Employee engagement is one of the top priorities for organizations all across the globe. As we have talked about it before, employee engagement defines the level of commitment of the workforce to the organization and ultimately translates to performance and impact. There are multiple reasons that make employee engagement a business case, including, higher productivity, reduced absenteeism, inclusive culture, customer satisfaction, etc. While the focus is turning towards increasing employee experience with greater engagement, there is still ambiguity on measuring the engagement quotient. Here, an employee engagement survey with the right questions can help ramp up the efforts in the right direction.
Table of Contents
- What is an employee engagement survey?
- Why is employee engagement survey important?
- What does an employee engagement survey measure?
- How to conduct an employee engagement survey?
- Validated employee engagement survey questions
- Employee engagement survey: Next Steps
What is an employee engagement survey?
An employee engagement survey seeks to gauge the pulse and opinion of the workforce to determine their dedication and commitment to the organization. It provides a quantitative and qualitative analysis of employee perspectives and level of belongingness to the workplace. Measuring some key drivers of engagement can help organizations understand the degree of engagement or disengagement among employees, which has a direct impact on the organizational bottom line. The following sections will uncover all important aspects of an employee engagement survey, highlighting its importance, important attributes, top employee engagement survey questions and best ways to get started.
Why is employee engagement survey important?
On the face of it, conducting an employee engagement survey is to gauge deep insights on the engagement landscape in an organization. However, there are several other factors that contribute to answering why employee engagement surveys are important.
One of the top reasons for having an employee engagement survey is to give your employees a voice and encourage them to share their perspectives. It enables team members to share their feedback on what is working for them and what needs improvement. Additionally, it is a source of empowerment for employees who feel their opinion also matters to the organization.
Employee engagement quotient has become a key competitive advantage for organizations competing for the top talent in the market. Naturally, the best minds and resources tend to choose organizations that have a greater regard for their employees and focus on creating a positive experience. Gauging and showcasing employee engagement can, thus, help organizations in two ways. Firstly, it enables them to map their engagement performance with industry benchmarks and get an understanding of where they stand. Secondly, it helps them attract the best talent with a reputation for being the employer of choice.
Finally, an employee engagement survey enables organizations to map the performance of their engagement efforts at regular intervals. Like any other KPI or key performance indicator, employee engagement surveys can help organizations track whether or not their investments, practices and initiatives are bearing fruit. This is important to formulate a robust employee engagement strategy and ensure smooth implementation.
What does an employee engagement survey measure?
Like any other survey, the efficacy of an employee engagement survey lies in the relevance and strength of its questions. Before we jump onto what employee engagement survey questions should you put in your survey, try to understand what an employee engagement survey should measure. Naturally, an employee engagement survey must measure different attributes of engagement which promote a pleasant experience for employees. Here are the top factors that HR managers and other leaders must take into account while putting together the questions to gauge engagement.
Any employee engagement survey should be able to measure how motivated an employee is about their work and the workplace as a whole. When employees are highly engaged, their level of motivation to forge meaningful relationships with all stakeholders as well as give in their 100% is on the higher side. According to a research by Gallup, employees work 20% better when motivated. At the same time, motivated employees are 87% less likely to resign, says a study by Inc Magazine. Thus, measuring motivation as an offshoot of engagement is important to attract, nurture and retain the best talent.
The next parameter that an engagement survey ought to measure revolves around belongingness. By definition, belongingness is a feeling of safety and security which comes from a high level of engagement when a person feels accepted as a part of an inclusive culture as its own. According to a study, high belonging was linked to a whopping 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk, and a 75% reduction in sick days. This suggests that an employee engagement survey must be able to gauge whether employees feel they belong there or not.
Employee engagement survey questions should also be crafted in a way so as to gauge whether employees are able to perceive the value they create for the organization or not. Each employee adds unique value and contributes to the overall success of the organization. An engaged workforce is one which is time and again reminded of the value it is creating and recognized and appreciated for the same. Any survey that seeks to capture engagement levels must explicitly highlight whether or not employees are aware about the value they create.
Finally, an employee engagement survey must intend to capture the overall satisfaction of employees. This takes into account their happiness, wellbeing, etc. running across all aspects of their experience. Measuring this is very important because a satisfied employee seldom looks out for other opportunities, reducing attrition. Research shows that when there is employee satisfaction, employee productivity increases by 40% which in turn increases the customer satisfaction by 18% and there is a drop in employee turnover by 14%.
How to conduct an employee engagement survey?
Contrary to popular belief, conducting an employee engagement survey is not simply collecting questions over the internet and emailing them to employees. While many organizations implement this approach, however, the success rate of such a process is feeble. The correct answer to how to conduct an employee engagement survey involves following a well thought through and strategic approach.
Set the goal
The first step to conducting an employee engagement survey effectively is to set a goal i.e. what do you wish to achieve out of it. If you caught yourself saying, Obviously, we want to measure engagement levels, you are not wrong, but there is still a long way to go. Setting a goal must start with understanding where the organization currently stands on different engagement parameters. Next, it is important to identify the one that is on top priority and take that as a goal to be achieved after the whole exercise. The goals will largely depend on your current landscape and the biggest obstacle you seek to address. Some of the common goals could look like:
- Understanding employee engagement across different verticals and creating a uniform experience
- Facilitating better avenues for collaboration and communication
- Boosting motivation, satisfaction and retention
- Identifying reasons contributing to an unpleasant work culture
Decide the employee engagement survey type
Once you have a goal set, the next step is to decide on the employee engagement survey type the organization aligns best with. There are several parameters which can help organizations create the right survey for their workforce, including:
- Frequency: Surveys can be conducted on an annual, biannual, quarterly, monthly or even daily basis. How often the organization wants to gauge the pulse of its employee generally determines the ideal frequency. While annual surveys were the norm for a long time, organizations are now moving towards more frequent ones. This is because it gives organizations regular updates on the progress of engagement quotient and room to implement corrective measures on the go, rather than wait for the year end.
- Length: The next decision must be on the length of the survey in terms of the number of questions. More often than not, length will depend on the frequency of the survey. Generally, the greater the frequency, the lesser the number of questions. Most organizations today are moving towards adopting pulse surveys which are short and conducted at regular intervals. Some are even experimenting with one question daily kind of measurement which are proving to be extremely effective and are delivering great insights.
- Anonymity: Surveys can either be anonymous or might require a proof of identity. Both types have their own merits and demerits. Anonymous surveys encourage employees to share their honest opinion without the fear of any backlash. Surveys that require identity can help organizations go deep into the responses and pinpoint exact problems. Deeping on the employee expectations and organizational needs, this decision needs to be made.
- Type of questions: Finally, what type of questions do you want to make a part of the survey is an important decision. Open-ended survey questions are important for a qualitative purpose. At the same time, ratings and other objective questions give a foundation for comparison and quantitative analysis. Having a fair mix of both as well as aligning which parameters of engagement to measure in which form is important.
Formulate the employee engagement survey questions
Once the decision on employee engagement survey type has been reached, the next step is to actually formulate the questions. Make sure that the employee engagement survey questions align with the format and type decided above. At the same time, each question should be a step towards achieving the goal the survey had set out to achieve. It is important to identify key parameters of engagement that the survey intends to measure and all questions should be categorized under the same for a seamless experience. Questions shouldn’t be too long and must be easy to comprehend. Any question that takes more than a few seconds to read and understand will seldom yield any fruitful responses.
Roll of the survey
With the questions in place, your employee engagement survey is ready to go. However, to ensure that employees actually take time out to fill the survey, there needs to be some incentives and conscious push from the management and leadership. Before even sending out the email with the survey, set the context for employees as to why filling this survey is important and the impact it will create on their experience and journey at the organization. Post that, send out the survey via the internal communication protocol over email or intranet, etc. To promote the completion rate of the survey, encourage employees to block some time specifically to fill the same. Instead of expecting them to complete this in between all other tasks (as an added burden), give them some time just for this purpose when they can put their mind to it properly. Finally, it would be good to keep some incentives for those who finish the survey in a given time.
Action the feedback
Conducting an employee engagement survey doesn’t end with collecting the responses. It goes beyond to actually create an impact. Once the responses are received, it is important to analyze them to understand the gaps and challenges and navigate a plan of action to bridge the same. At the same time, it is extremely important to share the results, even the gaps with the employees and share the course of action to work on the areas of improvement. It might also be a good idea to crowdsource some solutions and gauge employee opinion and voice on how these problems can be addressed. This will enable collective decision making and action. It will also encourage employees to further participate in such surveys in the future as they realize their voice is making a difference.
Validated employee engagement survey questions
Organizations and leaders clear on the rationale and process for employee engagement surveys should move to understanding the validated employee engagement survey questions that must be considered. It is best to club questions together under specific categories to make them easier to comprehend. Additionally, clubbing questions is important from an analysis perspective as well.
Employee engagement index
- On a scale of 1-5 how happy are you at work?
- Do you feel motivated every morning to come to work?
- Do you feel proud to be a part of this organization?
- How likely are you to recommend our organization to your friends?
- How would you rate your overall experience working at the company?
- Are you comfortable in sharing your ideas and perspectives with others in the company?
- Do you feel your ideas are given due importance and are listened to?
- Are the expectations and goals of the project/ task you are working on communicated clearly?
- Do you get a chance to give feedback to your coworkers and managers?
- Are you able to confidently communicate with your coworkers and managers?
- Do you believe that the company has an inclusive work culture?
- Would you agree that the work environment is positive?
- On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the work-life balance?
- Are you stressed about the deadlines and targets very often?
- How frequently do you work over the weekends or on holidays?
- Would you agree that the company culture is transparent?
- Do you feel that there is mutual respect at all levels in the company?
- Would you agree that the company cares about your physical and mental wellbeing?
- Are you satisfied with the health and wellness policies offered by the company?
- Do you think the company has sufficient wellness events and activities?
- Do you think the company values the wellbeing of its employees over the bottom line?
- On a scale of 1-10, how easy is it to get a day off when you are not feeling well?
Compensation and benefits
- Does the company offer competitive pay compared to others in the industry?
- Excluding the salary, are you satisfied with the other perks and benefits offered by the company?
- Are you clear on the compensation and benefits policy offered by the company?
- What are some other benefits that you think should be added to the current structure?
- Do you receive enough and frequent recognition at work?
- Are you satisfied with the way you are appreciated for your performance?
- Do you believe that you are fairly recognized for your contribution to the team?
- Do you feel valued to be a part of the company?
- Do you receive some appreciation on specific milestones like work anniversary, birthday, etc.?
- When was the last time you received recognition for your work?
Opportunities for development
- Do you believe that there are enough opportunities for your personal and professional development?
- Would you agree that your team takes real interest in your career growth?
- Do you see enough opportunities to grow and thrive professionally as a part of the company?
- How often do you connect with your manager to discuss your career plans?
- Have you been able to leverage any development opportunities provided by the company?
- What are some development programs that you would like to see in the next few years?
- Does your manager clearly set the expectations and the way to achieve the same?
- Does your manager make an effort to facilitate your career growth?
- Does your manager take your feedback seriously?
- Are you satisfied with the feedback you receive from your manager?
- On a scale of 1-10, how well does your manager guide you to achieve success?
- Do you see yourself as a part of this company 10 years from now?
- If given a chance, would you join this company again?
- Do you believe you will be able to unlock your full potential here?
- How often do you consider looking out for other opportunities?
Employee engagement survey: Next Steps
To effectively curate, conduct and act on employee engagement surveys, organizations must take a proactive approach. It is ideal to partner with platforms like SuperBeings which offer services to gauge employee pulse and make sense out of the responses captured. On a mission to unlock the potential of all super beings at work, this platform provides pulse surveys, curated for individual organizational needs. Based on the insights collected from the responses as well as industry benchmarks, it provides organizations with data-backed action steps to improve employee engagement and create a positive experience.