Do you feel that you’ve heard more about employee engagement recently? If so, that’s because discussion on this topic has grown dramatically over the past years. And, for the record, employee engagement is on the rise today, even though the overall picture is still far from being bright. According to Gallup data, only about 34% of US workers and 13% worldwide feel engaged at work.
In this article, we’ll share insights on how to use surveys to measure employee engagement in an organization. And if you want to know how to make your staff members committed to your company and have them put discretionary effort into their work, also read our post on employee engagement strategies.
What Is Employee Engagement, Anyway?
Employee engagement is an emotional state where team members feel passionate about their work and try to do their job as well as they can.
Aon Hewitt, an American provider of human capital and management consulting services, considers employees engaged if they demonstrate three facets:
When employees are engaged in their work, they work faster and harder, resulting in 22% higher productivity, according to research. Plus, motivated and enthusiastic staff members typically produce higher quality work, which leads to greater customer satisfaction. Happy clients keep coming back and refer new customers to your company. All this translates into your company’s increased profitability and growth. This is like a constant cycle from which all sides benefit and succeed:
Since happy employees equal a flourishing organization, measuring employee engagement is what businesses not only should do, they can’t afford not to do. By regularly gauging engagement and collecting feedback from your staff, you’ll be able to identify developing issues in your company and take action to solve them before larger problems arise.
The most powerful way to scope out the situation is using employee engagement surveys. It’s a good chance for your staff to share their opinions on how they’re feeling at work and an easy way for you to measure the temperature of your employee satisfaction in the company.
How to Use Employee Engagement Surveys
To keep your survey on the right track, we’ve made a list of rules for survey creation. Check out how to ask the questions the right way, to get higher response rates and realistic data.
Keep surveys short
Survey software experts from SurveyMonkey recommend that polls should take no longer than 7-8 minutes to complete.
Keep questions clear and concise
Make questions simple, so that your employees understand what you’re asking. Be sure that each question includes a single idea. Otherwise, you risk confusing your respondents and getting unsound data.
Provide specific questions
General questions can make the data difficult to interpret. So, instead of generalized “How do you like your workplace?” (What exactly does it mean that someone likes their workplace?), it’s better to ask a more specific question that will let you understand what they think about it.
Conduct surveys anonymously
When being surveyed, people can feel uncomfortable or threatened telling the truth. So, to collect true and honest feedback, allow your employees to respond to the survey anonymously.
In order to avoid your colleagues spending an excessive amount of time responding to your survey, establish dates. According to the SurveyMonkey’s research, 80% of responses are typically collected within seven days. So a week can be a good time frame to complete the survey. And, if you want to get more responses, you can send out a reminder email after a week as that might stimulate some of those who are lagging behind.
Run surveys regularly
Quantum Workplace’s survey experts feel that annual polls are better than less frequent surveys. This can help keep your business focused on boosting employee engagement, enable you to assess the impact of your change initiatives, and identify any emerging workforce challenges.
16 Questions to Ask in Employee Engagement Surveys
To get the most out of an employee survey, it’s crucial to understand what makes employees dedicated and motivates them to work to their highest potential. We’ve compiled four main factors that influence employee engagement and created four survey questions for each block. Together, they can help you identify what works well in your organization and what still needs to be improved.
Training and career development
Research has found that 86% of millennials, which constitutes the major part of today’s workforce, believe that if they had “career training and development” through their employers, they wouldn’t leave their jobs. Since learning opportunities and growth potentials are among the largest drivers of employee engagement, it’s crucial that survey results show whether your colleagues feel they have enough training and can find fulfillment in their jobs.
Questions to ask:
- Are you satisfied with the job-related training that your organization offers?
- Do you think your organization is committed to your professional development?
- Are you satisfied with the opportunities to apply your talents and expertise?
- Are you pleased with the career advancement opportunities available to you?
An understanding of and connection with the organization’s goals
To succeed, employees should understand how they fit into the organization and what they do for the company supports its mission. That’s why you also need to include questions that will help you perceive whether your staff members understand the organization’s goals and see the connection between the work they perform and the company’s objectives.
Questions to ask:
- Do you understand the company’s strategic goals and mission?
- Do you know what you should do to help the organization achieve its objectives?
- Can you see a clear link between your work and the company’s goals?
- Does the company’s mission make you feel that your work is important?
Every team member wants to know that their contributions are recognized and appreciated, and to receive praise for doing good work. Gallup found that giving praise has a great impact on a company’s bottom line and its employee retention. However, in some organizations, this significant engagement driver is overlooked. Again, you can check to see if it works in your company by asking the right questions in your employee engagement survey.
Questions to ask:
- Do you feel appreciated for the work you do in this organization?
- Does your supervisor regularly recognize your efforts and contributions?
- Has your supervisor ever discussed your progress with you?
- Are you satisfied with the company’s/department’s recognition program?
Relationships in the workplace
In SHRM’s Report, relationships with coworkers were identified as the top engagement condition, with 77% of respondents recognizing these connections as a priority. So, it’s a good idea to include survey questions that will reveal if your employees feel connected to their coworkers.
Questions to ask:
- Do you feel connected to your colleagues?
- Do you have any friends at work?
- Does your supervisor or someone at work seem to care about you?
- Do people on your team collaborate and help each other?
Considering all the factors we’ve covered above, we’ve put together a list of 16 questions that can help you find out whether your employees feel engaged or not. You can regard it as a point of departure for writing your own survey questions or use it as it is.
How to Calculate an Employee Engagement Score
Just surveying your employees isn’t enough. The next step is to measure the level of employee engagement in your company, analyze your colleagues’ responses and find ways to improve what you got.
Here’s how you can calculate engagement by using our Yes / No questions:
- Take the total of how many questions have been asked to all employees.
- Count the Yes responses from all of the questionnaires.
- Calculate the ratio for Yes responses. The number you’ll get is the engagement rate for your company.
The survey was taken by 200 people. There was a total of 3,200 questions (16 questions x 200 people). 2,600 of them were Yes responses. Based on this, we can calculate the ratio: (2,600 ÷ 3,200) x 100 = 81%. Great result!
The fact that the ratio is over 70% indicates a high level of engagement. If your result is above 50%, it’s also a sign that your employees feel engaged, but there’s still room for improvement. If the rate is less than 50%, there is a lot that needs to be worked on.
How to Automate Employee Engagement Surveys
It can be a tedious task to send surveys out and even more stressful to gather and process the results. To run employee engagement activities efficiently, you need a software tool that will help put the entire process on autopilot.
For example, you can use the iSpring Suite authoring toolkit. It will allow you to create a survey easily, share it online, collect the statistics on each employee engagement rate (anonymously), and analyze their responses. Here’s what a survey created with iSpring Suite looks like:
You can download this employee engagement survey template and start gathering insight from your staff today. But before you do this, you’ll need to download the iSpring Suite free trial to specify the email where you’ll receive the reports on your employees’ results.
- After you install the software and downloaded the template, click on the template icon to open it in the iSpring Suite quiz maker tool and choose Properties on the toolbar.
- Select reporting on the menu at the left and check Send report to instructor. Enter your email address and check Include user’s answers in the report to find out what each participant selected for their answers.
The reports you receive will include information from your employees’ replies, with no names cited.
- After you save the settings, you need to publish the survey. Click on Publish on the toolbar.
- Choose My Computer to save the survey on your computer in HTML5 format and click on Publish again.
Share the published survey with an LMS, upload it to your website/intranet, or send it to your colleagues via email.
Note: If necessary, you can adjust the survey by replacing the questions or adding new slides with questions. For example, you can add an Essay question to ask your employees to write a detailed response on how they feel at work or use a Likert Scale, with options ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree, to get a holistic view of colleagues’ opinions of how engaged they are.
The sixteen employee engagement survey questions covered in this article will help you understand your colleagues’ needs and motivation better. Give the survey a go, to shed light on blind spots and find a solution for improving your employee retention rate and the company’s performance.
Don’t forget to download the employee engagement survey template →