Here’s a sobering statistic, only 33 percent of US employees are engaged at work. That statistic comes courtesy of Gallup’s State of the American Workplacereport last year.
They’re also looking at leaving for greener pastures. More than half (51 percent) say they are actively looking for a new job or watching for openings, according to the Gallup study. Why are they leaving? US employees cited career growth opportunities, pay and benefits, manager or management, company culture and job fit as some of the primary drivers for leaving.
“One of the big factors that drives employee engagement is the nature of work, i.e., the type of work, how meaningful it is, and how does the work align with the personal goals of each employee,” Brad Killinger, CEO of Sapience Analytics, told CMSWire. “A company can have best of the facilities, free food, and other benefits, but if the quality of work is not good, then the best and most growth-oriented employees will leave the company.”
Low employee engagement numbers keep HR professionals up at night, no doubt. One way companies try to fix their sinking engagement numbers is through employee engagement surveys. The challenge? The questions themselves have to be engaging, and they must produce relevant data and responses your organization can actually use as a starting place to address employee engagement. To help you craft a survey that helps find true insight, we asked experts to share some examples of employee engagement survey questions that will help improve retention and improve your overall employee experience.
Related Article: 5 Ways to Improve Employee Engagement Through Good Leadership
How Would You Rate Our Company’s Remote Work Policy?
Remote work is a way of life these days with more than 40 percent of all US workersspending some time working remotely. You need to know if your remote workers are invested. “In order to strengthen your own company’s remote work guidelines, be sure to solicit feedback from your employees, particularly those who work from home most frequently,” said Jimmy Carroll, partner and director at TetraVX. “Ask how they would rate your policy currently, where there is room for improvement and what tools you can implement to make those adjustments.”
Tweaking your remote-work policies — if necessary — could help your employees feel as productive, engaged and connected as possible, whether they’re working remotely or in the office, Carroll added.
Does Our Company Provide You with the Tools and Technology Needed to Effectively Do Your Job?
The right communication tools and technology can fuel productivity and collaboration in the workplace, especially for companies with a sizable remote workforce, according to Carroll. “Because there are so many workplace collaboration apps in today’s marketplace, it’s easy for employees to feel overwhelmed, resulting in them not being as productive in their role or engaged with their colleagues,” he said. That’s why this question can help avoid any confusion and discomfort. Ask your employees if you’re providing the right tools and technologies they need to effectively do their job because it allows you to solicit feedback straight from the source, Carroll said.
This, he added, will help determine which tools your employees find useful, and which ones you should scrap due to their ineffectiveness.
What’s the Quality of User Experience You Get from Your Business Software Applications?
Also in the realm of the tools employees need in order to do their jobs, do your employees feel that their workplace software measures up to their consumer experiences with technology? Salesforce’s “State of the Connected Customer”survey (registration required) found that 71 percent of employees want their company to provide them with the same level of technology they use in their personal lives. “If you want your customers to have a quality user experience, you need to start by listening to your own employees,” said Brian Berns, CEO of Knoa Software. “Actively listen to what they tell you about their daily workplace technology experience and, if necessary, make improvements.”
Related Article: Why You Need to Map the Employee Journey
How Satisfied Are You With the Business Software Applications You Use Day to Day?
This question can help you find out your employees’ engagement with your most critical software applications. It can help you identify disengaged users, super-users and identify and address the root causes of disengagement: user interface design, workflow, training, etc., according to Berns. “The more connected we are with work, the more engaged we are,” Berns said. “Asking your employees about their technology engagement level may help you realize that you need to offer them a variety of options and devices to make processes more efficient.”
Are You Embracing New Applications, Workflows or Processes?
Think about how many companies invest in technology only to get routine results. Figuring out where and what the problems are is the first step toward driving change, Berns said. It can help you learn which new software applications are not being adopted. It can help you gain insight on the quality of user adoption based on your employees’ level of engagement. And it can help you, according to Berns, identify where you’re not getting return on your investment to prioritize action steps.
Do You Feel Your Job Is Important?
Paddy O’Hagan, customer success manager at StaffConnect, said this question is the “perfect starting point for an employee survey.” Asking an employee whether their role is important, O’Hagan said, indicates whether the employee is emotionally invested. “If an employee feels their role really contributes to the role of the organization, they are more likely to work harder, stay longer and become a brand advocate for the company externally,” he added. “It’s also a great test to see how well the company has defined its core values and communicated them to the whole organization.”
Do You Enjoy Your Day to Day Work?
Don’t forget about this one. It’s a good thing to know whether your employees actually like what they do. “Enjoying their work is a vital part of any employee’s engagement with their organization,” O’Hagan said. “It suggests the right balance of being sufficiently challenged, without being overworked. It’s also a great indicator of being in the right team with the right management.”
However, if an employee is not enjoying their work, further investigation is required. Perhaps the employee is over-skilled, under-skilled, or not being managed effectively. Perhaps they are simply being put under too much pressure, or overloaded? “Dissatisfied or disgruntled employees need a platform/channel to voice their concerns constructively — otherwise their presence in the workplace can be seriously detrimental to their productivity and the productivity of those around them,” O’Hagan said.
Related Article: Creating Good Employee Experiences Is Within Reach
Do You Have Everything You Need to Get Your Job Done?
From equipment to training and support, this question potentially highlights a whole variety of issues that can influence employee engagement, dramatically, O’Hagan said. “Discovering skills gaps and providing the right tools for the job,” he added, “is key to keeping an employee motivated.
Identifying training needs also provides employers with the opportunity to invest time and money into their employee’s growth, which in return will help keep a more skilled workforce long term.”
Does Your Manager Inspire You, or Just Tell You What to Do?
Encouraging employee autonomy and maintaining good working relationships with management is key to developing a positive work environment, O’Hagan said. This leads to higher levels of trust and flexibility and this trust also encourages employees to try new things. “Managers who lead by example rather than micromanaging their employee’s schedules/task lists will encourage them to look for ways to creatively solve problems or challenges they meet,” O’Hagan said. “Survey results here will provide feedback on whether further management training is needed to encourage self-sufficiency, so that greater productivity can be achieved.”
Related Article: What it Takes to Create Exceptional Employee Experiences
Employee Engagement Survey Questions Resources
Here are some additional materials to help you craft your employee engagement survey questions: