Employee engagement in the workplace is more important than ever before. With everything that is going on in the world, employees need to feel a solid connection with their workplace. Creating and delivering an employee engagement survey – sometimes called an employee satisfaction survey – is the first step towards understanding and improving on the levels of employee engagement within your company.
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Why use surveys to measure employee engagement?
Employee engagement is the term used to describe how satisfied and connected your employees are with the organization. It goes beyond determining whether they are happy with their job, instead examining how committed and motivated they are to see the company succeed.
Engaged employees generally want to see the company reach its goals and will go above and beyond to help it get there. When employees are engaged they are more productive, motivated, deliver higher rates of customer satisfaction, help drive profits and deliver higher shareholder returns.
In order to determine how engaged your employees are, you need to use specialized employee engagement surveys that will provide you with the appropriate metrics. These surveys are designed to measure and assess the levels of motivation and engagement within your employee cohort.
The survey results will enable you to gain insights into the attitudes and thoughts about the workplace that your employees possess. They will also help you to determine any areas for improvement that will see your employees performing at their optimum.
The difference between employee engagement and employee satisfaction
The terms “employee engagement” and “employee satisfaction” are sometimes used interchangeably – but they shouldn’t be confused for the same thing. While they have some similarities, they also have their differences.
The term “employee engagement” describes the state of the workplace when employees are committed to seeing their companies succeed and meet its goals. They’re motivated to come to work every day and do whatever they can to ensure the company is successful.
“Employee satisfaction” on the other hand describes the state of a worker enjoying his or her job. Employees can be satisfied without being engaged. They may be happy enough to do the work, but don’t necessarily care about the company’s overall success.
Types of employee engagement surveys
Before you start conducting an employee survey in your organization, its important to understand the different types of surveys and how they can be used. Ultimately there are unique factors in every organization that will help determine the best fit. This includes the industry you operate in, the number of people in your team, the inter departmental makeup and geographic spread of employees.
1. Annual employee engagement surveys
Annual employee engagement surveys are usually carried out across an organization. This once yearly snapshot lets you gather high-level insights on how your employees are engaged across the board, covering topics such as turnover, employee experience, satisfaction with management, company culture and more.
The information will give you a benchmark to measure against year-on-year and you can also break the information down to compare engagement within different teams and other employee cohorts (eg: women, people working in a particular city).
2. Quarterly employee engagement surveys
A quarterly employee engagement survey provides more oversight about how employee engagement is tracking within an organization throughout the year. This is particularly useful in situations where there is a lot of change, or If you are actively trying to increase engagement: it gives you a better, more regular set of metrics that will show if there are any positive or negative changes.
3. Pulse surveys
Pulse surveys are short, regular engagement questionnaires that are sent to employees on a weekly or fortnightly basis to measure engagement levels and provide management with real-time data about how people are feeling at work. These surveys will allow you to track if there are any trends or fluctuations in engagement levels over time, and can allow you to solve any problems before they escalate.
Top 30 employee engagement survey questions
If you aren’t sure about what to ask, try our sample employee engagement survey. The following engagement questions will help you to gain insights into different aspects of engagement across your workforce.
- Are you proud to work for [company name] ?
- How do you feel about work today?
- Can you see yourself developing your skills and career with [company name]?
- How likely are you to recommend [company name] to family and friends as a great place to work?
- Do you believe [company name] has your best interests in mind when making company decisions?
- What could be done to increase employee involvement at [company name]?
- How often do you think about looking for a job at another company?
- Do you feel excited about coming to work every day?
- Do you think [company name] provides adequate opportunities for skill development?
- Do you plan to be working at [company name] in the next two years?
- Do you believe management communicates well with employees?
- Are you satisfied with our corporate wellness program?
- Does [company name] motivate you to go above and beyond what is required of you?
- Are you satisfied with your salary and benefits?
- Do you feel excited about the majority of your work and projects?
- Do you feel empowered to make decisions at work?
- Does your work team inspire you to do your best work?
- What inspires and uplifts you in the workplace?
- Do you think your manager is a great leader?
- Do you find the work you do at [company name] to be meaningful?
- Do you have all the tools you need to do your job well?
- Do you feel comfortable sharing ideas and opinions in the workplace?
- Does your team work together to complete work?
- Has the [company name] leadership team communicated a vision that motivates you?
- Do you receive recognition for your work?
- Do you see a clear link between the company’s goals and your individual job?
- Do you feel comfortable raising a problem or asking your manager for help?
- Do you feel your manager has an interest in your career aspirations?
- Do you feel that your workload is reasonable?
- Do you feel that management at [company name] is transparent?
Download 41 employee survey questions for free
Tips to make sure your staff engagement survey is effective
Having the questions to ask your employees is just the start. In order to get the insights you need about engagement in your company, you need to consider the following best practice rules to ensure that your survey is effective:
- Ensure your questions are simple and easy to understand.
- Include some open-ended questions where employees are able to express their opinions, particularly on areas of improvement.
- Make sure your questions are written in a way that will elicit as much information from employees as possible.
- Ensure the majority of the questions you ask can be answered on a five-point sliding scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree.
- Keep your sliding scale consistent throughout the survey.
- Deliver your survey digitally so that it is easier for employees to complete and gives you results quickly, in real time. DeskAlerts is a tool many organizations trust to send their surveys straight to employees’ desktops.
How to interpret your employee engagement results
To make your employee engagement surveys count, you need to know how to interpret the information that they have given you.
As well as numbers that you can get from your sliding scale survey responses, the comments provided by employees provide valuable qualitative insights about why they have responded the way they have.
When you have your results you can present them in ways that will be useful for leaders in the organization, and HR, to work with to affect change. This includes:
- Creating engagement scores that provide management with an indication at a glance about how engaged employees are, overall as well as on a per-question basis.
- Understanding the response rate, both overall and to specific questions. You may find if there is a low response rate that people weren’t comfortable or willing to provide their honest feedback, which in itself is an indication of low engagement.
- Create heat map graphics which allow people to easily identify where there are problem areas with engagement in your organization, as well as showing where the strengths lie.
- Look at benchmarking different teams against the response of the organization as a whole.
Staff engagement statistics you need to know
If you’re still not convinced that you need to take action to understand and improve employee engagement in your organization, you may find these statistics sobering:
- A Gallup report found that 51% of employees are not engaged in their workplaces, and only 36% are engaged.
- The same Gallup report found that only 42% of employees feel that their manager keeps them informed about what is happening in their organization.
- Another Gallup study found businesses with engaged employees are 21% more profitable.
- A study from the Sloan Center for Aging and Work found that older employees tend to be more engaged in the workplace than younger ones.
- A study from the Engagement Institute found that disengaged workers cost businesses between $450 and $550 billion annually.
How to use surveys to develop engagement strategies
Proactive employee engagement strategies are an essential guide to follow in order to improve engagement within the workplace. Your employee engagement survey data can be used to help develop these strategies. The data they produce give you a solid baseline that you can then benchmark against, which is better than just going by assumptions and impressions from the workplace.
Use the survey data to inform the strategy by analyzing the results, determining your strengths and weaknesses and look for opportunities for improvement.
You may find that some employee cohorts – eg: the accounting team – appear more engaged across the board while other teams – eg: the sales team – are disengaged. You may need to tailor your engagement strategy by different audience to bring about improvements where they are most needed.
Share the results with management and employees alike and get feedback around meaningful steps that you can take to improve engagement in your workplace context. You may even want to establish an employee engagement committee that has stewardship of the strategy.
Remember if you promise to do something, you need to follow through on it. Don’t produce an engagement strategy just for the sake of it: employees will undoubtedly determine that your efforts are insincere and this will in turn affect your engagement levels in a negative way.
Boosting employee engagement is important for any business that wants to succeed. Get in touch with us today to find out how our survey and other communication tools can help to make your employees more engaged.
Frequently asked questions
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is an approach taken in the workplace to ensure that workers are provided with the right conditions to see them give the company their absolute best each and every day.
What is the best employee experience tool?
The best employee experience tool to look for is one that has a good user interface, is easy for employees to use, integrates easily with your other applications and provides you with good value for money.
How to measure employee engagement?
There are several metrics that can be used to measure employee engagement. These include:
- Benchmarking your engagement goals and assess if these have been met.
- Sending employee engagement surveys
- Sending pulse surveys
- Examining your employee Net Promoter Score
- Determining your absentee rate
- Look at your staff turnover rates
- Look at the click through rates of internal communications emails.
- Interview departing employees.
Why is employee engagement so important?
Employee engagement is important because it helps to improve your work environment and the workplace culture of your organization to encourage staff to be more dedicated to and invested in the company’s values and goals.