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What is an Employee Engagement Survey? And Why Should You Care?

December 13, 2022

Do you know how your employees feel about their work? If not, you could be missing out on some valuable insights.

An employee engagement survey is a great way to get feedback from your team and see how engaged they are with their work. By asking the right questions, you can learn a lot about what motivates your employees and what makes them happy (or unhappy) at work.

Employee engagement surveys can help you identify problems early on before they become bigger issues.

However, before you dive into an employee survey, it's important to understand what they entail, the best questions to ask, and how to use the feedback to benefit your team. But first, what is employee engagement?


Employee Engagement Defined

Employee engagement is a measure of how connected employees feel to their work and their company.

Engaged employees are passionate about their work and feel a sense of ownership over their projects. They're also more likely to be committed to the company's success and stay with the organisation for the long haul.

So, it's no surprise that companies with high employee engagement rates also tend to outperform their competitors.

Focusing on engagement levels can help you attract and retain top talent, boost productivity, and create a positive work environment.


What is an Employee Engagement Survey?

An employee engagement survey is a tool used to measure how employees feel about their work, their job satisfaction, and their commitment to the organisation.

These surveys usually include questions about:

  • Job satisfaction
  • Engagement with work
  • Commitment to the organisation
  • Motivation at work
  • Satisfaction with management

Employee engagement surveys can be administered in many different ways, but most are either paper-based or online. They can be given to employees all at once (such as during a company-wide meeting), or they can be sent out periodically (such as once a year).

As the world continues to move to a more digital-first approach toward work, understanding how to keep employees engaged even when they work from home is key.

Additionally, some companies choose to make their employee surveys anonymous, while others allow employees to put their names on the survey. Depending on your needs, you may or may not choose to utilise anonymous surveys.


The Facts Behind Employee Engagement

New research from Gallup found that nearly 85% of people are disengaged at work. Determining why they are disengaged is what will ultimately help shift tides to a happier workforce. That's where employee engagement surveys can help.

These surveys have been around for years, but they've become increasingly popular in recent years. And it's no wonder why.

Employee engagement surveys provide valuable insights into how employees feel about their work. When done right, surveys can help organisations improve communication, increase job satisfaction, and boost productivity. Furthermore, companies with a highly engaged team are 21% more productive and 22% more profitable than a disengaged team.

Conversely, poorly executed employee surveys can do more harm than good. If not done correctly, they can create feelings of mistrust and resentment among employees.

With only 15% of the workforce feeling engaged, improving team morale and engagement should be a priority amongst all business leaders. And because employee disengagement impacts business performance, retention, and team culture, it's essential that companies address any issues that have an impact.


Why Should You Give an Employee Engagement Survey?

Employee engagement surveys can be very beneficial for organisations. Here, we list some of the benefits of giving an employee engagement survey:

  • Gain insights into what employees think and feel about their work
  • Identify problems early on
  • Empower employees with a voice
  • Increase employee retention
  • Improve communication between management and employees
  • Get ideas for new initiatives to improve employee satisfaction

These are just a few of the benefits of giving an employee engagement survey. If you're thinking about giving a survey, the next step is to be sure to ask the right questions.


What Questions Should You Include in Your Employee Engagement Survey?

Asking the right questions is key to getting useful feedback from your employees. So, when crafting your employee engagement survey, there are a few key areas you'll want to focus on.


Employee Engagement

Questions in this area should be at the beginning of your survey. They can be used to measure intent to stay, work involvement, discretionary effort, pride in the company, and willingness to recommend the company.


Core Themes

These questions will ask about the conditions that may cause employees to become disengaged at work. They cover topics like autonomy and empowerment, career progression, collaboration, communication, leadership, recognition, resources, strategy, management support, and training and development.


Additional Themes

This section of questions will differ based on what is happening at your company. Maybe you were recently acquired by another company or introduced a new paid time off (PTO) policy to the team. These questions will help you gain feedback on how your company is handling these changes and how they are impacting your team.


Examples of Employee Engagement Survey Questions

Here are some questions you may want to include in your employee engagement survey.

  • How satisfied are you with your job?
  • Do you feel like you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
  • Is your work meaningful and contributes to the company's success?
  • Do you have the opportunity to learn and grow in your role?
  • Do you feel like your voice is heard and that your opinion matters?
  • How would you like to be recognised at work?
  • Do you feel like you have a good work/life balance?
  • Do you feel like your job is secure?
  • Are your coworkers supportive?
  • Is your manager supportive?


You can also include text boxes that allow people to answer in a longer form and speak freely. When creating your survey, be sure to tailor the questions to fit the needs of your team and what points you want to address.


RELATED: How to improve employee engagement: strategies for boosting moraleĀ 


Should Your Employee Engagement Survey Be Anonymous?

Now that you know what an employee engagement survey is and what questions to ask, you may be wondering if you should make the survey anonymous. While you may want to know exactly what each person on your team thinks so you can address any concerns, staying anonymous allows people to be more truthful with their opinions.

Either way, there are pros and cons to both anonymous and non-anonymous surveys.

Conducting an employee engagement survey face-to-face

Pros of Making the Survey Anonymous

If you make your survey anonymous, employees may feel more comfortable being honest, which can result in more accurate results. Anonymity can also help reduce any potential bias in the survey results.


Cons of Making the Survey Anonymous

If you make the survey anonymous, you won't be able to address any topics directly with employees. This can make it difficult to take action on the feedback you receive, both positive and negative.

For example, an employee may say they're looking for advancement opportunities. Rather than being able to discuss this with the individual directly, you may need to address it company wide. Conversely, if there's an unhappy employee, it can be difficult to resolve the problem without knowing who specifically is upset.

It's important to weigh the options and decide what's best for your team. No matter what approach you take, employee engagement surveys can be very beneficial for companies of all sizes.


Using Feedback From Employee Engagement Surveys

Once you've collected the survey results, it's time to take action on the feedback. Whether you decide to address concerns directly with employees or make changes to company policy, it's crucial that you show your team that their voices are being heard.

Employee engagement surveys can be a great way to gather feedback and improve your company culture. By asking the right questions and taking action on the results, you can make a big impact on your team.


Getting Started

Interested in learning more about how your company can benefit from a recognition program? Schedule a demo of Terryberry's new 360 Recognition platform today.