Measuring employee engagement is essential for gauging employee commitment and loyalty to your business. It also helps you identify factors which motivate employees and contributes to their wellbeing. On the other hand, it also helps you drill down into areas that may cause friction, and potential employee churn. In this article, we’ll cover the basic grounds: How to use a dedicated employee engagement software and what are examples of employee engagement survey questions?
What is employee engagement?
As mentioned before, employee engagement relates closely to employee satisfaction. Yet they are not the same. Engagement can be seen as one of the core drivers of satisfaction, and thus subsumed under it. If employees are engaged, it means they are more motivated and thus more satisfied. Several factors can lead to engaged employees. These include, but are not limited to, a varied and balanced workload, a healthy work environment, and the alignment of personal values with those of the company.
It is something we all experience ourselves: if we are more passionate and care about what we do, and thus engaged and motivated, we are happier and more productive. Therefore, high levels of employee engagement are beneficial to a company on several layers. It can reduce employee churn, because it nurtures loyalty and satisfaction. It is also financially beneficial because high rates of employee turnover are more costly for a business, see here our article on the ROI of employee experience.
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Why and how to measure employee engagement
In order to figure out how engaged your employees are, the most efficient way is to listen to them actively. This can be best achieved through employee surveys. Introducing a feedback culture into your business is advantageous on various levels. It creates a culture that fosters actively listens to the Voice of Employee, and thereby also shows employees your willingness to create positive, impactful change in their favour. This in turn is positive for your company, as it increases satisfaction levels, wellbeing, and revenue in the grand scheme.
The easiest way to create an employee feedback culture is by using a dedicated employee engagement software that makes it easy to automate and manage the process. Good software will allow you to send simple but effective pulse surveys to employees and gain instant insights into your results, in real time.
Engagement software like Netigate EX can also tie employee feedback to specific engagement drivers, which helps you to closely measure the different factors that influence engagement. For example, you can keep track of when ‘Development’ or ‘Culture’ driver scores are falling as a result of employee feedback and take targeted actions to make improvements.
Core themes for employee engagement survey questions
When devising your employee engagement software, you will have to think about which areas influence engagement. You will also need to think about which factors in these areas are drivers of engagement or potentially the opposite. Some core themes that link to your employees’ engagement are:
Company culture and workplace
This includes everything from the work environment, as well as the vague, but overall feeling and mood that is fostered at work. It can also relate to specific values the company stands for, or more specific operational processes, and the overall work-life balance. It blends in with the next two categories.
Communication and collaboration
Think about which communication channels and tones are used? How do they impact employees? How is teamwork and collaboration managed and implemented?
The leadership style has a direct impact on employees. Think about the relations between your managerial suite and your employees.
Workload, expectations, and variety of tasks
Are realistic targets being set? Is the workload balanced and in line with expectations? Are tasks varied or repetitive?
Resources and support
Which resources and support do you provide? This can relate to anything from clear instructions from managers to mental health support or even certain benefits.
Responsibilities and career progression
Are roles and responsibilities clearly defined or more fluid? Is there a fair distribution or responsibilities? Do employees feel they are able to work independently or are they feeling micromanaged? Do employees feel like they have the opportunities to progress, or do they stall?
Training, career development, and up-skilling
This ties in with the above. Do you provide opportunities to train, develop, and acquire new skills? Are they compulsory or voluntary?
Pay and benefits
Do employees feel like their pay reflects their work adequately? Are you in line with wage standards for the roles? Which benefits are you offering and which are actually useful to employees?
Diversity and inclusion
Do employees feel represented and supported in the company? Are they feeling safe and comfortable? Do they feel supported if they have special needs?
Example employee engagement survey questions
The above list already suggested some questions for you to think about when compiling your survey. But which questions are actually useful to pose in an employee engagement survey? How do you formulate them and what are the dos and don’ts?
Close vs. open-ended questions
Good employee engagement survey questions will be specific and concise, making it clear to evaluate answers. You can include questions on scales, i.e. “On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with the variety of tasks on a daily basis?” But to gain more specific insights make sure to include follow-up open-ended questions. This will give employees the chance to free-text and elaborate. To follow up the example above, you could ask: “Please indicate which tasks feel repetitive to you.” Using a text analysis tool will efficiently help you weave out common threads and trends for actionable data insights.
What to avoid
🚫 Questions that feel too personal or pointed.
This includes: “Does work affect your relationship?” or “Is there a manager you don’t get on with? Who and why?” Such questions feel intrusive, will not provide conclusive or useable data, and feel so pointed employees might shy away from answering them anyway.
🚫 Unspecific questions.
You cannot expect to cover an entire core theme from the list above. If you ask: “How do you feel about the workplace culture?” employees will not know where to begin or end. It is a good idea to divide your questionnaire into overall themes and then ask specific questions relating to that core subject. Examples will follow below.
🚫 Subjective questions.
Now, this is a tricky one. Of course, every feedback response is subjective. What we mean by that however is not the reply, but using a subjective concept in the questions. For instance, if you simply ask “Do you think the work environment is healthy?” or “Do you feel like you are being treated fairly?” respondents may feel either way about the concept of health or fairness, but it will not give you actual indicators as to what makes a healthy workplace or a fair treatment for them. This questions also need specifying.
Examples of good questions
In order to avoid the mishaps detailed above, here are a few effective employee engagement questions:
✅ Structure: As mentioned above, dividing up your questionnaire into specific sections will help employees understand what your questions relates to. For instance, if your section is titled “Workload” you can then ask: “Do you feel like your set targets are achievable in the set timeframe?” or “Do you feel like your tasks are varied?”
✅ Trends and personal preferences: Relating to the example above, the responses may be varied but do not necessarily mean the same thing to each employee. For example, one may have answered they feel like tasks are varied, which they enjoy, whereas another employee may find that overwhelming and prefers to have set, routine tasks of the same manner. Therefore it comes down to personal preference. You can specifically ask for that, like “Do you prefer working on different projects or having clearly set, routine tasks?” This way you can gauge personal preferences as well as larger trends for your current workforce. While not all personal preferences need to be accommodated for as a business, it helps you see why some people may thrive in roles, whereas others feel overstimulated, or bored.
✅ Specific and concise questions covering your core themes: Here is a lost of questions that cover enough ground for data while being simple and easily answerable and evaluable.
- How satisfied are you with the provided training opportunities?
- Do you feel like your special needs are being provided for? How can we support you better?
- Do you feel like your pay adequately reflects your workload and responsibilities?
- Are you satisfied with the channels used for communication?
- How happy are you with your relationship to your managers / colleagues?
Interested in getting started with your employee engagement survey questions? A dedicated feedback platform like Netigate will allow to reap the benefits of listening to your employees. Feel free to book a demo or start your free 30-day Netigate trial to get a taste of the benefits!