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Questions to Avoid in Employee Surveys

While employee surveys can be extremely helpful when it comes to engaging employees and getting feedback, there are particular questions you shouldn’t include in them. In general, the most important thing to keep in mind is that the questions that put your employees in a bind or awkward situation shouldn’t be included in any of your employee surveys.

Employee survey templates

The following are some of the questions you should avoid including in your employee survey templates:

1. “Who is the better boss – your manager or the company CEO?”

Asking this question or a question of this nature puts your employees in a very awkward situation. While your intention may be to assess the leaders in the company, it will put your employee in a bind wherein he or she will be placed in a difficult, catch-22 type situation. Instead of getting the feedback you seek, employees will more likely be fearful or actually giving their true opinion.

Also, asking this questions pits one leader against the other, which, of course, does nothing good for morale and camaraderie.

2. “Are you earning enough? Do you want a raise?”

If you want to know how satisfied your employees are with their current salaries, this is not the way to go about finding out. Including this line of questioning might make your employees do a double take on your survey and it will more likely make them feel like they are being tricked into answering a certain way. Questions such as these are unlikely to give you the feedback you want or expect.

3. “Do you like working for the company?”

Employees who want to stay employ aren’t going to answer “no” to this question. Not only will this question not provide you with any useful answers, it will more likely lead to untruthful responses and consequently, a wasted survey. Instead of improving communication between you and your employees, you might even worsen it.

Instead of opting for yes-or-no questions, go for questions that can be answered with statements.

4. “When are you planning to get married and/or have children?”

Not only is this line of questioning in poor taste, it will make your employee second guess his or her commitment to the organization. You may be curious about your employees’ plans for the future, but asking questions like this are extremely inappropriate. It’s one thing to want to have effective internal communication in the company, it’s another thing to be intrusive.

5. “If you had the opportunity, what changes would you like to make to the company?”

While you may think this question can bring about ideas for improvement, your employees might think that you have a hidden agenda. There is a possibility of miscommunication, especially in a corporate environment. For example, if an employee suggests that there should be longer lunch breaks, there is a fear that will hover over him or her that HR might tell him or her off for the suggestion.

6. “Do you want to work for the company in the long-term?”

Every company wants to make sure that they retain effective employees, and avoid having staff members quit left and right. However, this line of questioning will make an employee feel awkward – especially if he or she is unsure about whether or not he or she wants to work in the organization for the rest of his or her life.

Before handing out your surveys and integrating them into your internal communications plan, ask your colleagues for their opinions and revise when necessary. If you’re unsure whether or not a question is appropriate or should be added to the questionnaire, don’t include it.

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