Learn to craft effective employee engagement surveys with our comprehensive guide. Boost morale and productivity in your workplace today
Learn to craft effective employee engagement surveys with our comprehensive guide. Boost morale and productivity in your workplace today

Regarding employee engagement, it’s safe to say that the most engaged employees are the happiest and most productive. That’s why it’s so important for managers and leaders to be aware of how their teams are performing to ensure a positive employee experience.

While we encourage the simultaneous use of other methods and tools, employee engagement surveys play a key role in monitoring employee satisfaction, engagement, motivation, sense of purpose and passion for work. You often hear us repeat: employees feel valued when they can communicate openly and feel heard. This is where employee research comes in handy.

Whether you’re just starting to build a solid employee engagement strategy or looking to refresh your approach, we’re here to help you create your own employee engagement survey and help you measure employee engagement. Don’t know where to start? We have a guide for you!

What is employee engagement research?

The employee engagement survey is a measurement tool that collects employees’ opinions about their satisfaction, motivation and relationships at work. It helps identify areas for improvement in order to build a positive atmosphere and organizational effectiveness.

These surveys give employees a voice within their organization and are a great way to get an overall picture of employee engagement levels over time. The research provides honest feedback directly to their manager, who then has many actionable insights to work with.

When it comes to creating the right questions in an employee engagement survey, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Employee survey questions should be carefully crafted to be consistent with your organization and its goals. Maintaining compliance is crucial to maintaining performance over time. Employee compliance and engagement go hand in hand when it comes to creating a happy and productive work environment.

The frequency of employee testing also varies. From annual to quarterly, biweekly and even weekly, they all have their own goals and value. Annual and quarterly surveys are typically conducted by an organization to provide leadership teams with high-level information about the employee experience and company culture, which helps drive business strategy and HR initiatives.

More frequent surveys, such as employee pulse check surveys, provide more accurate and up-to-date feedback from employees, which allows you to continuously measure the level of employee engagement and job satisfaction.

Why should you conduct employee engagement research?

There are many benefits to conducting employee engagement surveys. Above all, employees feel heard. Give them the opportunity to express their opinion because, as mentioned, when they feel that their opinions matter, they feel more valued.

Receiving honest employee feedback also allows the organization to identify problems and opportunities. Are there issues within the team that managers may not be aware of? What can be done to improve the situation? How to increase employee satisfaction? Addressing these issues allows managers, human resources professionals, and organizational leaders to make effective and meaningful changes.

Responding to employee feedback through action is a great way to build trust, which in turn helps improve employee engagement. When employees know that their suggestions are being taken into account and implemented, it opens the door to even greater honesty in future research.

This level of trust also helps develop a healthy organizational culture. Employees feel more free to express their opinions, the organization is more accountable for taking action, and everyone feels more in sync. In fact, employee engagement surveys are a great tool for everyone.

Frequency is key. Therefore, having a continuous feedback cycle strategy is a great way to regularly collect feedback, suggestions and comments from employees.

How to create an effective employee engagement survey

Now that you’re familiar with employee engagement surveys and understand why they’re such an important tool, it’s time to learn how to create them.

We walk you through the employee engagement survey process, giving you three key steps you need to take – from establishing your metrics, to developing your employee survey questions, to clicking “send” when you’re ready. Once you know these steps, you will be more confident in your approach.

Step 1: Determine which engagement metrics you want to measure
It’s one thing that you ask questions and collect information, and it’s another that you measure it. Before you start creating an employee engagement survey, you need to establish employee engagement metrics, that you want to measure. What does it mean? Well, there are several metrics you can measure to assess employee engagement levels. You’ll measure them consistently over time to get a clear picture of what’s happening with your employees and teams.

Having a consistent view of these metrics gives managers the ability to see what’s going well and what needs attention. The results of these metrics will help you take action to solve problems you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Once you’ve determined this step, it’s time to create the employee engagement survey itself.

Step 2: Build an engagement survey
Now that you’ve identified the metrics you want to measure, it’s time to start selecting specific employee engagement survey questions that are related to your team and tailored to your organization. A great way to design an employee engagement survey is to arrange your questions by metric category.

Here are some solid question examples. You can use them as is or use them as inspiration when creating your employee research:

  • Relationship with your manager: Can you trust your direct manager? Does your manager take the time to support you when you ask for help? Do you feel that your direct manager cares about your well-being?
  • Feedback Questions: Are you satisfied with the frequency with which you receive feedback from your direct manager? Is the information you receive specific? Does the type of information you receive help you develop professionally?
  • Personal development questions: Do you feel you have enough freedom to decide how you do your job? Is there someone at work who helps you develop professionally and achieve your career goals? Do you have the opportunity to develop within the organization?
  • Mental health questions: Overall, how would you rate your level of work-related stress? On a scale of 0 to 10, how would you rate your organization’s efforts to promote employee mental health? Do you think someone would say or do something if you felt depressed at work?
  • Recognition Questions: How would you rate the frequency you receive recognition? Does the recognition feel sincere and meaningful when you receive it? Does your organization encourage employees to recognize each other?
  • Company Alignment Questions: Do your organization’s leaders recognize that employees are critical to its success? Do you think your organization can achieve its goals? Do you feel aligned with the company’s values and goals?
  • Happiness Questions: Do you enjoy the work you do? Do you feel you have a healthy work-life balance? Have you noticed that work affects your personal life?
  • Job satisfaction questions: Do you know how to achieve your goals and objectives? On a scale of 0 to 10, how reasonable is your workload? Do you feel comfortable in your physical work environment?

Step 3: Send out an employee engagement survey
Once you’ve collected your employee engagement survey questions, it’s time to send them to your team members. However, before you reach for them, it is important to have an established strategy. Several key factors must be considered to ensure the proper use and success of your employee engagement survey. Here are our top quick tips:

  1. Let’s start by creating employee surveys of the appropriate length. While you may have many questions you want to ask, you shouldn’t do it all at once. Employee time is important and you don’t want them to feel overwhelmed. The time an employee spends on an engagement survey affects the response rate. In short, shorter, more frequent pulse studies result in higher study participation and typically produce better data. Fewer questions usually mean more time for each answer.
  2. Consider the survey format. For example, more detailed employee engagement surveys may have around 30 questions, while shorter pulse surveys may have around 10 questions. Sometimes you can even limit them to a few questions. Remember tip no. 1 – the test length affects the test results’ quality.
  3. Regarding frequency, weekly or bi-weekly pulse surveys are a great way to stay in tune with employees and understand what they are experiencing in real time. Frequent employee engagement surveys make it easier to spot and address issues before they become bigger problems. Annual exams have their place, as do more frequent ones.
  4. When sending out an employee engagement survey, explain to your employees why you are doing so. Be honest, transparent, and approachable. Most importantly, if it’s an anonymous survey, make sure it’s clearly stated. Allowing anonymity can open up a forum for employees to provide more honest feedback and provide you with richer results.

You have sent your employee engagement survey, what next?

After an employee engagement survey is sent and employees take the time to respond, managers, organizational leaders, and human resources are tasked with reviewing and analyzing the survey results. This allows them to measure employee engagement, identify problems, and get closer to areas with room for improvement.

This data is extremely valuable. Measuring the results of an employee engagement survey, analyzing them and developing an action plan can create huge changes in the organization and its culture. Taking the time to measure employee engagement, respond to feedback, and take action shows that management listens and cares about employees. In turn, as we have learned, this leads to greater employee engagement and job satisfaction.

But that’s not the end. Repeated testing allows you to assess how well your action plan is working and notice changes in employee engagement and sentiment so you can strive to increase employee performance, happiness, satisfaction, and productivity.

Although you want to analyze changes, be sure to vary the questions in your subsequent surveys and avoid asking the same questions. Research fatigue is real. For greater employee engagement and more authentic responses, vary them and keep them fresh!

Employee engagement is a constantly evolving process that requires constant attention and recognition. Pulse testing makes it easier to create and analyze test results. Easy-to-understand key results and reports provide the most important information that can help you build a data-driven action plan.

Conduct employee surveys effectively and ensure all employees feel heard. Use ready-made employee research survey templates.