Management strategies have come a long way in the last ten years, particularly when it comes to the valuation of an employee’s well-being. Even the biggest corporations are shifting to a leadership framework that treats workers as human beings instead of numbers, which is leading to vast improvements in the employee experience – as well as profit.

The key to fusing your team’s happiness with their efficiency is a mastery of employee engagement, a strong presence of which can boost productivity by 125%. The question on the minds of many leaders is no longer “why” they should start focusing on engagement, but “where” they should start.

The best place to start is with an Employee Engagement Survey.

What is an Employee Engagement Survey?

An employee engagement survey is a set of questions that managers and HR leaders send out to their teams to gauge anything and everything about their positions and their time with the company. The key is to stay focused on engagement; your employee survey questions should ask about subjects like work-life balance and burnout.

What’s great about surveys, especially when done through a system online, is their flexibility. You can sporadically ask a few quick questions about everyone’s well-being, or you could conduct a long questionnaire that helps you dive deep into your culture’s strong and weak points. Your questions could be multiple choice, open-ended, or even on a 1-10 scale. Anything that you need to learn about can be right at your fingertips with an employee survey.

Sending your team an employee engagement survey can immediately mend most issues you encounter as a people-leader. Not only does it increase engagement and loyalty among the team members that answer, but it can clue you in to any problem they may have with your company or management and enable you to quickly make a change.

If you’re looking for a quantitative reason to implement employee survey questions, look no further than a SHRM study that says organizational responsiveness to employee feedback leads to improved productivity, higher retention rates, lower absenteeism, better customer service and higher employee morale. Distributing employee engagement surveys shows your team that you care about their feelings and opinions, but it’s acting on the results that demonstrates your complete investment in them. That’s what commits them to your company.

While employee surveys are a massive help, they’re not an automatic shortcut to a better culture and a stronger profit. You have to know what parts of the employee experience you want to tweak before you build your questionnaire. For instance, if you want to know if your workplace’s culture has impacted the team’s well-being for better or worse, ask engagement-related questions that pry at parts of the working environment that management doesn’t see. You could also send out a survey to new hires that asks about their training and onboarding experience so you can improve it for future talent. Each employee survey can have its own purpose.

What’s the first step?

So you want to create an employee engagement survey… but how? Using pen and paper feels prehistoric in 2022, especially when most teams are at least partly remote. Therefore, you should start online with a program designed to support engagement surveys for teams of any size. If you want the flexibility to be able to build a survey at any length with a number of different formats for the answers, there are a number of different solutions online – but we have to say, we do have a favorite.

Now you’re likely asking yourself what you ask and how you ask it. One of the troubles with custom surveys is that you don’t have a benchmark to compare your team’s answers to, whether in your own industry or in the workplace as a whole. Fortunately, thanks to Gallup, that doesn’t have to be the case.

If you want to start with a more universal survey, Gallup created the Q12, their own standardized employee engagement survey. Ask your workers these 12 questions and compare your results to the national average, as well as other organizations closer to your field that have shared their Q12 results.
Finally, it’s your turn to get to work. What questions should you ask, and how should you ask them? Well, we can’t exactly tell you what needs fixing in your culture, but we can provide you with plenty of questions that apply to all sorts of contexts and scenarios. Check out our HR’s Guide to Survey Questions, with over 50 different questions free to use for your team! You’ll be surprised at just how much you learn.

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