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3 min read

Questions to Ask in Every Employee Engagement Survey

Employee survey templates are probably some of the most typical tools leaders can utilize in order to understand what staff members think of their jobs and of the company they work for. As a matter of fact, around 92% of organizations regularly hand out these surveys in order to measure how engaged and committed staff members are. After all, 80% of senior managers feels that employee engagement and retention has a significant effect on whether or not an organization is able to reach its business goals and objectives.

The problem with employee survey templates, however, is that these tools have become so ubiquitous that leaders and managers fail to actually re-evaluate the questions contained in them and what these questions can actually show them.

The Wrong Questions

Traditional employee survey templates were created to decipher how happy and content employees are with their jobs and the company they work for. Questions such as “Do you think your team leader cares about you as a person?”, “Do you have a best friend at work?” and “Do you receive enough recognition for your work?” are commonly asked.

Of course these questions make sense, and they are valid. Organizations are always scrambling for ways to keep staff members happy and positive in a world that is ever changing and uncertain.

However, while positivity and emotional contentment do certainly help employees feel more engaged, the top three drivers of employee performance have more power over engagement than simply sentiment and feelings. The said drivers are “a commitment to co-workers”, “an understanding and connection to company goals”, and “having the right capabilities”.

The Right Questions 

The three drivers mentioned above should be prioritized when it comes to survey questions above all else. These drivers frame survey questions in such a way that a company makes it clear to employees what its ultimate goal is – that is, to improve productivity and employee performance.

Understanding and connection to company goals: To succeed in their job, employees need to understand how they fit within the rest of the organization. The successful implementation of a meticulously formulated strategy depends upon employees’ alignment to corporate goals, yet 61% of senior executives admit that they’re struggling to bridge the gap between their ideas and day-to-day implementation.

So it is crucial that the engagement survey shows whether employees understand the firm’s goals and the link between their own work and these objectives.

Ask yourself: Do your questions reveal whether employees try to get their job done “despite the strategy,” or in a way that intentionally contributes to strategic goals?

A commitment to co-workers: One of the attributes that marks out high-performing employees is that they learn from and teach each other. A changing and ever more global working environment means that all employees must be as comfortable working with someone on another continent as they are with the person in the cube or office next to them.

The importance of complementary competencies, values, and working styles requires a shift from glorifying superstars to encouraging strong network performance as well as individual task performance.

Ask yourself: Will your questions help you understand whether employees are part of a multidisciplinary, collaborative team that helps them complete their best work?

The right capabilities: Capability – which consists of an employee’s comprehension, agility, network they work in, direction, and their expectations – is the most impactful contributor to high performance during periods of significant change.

It alone has over three times the impact of commitment to change itself, and CEB analysis shows that employees who have high commitment and low capability are actually 18% more likely to suffer from change-related stress, which leads to poor performance.

Ask yourself: Do your questions check whether employees are aware of and confident enough to make use of the tools, information, and people that can help them navigate change?

The Top Meaningful Questions to Add 

Here are some top questions to add to your employee survey templates so that leaders are supported in discovering meaningful employee engagement that leads to productivity and retention:

  1. Are you proud to be a member of the team?
  1. Does your team encourage and inspire you to do your best work?
  1. Does your team support and help you complete your tasks?
  1. Do you understand the goals of the organization, and what you can do to help it meet its objectives?
  1. Do you have the information you need to do your work and make the right decisions when it comes to your tasks?
  1. Do you understand the structures and processes of the company?
  1. When something unexpected occurs at work, do you know who you can turn to for help?
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