20 Employee Engagement Survey Questions You Need to Ask

Employee engagement is one of the biggest factors contributing to retention. In the current hiring crisis, you really can’t afford to lose great employees. But how do you know if your employees are engaged? You ask them.

Surveys are often the most effective way of measuring engagement. They can help you determine your current engagement areas while also identifying the specific areas that might be contributing to low engagement. However, it’s important to know the right questions to ask to make the most use out of your surveys. 

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Why are employee engagement surveys important?

Employee engagement describes how connected employees feel to their job, team, and organization. 

Having an engaged workforce helps businesses:

  • Boost productivity
  • Decrease employee turnover
  • Improve communication between team members
  • Reduce absenteeism

Employee engagement surveys are a great way to check the pulse of your workforce. They can measure current employee satisfaction with compensation, benefits, company culture, work-life balance, management, and more. By asking the right questions, you can identify warning signs for potential turnover and create an action plan to address anything causing employee dissatisfaction. Anonymous surveys are particularly useful in obtaining the most accurate and honest responses.

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Employee engagement survey questions to ask

The majority of these questions are presented as statements that are meant to be rated on the Likert scale where employees choose between five responses: agree, disagree, strongly agree, strongly disagree, or neutral/not applicable. This methodology allows you to easily re-distribute the survey and quantify changes over time.

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Questions to measure job satisfaction

Ask these questions to learn how satisfied your employees are in their current roles and how to correct any sources of dissatisfaction. 

1. I enjoy coming to work every day.

This is a good starting question to gauge morale generally.

2. I feel that I am recognized for my work.

Employees who receive recognition for their hard work are more likely to be engaged and less likely to leave their jobs. In fact, Deloitte found that employee engagement, productivity, and performance are 14 percent higher in organizations with formal employee recognition programs.

3. I find my work at the company meaningful and fulfilling. 

There is a difference between feeling that the work you do is meaningful and going through the motions for a paycheck. While everyone is there to earn a paycheck, your workforce will be more engaged and productive if they feel fulfilled by the work.

4. I believe my daily workload is reasonable.

It’s important to check in with employees and ensure their workload is manageable. If a large percentage of your workforce disagrees with this statement, you may need to hire more employees. Excessive workloads lead to employee burnout.

5. My manager supports and encourages my career development. 

If you find that your company is lacking in this area, it may be time to start creating employee development plans for each of your staff members.

6. I would recommend [company] to a friend or family member.

This metric is also known as the employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), and it’s a great way to measure your staff’s overall satisfaction. An employee who finds the company worthy of a recommendation to a close friend or family member is likely engaged and satisfied. Employee referrals are also great for filling open roles.

7. I have a clear understanding of what is expected of me. 

According to the Mercer Global Talent Trends report, 65 percent of employees prefer more clearly defined responsibilities. Employees want to know what is expected of them so that they can succeed in their roles.

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Questions to gauge retention

Often by asking the right questions, you can gauge whether employees are considering leaving your company. If you are proactive in soliciting this feedback, you can intervene by making improvements before they quit.

8. I feel I have opportunities to advance in my career within the company.

Sometimes people enjoy their jobs but believe they will have to leave their company to get to the next step of their career. See how your employees are feeling about this, and consider having more direct discussions on growth and advancement.

9. I have the tools I need to grow within the organization.

This seems similar to the above question, but it differs in an important way. Perhaps your employees do see advancement opportunities but do not feel they are being given the tools needed to advance. This can be even more frustrating and often easier to solve when employees can provide that feedback to you directly.

10. I see myself working here a year from now.

It’s not uncommon for employees to change jobs every year or two. This question gives you a direct peek into potential turnover within the next year. 

11. I am satisfied with my compensation and benefits package.

Pay and benefits are two of the biggest reasons people leave their jobs. If the results show this is a low point for your business, it’s time to conduct some salary benchmarking and take a closer look at the benefits you offer.

12. I have considered leaving the company within the past 6 months.

Most people don’t quit the first time the thought pops into their head. These lingering thoughts build up over time, leading to declines in productivity before the eventual resignation. If a large percentage of your workforce has considered leaving, it also likely means they are receptive to messages from recruiters right now.

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Questions to evaluate company culture and fit

Your company’s culture is what sets it apart from other businesses. Employees want to work for a company with a strong and supportive culture, and company culture helps promote a sense of belonging for employees. 

However, sometimes culture is overlooked when your business is in the early growth stages. These questions will help you gauge how employees feel about your organization and culture.

13. I feel connected to the company’s mission and values.

A well-defined mission statement and strong company values help employees feel connected to your organization and one another. If employees disagree with this statement, look for opportunities to reinforce your mission and incorporate your values more intentionally in meetings, company initiatives, and throughout the workplace.

14. I am optimistic about the future of this company.

Employees who feel pessimistic about a company often feel like they’re on a sinking ship. These employees will naturally consider looking elsewhere for employment and jumping ship.

15. I am comfortable expressing my opinions during team meetings.

An important facet of organizational culture is how people within the organization work together and communicate. Your employees should feel comfortable speaking up and sharing ideas, as this cultivates innovation and promotes better decision-making.

16. I am proud to work for [company].

Employees who are proud to work for your business will take pride in their work. They’ll also be your biggest brand advocates by speaking favorably about your company, which can potentially earn you some new customers or employee referrals. 

17. I understand how my work contributes to the success of the company.

Employees who understand how their role directly contributes to the success of your company or the end customer tend to feel a greater sense of purpose. 

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Open-ended questions

It’s always a good idea to include a few open-ended, free-response questions at the end of your survey. This section gives you insight into topics or issues you may have overlooked while designing your survey and allows employees to expand upon any ideas or concerns they want to share.

18. What advice would you give to management?

This is a great way to help your employees feel their concerns are being taken seriously. Employees may not feel comfortable giving direct feedback to their superiors, but they are likely to be more candid in an anonymous survey. 

If this question sounds familiar, it’s likely because you’ve seen it on Glassdoor, the site where employees can rate their employers. Most people write honest reviews after leaving the company, including providing blunt advice to management. 

Soliciting this information regularly from your current staff can help you incorporate advice and suggestions before it leads to employees quitting.

19. What additional benefits would you like to see offered at [company]?

Try to ask this question at least once per year and revisit this feedback when you’re deciding what to add or change to your benefits package before open enrollment.

20. If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?

Sometimes small changes can make a big impact on the day-to-day lives of your employees. You may find that a small policy change or new tool could greatly increase job satisfaction.

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How to use your employee engagement survey data

Once you have all of the survey results in, it’s time to get to work. Use the survey data to create an action plan to address any concerns raised by employees or areas that have low satisfaction. Even if your survey yielded relatively positive results, there’s almost always room for improvement. 

Ideally, you’ll create an action plan based on the data, put your plan into action, and then run the survey again to see whether your actions had a meaningful impact. Engagement surveys should not be a one-and-done—they’re a tool for continuous improvement.

Read next: Top Employee Engagement Software for Small Businesses

Kaylyn McKenna
Kaylyn McKenna
Kaylyn McKenna is a freelance writer specializing in business and technology. She has expertise in marketing, human resources, technology, leadership, and business management. She enjoys helping small businesses navigate the unique challenges that they face. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications.

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