If you aren’t worried about employee engagement, you should be. It’s impossible to grow your business without it. The good news? If your employees are extremely engaged, you’ve got a competitive edge.

The first step to improving engagement is measuring it.

How Do You Measure Employee Engagement?

You may have a general sense of the level of engagement at your organization. But its importance merits a scientific approach. An employee engagement survey is a questionnaire. It measures a variety of factors that contribute to engagement. These include:

  • The quality of training
  • Career advancement opportunities
  • The effectiveness of managers
  • Whether company leaders are helping or hurting employee engagement
  • Whether employees feel their work is valued
  • Whether employees feel unified in a common purpose
  • Whether employees understand the company’s goals and objectives
  • Whether employees are planning to stay with your organization

How To Create An Employee Engagement Survey

Employee engagement surveys aren’t difficult to create. Before writing the questions, you need to choose a structure for your survey. How will the questions be asked?

Don’t use questions that can be answered with a yes or no. Questions that require a thoughtful answer are far more useful. Employee engagement has many facets. There are few black and white answers. The best practice for an engagement survey is a Likert-type scale.

Likert Scales

We recommend a Likert-type scale system. Combine it with a few open-ended questions. The Likert psychometric survey technique was invented by social psychologist Rensis Likert. Each question is phrased as a statement. Participants answer with a level of agreement or disagreement.

For example, a five point Likert-type scale could contain the following ratings:

Strongly Agree, Agree, Neither Agree nor Disagree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree.

In a true Likert scale, the levels of intensity are linear. Each rating has equal weight. For example, it is assumed that the difference between Disagree and Strongly Disagree is the same as the difference between all other adjacent points.

Likert-type questions tap into feelings and attitudes. That makes them ideal for employee engagement surveys.

How Many Points On Your Engagement Survey Scale?

A five point scale is optimal. It gathers the necessary detail. Without taking too long to complete. Research on surveying techniques (surveys on surveys?) has shown that a ten point scale discourages participation. And the additional nuance isn’t statistically significant for most purposes.

Another important thing about an odd-numbered scale is that it allows for neutrality. The middle answer can be ‘I Don’t Know’ or ‘I Neither Agree Nor Disagree.’

Open-Ended Questions For Employee Engagement Surveys

Open-ended answers take longer to read and document. But they yield insights you can’t get with a scale. Think of it this way: Likert-type scale questions reveal the known unknowns. Open-ended questions may reveal the unknown unknowns.

These employee engagement questions have been used with success.

The Best Employee Engagement Survey Questions

  1. I plan to be working for this company in five years.
  2. I see a career path at this company.
  3. I understand the company’s goals and vision.
  4. My manager is a good role model.
  5. I have what’s necessary to excel in my job role. (This question is intentionally vague. The answers could indicate a wide range of things—training, resources, leadership, or communication, for example.)
  6. The processes and systems used to perform work are well-designed. (Inefficiency doesn’t inspire people to perform.)
  7. The leaders are dedicated to ongoing improvement. (Great companies have a commitment to improvement that resonates from the top down)
  8. I receive authentic recognition when I perform well at my job. (If your employees strongly agree with this, you are doing better than most employers.)
  9. How does my work contribute to the company’s overall success? (It’s critical that employees understand how their efforts contribute to the organization as a whole.)
  10. It feels like we’re all on the same team working together. (A low score on this indicates a critical lack of engagement.)
  11. My manager knows what I am good at and capitalizes on my skills. (Good managers get the job done. Great managers understand their team members’ strengths and weaknesses.)
  12. I take pride in my work.
  13. My manager has asked me about my ambitions and career goals.
  14. My manager has my best interests at heart.
  15. When someone asks what I do for a living, I am proud to say I work here.

Good Open-Ended Employee Engagement Survey Questions

  1. If you were running this company, what would you do differently?
  2. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about working here?
  3. Explain the company’s mission.
  4. What conditions at work inspire you to improve your skills?
  5. If someone asked you the best thing about working here, what would you say?

Make The Survey Count

Once you’ve taken the surveys and analyzed the results, it’s time to make changes. The findings will help you choose and prioritize actions to take.

Take the survey again after starting your employee engagement program. It will help you tweak the program going forward. We wish you success in your efforts.

SwipeClock’s WorkforceHUB has employee engagement tools.

  • Create, update, and manage engagement surveys
  • Employees can take the survey on any connected device
  • Collaborate with the Human Resources team, managers, and other stakeholders
  • Engage with employees daily through the WorkforceHUB HR dashboard

Employee engagement surveys are only one of the features of WorkforceHUB. It’s a unified HR interface for employees, managers, and Human Resources. You can handle all core HR workflows (and plenty of non-core functions) from a central hub.

By Liz Strikwerda