How (and Why) to Create an Employee Engagement Survey

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In today’s workforce, there’s a disconnect between why executives THINK employees leave and why they actually do. A recent Paycor survey found that 52% of business leaders believe that compensation is the top reasons employees leave; followed closely by career advancement (37%), poor performance (37%) and job/person mismatch (34%). On the flipside, employees cite bad managers as the top reason they choose to leave a role. In fact, bad managers account for 75% of voluntary turnover.

Search “causes of employee turnover” and you’ll countless results with insights and best practices. But at the end of the day, the only way to really understand why people leave (or stay) is by asking them. In this article, we’ll examine the importance of an employee engagement survey and tips to consider when designing your own internal survey. We’ll also share a list of potential employee engagement survey questions to get you started.

Benefits of (and What You Can Learn from) an Engagement Survey

Employee engagement surveys provide a lot of valuable information and data to help you understand your people. Not only can you identify how they’re are feeling about their role and your organization, but by giving them a voice you’re ultimately establishing that you value their input which only enhances their level of engagement. But it’s what you do with the feedback that really separates great companies from the rest of the pack. For example: if survey results reveal that employees aren’t satisfied with training and development opportunities, creating an action plan that learning programs demonstrate that you’re using valuable data to drive positive organizational change. And once a change is made, you can use future surveys to measure the effectiveness of your new initiatives. By comparing results year-over-year, you can determine if you’re headed in the right direction or if further improvements are needed.

What to Consider When Implementing

  1. Surveys are only valuable if the information received is candid and honest. We recommend consulting with a third-party provider to conduct your survey anonymously. This will alleviate any fear of retaliation and empower employees to speak the truth so you can ultimately collect meaningful feedback.
  2. Ask questions about factors that drive engagement. Survey your people about their confidence in the organization, manager satisfaction, connection to the company and growth opportunities. These are just a few topics to consider; keep reading as we’ll share a complete list.
  3. Communicate with your employees. Ideally, your HR Director or another member of your executive team should prepare your people for the survey by defining the purpose and sharing your goals. And once results are in and the data has been analyzed, provide employees with a detailed action plan to demonstrate you’re serious about the results and the survey wasn’t conducted for show.

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Designing Your Survey

Start with the Basics

The basics make up the essential benefits and assets that employees expect out of your organization.

  • Overall happiness in their role
  • Job expectations
  • Formal training
  • Pay
  • Work/life balance
  • Benefits

Asking employees to rate these factors should give you immediate insight into overall morale, what makes your employees tick and how they value these work essentials. Be sure to break out the results by department to identify problem areas or understand what successful business units are doing to stand out and promote strong engagement.

Organizational Health

Your overall health represents the essential processes and functions of a successful and well-run organization. It starts from the top, by building a strong leadership team that creates clarity and cascades goals and objectives throughout the entire organization in a clear and effective manner. When your people understand company objectives, how their individual role contributes to overall success and believe in their manager, your people are more likely to be engaged and productive.

  • Org alignment and connection – helping each employee understand how their work contributes to your company’s goals
  • Management – determining how effective managers are in helping employees learn and grow
  • Effectiveness – your organization’s openness to new ideas and different viewpoints

Employee Engagement

These are workforce traits related to your employees’ involvement and commitment to the organization. Simply put, are your employees motivated with their work, do they feel valued and are they likely to recommend your company to their network.

  • Motivation
  • Loyalty
  • Referral

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Start Building Your Survey

Now that we’ve reviewed how to structure the survey, let’s build out a list of sample questions you can tailor to fit your organization’s needs. No matter the tool you use, these questions can help you build the foundation for a meaningful and actionable survey.

My Job:

  • I look forward to coming to work every day.
  • My goals and objectives are clearly defined.
  • The expectations of my role closely meet the duties I’m asked to perform.
  • I can see how my role contributes to the overall success of the organization.
  • I have access to the tools and resources I need to do my job well.
  • I have received the training and support I need to be effective.
  • I believe that I am paid fairly for my work.
  • I am satisfied with my organization’s benefits package, including PTO, sick leave and health benefits.
  • (Organization Name) allows opportunities for me to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
  • I am able to arrange time out from work when I need to.

Organizational Health:

  • I believe (Organization Name) is going in the right direction.
  • I have confidence in the leaders at (Organization Name).
  • (Organization Name) operates by strong values and ethics.
  • There is not a lot of negativity at my workplace.
  • My organization encourages different points of view.
  • New ideas are encouraged at my organization.
  • I feel well-informed about important company decisions.
  • My job makes me feel like I am part of something meaningful.
  • I genuinely feel appreciated at (Organization Name).
  • I understand the objective and goals of my department.
  • My manager is accessible to me.
  • My manager helps me learn and develop
  • My manager is genuinely interested in the development of my career
  • My manager listens to my concerns
  • My manager helps me do my job well.

Engagement:

  • (Organization Name) motivates me to do my very best at work.
  • I am proud to work for (Organization Name).
  • My work is valued by the organization.
  • I can see myself working here in two years.
  • I rarely think about looking for a job at another company.
  • I would recommend (Organization Name) as a great place to work.
  • My contributions to the organization are recognized and rewarded.

An employee engagement survey can serve as a valuable tool to improve engagement and retention across your organization. If you’ve already implemented your own survey and are looking to make a few tweaks, or if you’re not quite ready to make the leap no fear, we have numerous resources available to create the ideal employee experience for your people. Click here to start exploring.

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