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Three Questions You Need to Ask on Your Employee Engagement Survey

Ben Renner

Ben Renner

providing and receiving feedbackIf your employee engagement indicators have taken a dip recently, perhaps you’re not asking the right survey questions. Company executives too often get positive responses on their employee engagement surveys but find other indicators of employee engagement, like overall morale and productivity, sagging. You need employee engagement survey questions that get to the heart of the issues and provide useful metrics to guide your employee engagement strategy.

Employee engagement is flagging in many industries for many reasons. Some organizations don’t have the right tools and applications in place to engage with their employees, some have the wrong communication approach to individual employees, managers, and stakeholders. Whatever the reason, better employee engagement occurs when organizational leaders can reach their employees and understand their needs and wants.

How to Get at the Truth with the Right Survey Questions

Effective changes to the company’s employee engagement strategy come from the right information: the truth. While employee engagement surveys are effective tools in the struggle for the truth, they have to be framed and used in a way that gets to the heart of the issues for your employees. Not only will you get better information from surveys that ask the right questions, your employees will appreciate the effort you put in to reach them and understand their concerns. Here are three important employee engagement survey questions you should always include:

positive employee experience1. On a Scale of 1 to 10, How Happy Are You at Work?

This is an effective question for two reasons. The first is that the 1 to 10 scale may sound corny and disingenuous, but asking your employees to put their happiness on a scale of 1 to 10 gives you data you can use. This data might not make it to an empirical, scientific survey, but in terms of employee engagement surveys, it’s gold. The second reason this is an effective question is because it starts right at the heart of employee engagement. Employees won’t engage with their leaders and the organization if they hate their jobs. Put this survey question at the top of your questionnaire and look at the data. If you’re getting too many one’s and two’s, you may have to shake up the office.

2. Do You Have a Clear Understanding of Your Career or Promotion Path?

Before you throw this question in the trash for being a binary, yes/no query, consider that its strength and power lies in its simplicity. This question will not only give you a sense of how employees view your promotion and career path decisions for all of them, it will highlight those individuals who don’t have a good sense of their career path. You can use this information to have conversations with employees who don’t feel particularly engaged and/or motivated.

3. Would You Consider Asking Your Friends to Work Here with You?

Like the question that came before, there is more to this than meets the eye. It’s a spin on the age-old “would you refer someone to work here?” But it goes a step further. It asks not only if you’d refer this job to a complete stranger, but if you’d refer this job to someone you have a friendly relationship with. There’s more risk involved in referring a job to a friend, because if the workplace is terrible and there’s no attempt at true employee engagement, that friend might not talk to you again. This question raises the stakes and gets at the heart of the employees’ impression and overall feeling about working for your company.

Use the Employee Engagement Survey Information Well

You’ll need more than three questions on your employee engagement survey, of course, but if you think in terms of what information you’ll be getting back from your employees, you’ll craft better questions and surveys that are of better use to you.

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