The Great Resignation is here, and it has ushered in a fundamental shift in employee attitudes toward work. People are no longer content with a workplace that doesn’t inspire, motivate, or challenge them — and who can blame them?
Employees have greater choice than ever before over where they work, thanks to the rise of remote work. This, combined with a focus on well-being and work-life balance, means that employee retention can be a struggle.
Luckily, asking for employee feedback is one of the best employee retention strategies out there. There’s a simple way to integrate feedback into your company, too, with employee engagement surveys.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What an employee engagement survey is
- Why employee engagement surveys are important
- Effective employee engagement survey questions to consider
- How to use employee engagement surveys to improve your company
What is an employee engagement survey?
An employee engagement survey is one of the best ways to understand how your employees feel about their work, their team, and wider company goals. It’s a useful tool that can monitor employee sentiment and give you data to support change, improvement, and growth.
Employee engagement surveys come in different types and formats. A classic engagement survey often features 25-50 questions and is sent out every quarter or year. These long surveys are one of the most popular ways to get answers from your team members, but there are more engaging (and productive) alternatives.
You could also run pulse surveys. These are shorter surveys that you send out more frequently, which are especially helpful in monitoring changes in sentiment and engagement levels over time.
At Polly, we can help you run both types of employee surveys through Slack or Microsoft Teams.
Whether you’re planning a pulse survey or a more in-depth questionnaire, your survey should be:
- ⏩ Quick and easy to complete, to encourage a higher response rate
- ✏️ Well-written, so there’s no confusion over what a question means
- ❔ Highly relevant, so the questions feel personalized to your company
- 📝 Comprehensive, to collect feedback across the entire employee experience
- 👻 Totally anonymous, so people feel free to give honest feedback
- 🔁 Repeatable, so you can set benchmarks and monitor changes over time
- ⏲️ Easy to run and share, to save your human resources team valuable time
- 🤝 Part of a wider process, so you can follow up with respondents if they wish
Most people aren’t excited to fill in a survey, but with a little help you can turn an arduous task into a short and super-engaging feedback experience. The better your survey is, the more likely you will get the results you need.
Why employee engagement surveys are so powerful
Employee engagement surveys give you feedback straight from the most important resource you have — your employees. Done well, employee surveys present you with a highly effective way to listen to and understand your employees’ concerns, so you can act on their valuable input. It’s employee listening at scale. Plus, with tools like Polly, you can send anonymous surveys that help your team members feel comfortable giving honest feedback.
Quarterly surveys and pulse surveys are incredible tools to help you measure employee engagement. Not only that, you come away with actionable insights that you can use to guide real change.
Employee engagement surveys are worth investing in. A well-designed survey can help you:
- Create a team culture of trust and transparency
- Understand any major problem areas reported by lots of people
- Listen to the feelings of all kinds of employees, and create more inclusive experiences for everyone
- Determine employee sentiment and how it impacts employee performance and engagement
- Prioritize improvements and decide on future actions based on survey results
- Decide which employee engagement metrics to measure over time
Employee engagement surveys bring you useful insights and feedback that you can use to help shape the direction of your business. While often considered to be resource-intensive, Polly’s employee engagement features help you spend less time preparing and sending employee engagement surveys — freeing you up to focus on making change a reality.
Effective employee engagement survey questions to consider
To get useful data and results, you have to ask the right questions. Consider your goals, think about your audience, and create questions that help you get feedback on the areas that matter most.
In an employee engagement survey, it’s common to find questions that cover topics like:
- 🌎 Alignment with company goals
- 📱 Communication
- 😊 Company culture
- 🤝🏼 Diversity and inclusion
- 👍 Employee satisfaction
- 🏆 Leadership and management
- 🔓 Transparency and trust
- 💸 Pay and benefits
- 💡 Professional development
- 🎁 Rewards and recognition
- 🧘 Wellness and work-life balance
Here’s how to take some of those topics and build practical, theme-based questions to measure employee engagement through surveys, polls, and informal feedback.
⚡ Quick pulse questions
Pulse surveys are an ideal way to check in and see how your team members feel about things. Offer a handful of these easy employee engagement statements alongside multiple choice answers so you can monitor trends and change over time.
- I am happy at work.
- I understand what is expected of me.
- I feel well-prepared to do my job.
- I have trust and confidence in my coworkers.
- I feel valued by my team members.
- I receive great feedback that helps me improve.
- I’m excited about the work that I do.
- I believe in our mission and values.
- I’m happy with the professional development opportunities available to me.
- I feel that my accomplishments are recognized by others.
- I’d recommend this as a great place to work.
You could ask your team members to rate their experiences using thumbs-up and thumbs-down emojis, various smiley faces, or by choosing words like “mostly,” “rarely,” and “sometimes.” Take a look at our remote insights pulse survey template to see some of these survey questions in action.
😊 Employee happiness questions
A must-have for any employee engagement survey is a series of questions about employee satisfaction and happiness. Ask these questions to help you understand your team members’ thoughts on topics like their general well-being at work, work-life balance, and team relationships.
- Are you happy with your role and responsibilities?
- Do you enjoy the work you do?
- How do you feel about the relationships within your team?
- Do you feel a sense of pride in your work and the company?
- What can we do better to improve your employee experience?
🏆 Leadership and alignment questions
So much of your employees’ experience in the work environment comes down to alignment with your company goals and how they feel about leadership. Check in with your team members on how they feel about these key topics with thought-provoking questions:
- Do your personal values align with our company values?
- Are you supportive of our company goals?
- Do you feel proud to work for the company?
- Do you feel supported to speak out and give honest feedback?
- How would you rate your professional relationship with your manager?
- What could your manager do better to make you feel supported at work?
💡 Growth and development questions
Professional development and career growth are hot topics for most people. Ask these questions to help you discover what your employees’ goals and aspirations are, so you can develop resources and strategies to help them.
- Do you see opportunities for growth here that excite you?
- Are you content with the team and leadership structure?
- What do you see yourself doing in five years?
- Do you have ambitions to pursue a management role?
- Are there any specific learning opportunities you want to explore?
- Are there any barriers to your goals we can help remove?
- How can we make it easier for you to reach your career goals?
- Has leaving the company crossed your mind?
✏️ General feedback questions
Some questions just don’t fit into a box. Take inspiration from these open-ended questions to uncover more ideas, suggestions, and feedback from your employees.
- What’s one thing you would change about the company?
- What’s one thing that we do well?
- How do you feel about the company culture?
- What would inspire you to engage more with our events and initiatives?
- Do you have any general feedback for the company?
- Is there anything else you’d like to share with us in confidence?
Use employee engagement survey results to change for the better
Once you’ve analyzed the results from your employee engagement survey, put that data and feedback to work by making positive changes.
The exact actions depend on your survey results, but you might be inspired to:
- Send more frequent internal company updates
- Introduce a wider variety of virtual events
- Run surveys in Slack and Microsoft Teams more often to create more ways to engage
- Adjust your pay and rewards to better suit your employees’ needs
- Make changes to your flexible and remote work policies
- Add more employee engagement ideas to your workplace
- Improve your onboarding process for new hires
- Refocus your company culture
- Welcome employee feedback in new ways — like with an open forum
Whichever changes you plan to make, the key is that you actually make changes. Your team members will notice if you don’t, and as a result, they may be less likely to take part in future feedback surveys. Listen to feedback, analyze results, and then move with confidence in the right direction.
Run better employee engagement surveys with Polly
With the right questions and the right tools, running successful employee engagement surveys feels easy. Review our question ideas above, set your survey goals, and invest in an employee feedback tool like Polly to help you drive engagement.
Employee engagement surveys are just a small part of creating engaging, positive experiences for your team members. Explore our onboarding, feedback, and employee engagement features to find out why companies love Polly for HR professionals.
Try Polly for free to instantly improve your employee engagement.
Written by Nicola Scoon
Nicola Scoon is a freelance writer that's passionate about employee engagement and better workplace experiences. She draws on her experience in internal communications to help companies create content that empowers, encourages, and motivates people to create better experiences for all.