements vary from organization to organization. However, some common ones are work environment, roles and responsibilities, growth and development, appreciation and recognition, pay and benefits, etc. A perfect mix of these elements ensures that the employees are fully motivated, engaged and involved. 

Pro Tip Appreciate your employees for filling out the engagement survey. (For example – meal coupons or shopping vouchers.)

2. Giving Employees a Voice

Employees want to be heard. But they also hesitate. Employee engagement surveys give them a platform where they can share how they feel and perceive certain aspects of organizational functioning. This is the best platform to initiate two-way communication, i.e., employee, and employer communication, where both parties engage in conversation. 

When a company involves its employees in decision-making and planning strategies, they feel valued and that they are an integral part of the organization. This way, they will be more motivated and confident in establishing transparent communication and sharing their thoughts with their employers. 

Pro Tip Keeping the surveys anonymous will enable the employees to open up themselves to their cores and motivate them to share their feelings and thoughts, which they may not be able to do otherwise. 

Read More: Best Employee Engagement Software

3. Creating More Engagement

A good thing about employee engagement surveys is that these surveys let you know the loopholes or issues that create disengagement at the workplace. Thus, you can discuss with them and come up with some action plans to eliminate those factors. The result will equip you with enough insights, including opportunities and strengths. And you can create an engagement program accordingly. 

Depending on the scope of improvements, you can devise an organization-wide strategy or even plan for improvements at an individual level. This sure will increase employee engagement at the workplace, ultimately enhancing the workforce’s efficiency and productivity.

Pro Tip Driving engagement at the workplace is not a one-time activity. Thus, you need to keep the game on from time to time. You can create annual as well as periodic surveys.

4. Enhancing the Overall Growth of the Organization

Understanding what motivates your empowered employees can contribute a lot to the company’s success and revenue growth. Several other metrics, such as employee management, employee satisfaction, leadership development, etc. are important elements to consider when planning for improvement for better performance. 

Since every organization has multiple verticals, understanding how one performs and engages better than the others can help you strategize and track best practices’ zones. The insights obtained from engagement surveys will help you implement the actionable data for overall organizational growth.

Pro Tip – Asking the right actionable employee engagement questions will enable you to gain enough insights which can help you understand the performance and productivity of the employees. 

Read more: Difference Between Survey and Questionnaire

5. Benchmarking the Insights for Comparison

One of the most important reasons for conducting employee engagement surveys is to compare the data for benchmarking processes. Once you are done with data analysis, you can do a comparison of the same against the previous performance and see what things have been changed and what more needs to be done. 

Moreover, you can also compare the data with the industry parameters to understand how your organization is performing against other organizations in the same business domain. This process will further help you know if the workforce is facing any issues specific to your organization only or if it is the same with other organizations.

Top 25 Employee Engagement Survey Questions

It may sound basic but the most important thing for any employee engagement survey is including the right set of questionnaires. Next, employee survey questions should highlight the pillars of engagement within the organization. You can discuss the engagement level at the workplace, job satisfaction, employee’s personal and professional goals, etc.

We will divide employee engagement survey questions into multiple categories. Let’s start discussing. 

Employee Satisfaction Questions 

A satisfied employee is more productive and enthusiastic. Thus, satisfaction is easy to track, but dissatisfaction is harder to measure. This employee engagement questionnaire will help you understand the way employees think about the workplace. 

  1. What do you feel about work today? 
  2. Would you recommend this organization to your friends or family?
  3. Do you feel excited about coming to the office every day?
  4. Do you feel proud of working at this organization?
  5. Do you feel satisfied with the benefits and compensation this organization is providing you?
  6. Do you enjoy working with your team and seniors?

Alignment Questions

These questions talk about employees’ alignment within the organization and the overall environment. Asking such questions about employee engagement will help you understand if the employees feel whatever they are doing matters to the organization. 

  1. Do you think the work you are doing positively impacts the organization?
  2. Do you feel inspired by the organization’s motto and values?
  3. Does the organization appreciate you for your efforts and contributions?
  4. Do you feel your manager supports you in achieving your goals?
  5. Do you feel the organization provides a supportive work environment?
  6. Do you feel the organization and upper management invest in your culture initiatives?

Future Orientation Questions

These types of employee engagement questions help you understand if the employees want to stay working with you or not in the long term. You can understand the loopholes in the system, if there are any, and track the areas where you need to improve. This way, you can identify frustrated but talented resources.

  1. Do you think you will be working at this place for the next 12 months?
  2. Do you think your roles and responsibilities challenge you and help you in overall growth?
  3. Do you think this organization is the best place for you to advance in your career?
  4. Do you think you have all the necessary skills and knowledge to boost your growth?
  5. Have you thought about switching to some other better place recently?
  6. Has anyone at the company asked about and expressed support for your career growth?

Open-Ended Questions 

Open-ended engagement questions for employees let them express themselves in more than a couple of words. They can share what’s on their mind in detail. Thus, including open-ended questions in the survey opens up doors to further improvement. 

  1. Do you think this organization needs to change some of its policies? What are those?
  2. Can you explain a few problems you faced with the organizational culture?
  3. How can we help improve workplace engagement?
  4. Is there anything else that you feel is important to discuss and needs to be addressed?
  5. When was the last time you felt disengaged, and why was it so?
  6. Share any bad experience you had working at this organization. 
  7. What would that be if you had to change one thing in upper management?

Checklist Before Creating Employee Engagement Surveys

Every manager or the HR department should communicate with the employees to understand the reasons for disengagement at the workplace. The gap increases without any communication, potentially leading to low employee retention rates. It is a fact that engaged employees are more loyal, dedicated, emotionally invested & committed to their jobs.

Here, we will discuss the top 7 key elements which should be a part of every employee engagement survey plan.

1. Employee Career

Every employee comes with a career-centric approach whenever they start working with any organization. Thus, the HR managers should discuss with them to check their progress over time. If not done on time, their career goals may lose intensity, and they may get frustrated over time.

Moreover, the managers should support them in advancing their career graph. Conducting skill development programs, training, etc. are important initiatives the HRs should do. Employees should feel empowered and confident working at the organization.

2. Timely Appreciation

Everyone deserves to be appreciated. Employees who work and put in their best efforts, if not appreciated/rewarded properly at times, may lose interest and feel disengaged after some time. It should not come as sarcasm while communicating the same to the employees. 

As a manager, you should ensure that the employee feels their efforts have been rewarded at an individual level. Employees may get demotivated if they are not appreciated properly on time. Whatever you do should have a purpose, meaning and add value to their growth. 

3. Healthy Leadership

Every employee deserves to work in a healthy relationship. They should feel that they can share their ideas with the managers without any hesitation. And the managers should also consider maintaining a balance with the organization’s mission and targets. 

The employees look upon their managers as a source of inspiration. Managers should also be responsible for a project’s success and failure. Organizations should carry out a complete leadership assessment to understand the influence of leaders and their leadership on employee engagement. 

4. Organizational Culture 

An open and welcoming organizational culture is what every employee looks for. Employees feel motivated and engaged working in an organization that focuses on growth, innovation, customer satisfaction, etc. Every organization has employees from different backgrounds. You can use Johnson and Scholes Cultural Web to understand the cultural model at your organization. The tool helps you understand how different cultures influence the workplace, and what is good and what is not good at the workplace.

Now, let’s discuss the top 5 things before you roll out the engagement survey to the employees.

  1. Does the survey serve any purpose?

Are you conducting the survey just for the sake of it, or is there a real motive? Every set of employee engagement questions that you include in the survey must have a specific purpose. If the survey does not have any purpose, it is just a waste of time and resources for both the employer and the employees.

  1. Is the survey too lengthy?

Keep survey fatigue in mind while creating a survey. Always remember that the employees have to perform both personal and professional duties. Thus, creating a lengthy survey may result in a low response rate. Create an engaging and short engagement survey so that the employees can answer the questions for employee engagement easily. 

  1. Is it the right time to conduct an employee engagement survey?

An engagement survey can be conducted annually or periodically. However, it all depends on the organizational requirements and purpose. Ensure that you don’t conduct the survey when employees are working on any important project or deadline. 

  1. Are the questions in the survey appropriate?

Ensure that the employee survey questions you ask are healthy and not offensive. Questions should not be biased and maintain decency. Right questions about employee engagement can highlight the pulse of the employees. 

  1. Is the survey confidential?

Privacy and confidentiality are major concerns that you must address. Keeping the survey outcomes confidential and anonymous positively impacts the survey response rate. Keep the employees’ details confidential and ensure that the details won’t be shared with anyone inside or out. 

Read more: 50+ Employee Retention Survey Questions

Conducting Employee Engagement Surveys: Step-by-Step Guide

Creating an engagement survey that results in insightful data is a challenging task. The process passes through several key stages which you should not miss. 

We have narrowed down the entire process into 5 simple stages that will help you frame your engagement survey for employees. 

1. Set Goals & Objectives 

Have you thought about what you want to accomplish through this survey?

Every survey has its specific goals. It can be to understand job satisfaction, employee happiness, work ethics, etc. You may want to understand the engagement factors in your organization. Or maybe you want to understand the factors affecting open communication. 

Thus, the firm foundation of the survey lies in its firm objectives. Keep in mind that you can solve multiple situations with a single survey. But that’s highly subjective. 

2. Type & Format 

Moving on to the next stage is to know the type and format of the engagement survey. Now, you need to consider several elements to come to this conclusion. These can be the frequency of the survey. These surveys can be annual or pulse surveys which can be periodic. Next is the depth and length of the survey. 

A regular survey should have short length with minimum questions. Annual surveys can have a good number of employee survey questions. 

3. Survey Design 

Both the above-mentioned stages are crucial for survey design. The survey should be transparent and not look like a questionnaire on employee engagement randomly picked up. For this, either you can hire some experts or take the help of any online survey maker

You can include a mix of both subjective and objective questions. These can help you extract qualitative and quantitative data. Ensure that the employee survey questions aren’t too difficult to be answered.

4. Communicate & Share 

Communicate clearly and share the survey with the employees. It’s your job to ensure that they understand the value and purpose of an employee engagement survey. As a leader, you must encourage them to participate and share their answers. You can tell how their answers can shape workplace culture. 

Also, the survey should have a timeline. You can speak with the project managers/team leads to understand the timing of any ongoing project, and can finalize the survey deadline.

5. Result Analysis 

The final stage is the collection and result analysis. Manual analysis is time-consuming and prone to manual errors. You can take the help of an online robust tool that will save time and effort. However, you must ensure that things do not just end here. 

Share the results with the employees. Take suitable actions based on the outcome and bring change in the culture for better employee engagement. Follow up with the employees for further discussions. 

Read more: 8 Steps to Create an Engaging Survey

The above-mentioned are some basic steps to take under consideration while conducting online employee engagement surveys. However, it differs from organization to organization.

Mistakes to Avoid While Creating Engagement Surveys

Employee engagement surveys can result in powerful insights if conducted with everything foolproof. However, a slight mistake can take down the efforts of days. Poor execution, lack of participation, working without a purpose, etc. are some errors that you should eliminate while creating employee engagement surveys. 

Let us take a deep look at some common mistakes to avoid while creating an employee engagement survey.

1. Hitting in the Dark With no Plan

Yeah, starting with no plan will lead you to nowhere. Having a clear and transparent goal with no confusion will also result in accurate data, and the survey won’t confuse your employees. Set a well-structured plan before executing the project. Imagine the time and other resources invested in creating the survey, and everything will be just a waste! Keep a plan and stick to it. 

2. Survey Closes the Discussion

No! Employee engagement survey does not mean that employees just have to put their answers. Rather, it is among the organization’s most powerful communication tools. If a question is included in the survey, it does not mean the employees can not discuss it in person or openly. They can! Consider it as an invitation for discussion/open communication. 

3. Keeping the Survey on Your Table Only 

Have ever thought about involving others in creating the survey? Maybe the top hierarchy or the senior management/leaders. If not, stop there and do this first. 

Involving the seniors is a great strategy. You can ask them for their input, which will improve the survey. Their involvement strengthens the purpose of the employee engagement survey and eliminates any errors that you may have made. 

4. Unclear Communication

When you communicate to your employees about the survey, think of the following first:

  • Purpose of the survey 
  • Outcome of the survey 
  • Impact of the survey 

Under-communicating or unclear communication results in inaccurate data or even a low response rate, as the employees may not understand the importance of the survey. Employees already have their own insecurities and skepticism. Under communication can confuse them more. 

5. Unmanaged Expectations  

Imagine everything is going as planned. Everyone is excited about the survey. You analyzed the results. What’s next? Excitement over? That’s it?

Employees have put their time and energy into this survey, in a hope that things will improve. You should be prepared with a lot of things. Employees would want to know about the results. They would want to know if the outcomes would change a thing. Be ready with not just the answers but with actions.

Following the checklist, and execution strategy, and avoiding these mistakes will surely take you to the next level. You will launch a successful employee engagement survey that will help you improve engagement and productivity at the workplace.

Launch Successful Employee Engagement Survey to Improve Workforce Productivity

By now, you must have got a fair understanding of employee engagement surveys. You must have also understood how tedious and time-consuming the process is. But the outcomes can boost performance and engagement in the workplace. This contributes to the overall organizational growth. 

Engagement surveys are versatile and can solve more than one problem at a time, conditioned if executed accordingly. Thus, you must keep it in mind while planning the surveys.

Plan your engagement surveys carefully and include the questions smartly. If you are new to creating engagement surveys or you are searching for a smart, advanced tool that will ease your task, ProProfs SurveyMaker is what you need.

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About the author

Jared is a customer support expert. He has been published in CrazyEgg, Foundr, and CXL. As a customer support executive at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in developing a complete customer support system that more than doubled customer satisfaction. You can connect and engage with Jared on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.