Employee Engagement Surveys: The Complete Guide to the What, Why and How!

May 19, 2023 |
15 min read

The conventional definitions of the terms, Work and Work-Life Balance, have changed drastically over the past couple of years. 

The years of the Covid-19 pandemic, introduced new, diversified and significant concepts, such as Work from Home and Hybrid Work Models;

Which have impacted employee psychology and perceptions in consequential ways. 

And as silly as it may sound, another important factor is the ingress of Gen-Z in the Corporate World

With the abovementioned factors in play, it is only natural to anticipate changes in crucial factors, such as, Employee Ideas, Perceptions and Expectations;

That will in turn impact key Corporate Strategies, such as, Employee Engagement and Retention.

The non-acceptance of these changes and failure to optimize and upgrade your organization's structure, policies, environment and culture;

May in fact, lead to the occurrence of such events -

Funny tweet depicting the attitude of Gen-Z in the Workplace

The need of the hour, therefore, is evidently to update and reform Corporate Work Strategies, to welcome the adaptation to the said changes.

That said, let's start by discussing...

What is Employee Engagement?

Employee Engagement is a concept designed to assess and understand employees' commitment, sincerity and dedication toward their organization, owing to their work satisfaction, emotional investment and work expectations being met. 

In a much simpler sense, it is a measure of the employees' willingness to go beyond their job scope, channeling their emotional, mental and behavioral faculties to remain invested in positive organizational growth.

Employee Engagement can be measured both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Infographic showing: 10 C's of Employee Engagement (Information Courtesy: Ivey Business Journal), namely: 1. Connection 2. Career 3. Clarity 4. Convey 5. Congratulate 6. Contribute 7. Control 8. Collaborate 9. Credibility 10. Confidence

Factors of Employee Engagement:

Infographic showing: Factors of Employee Engagement, namely: 1. Job Satisfaction 2. Work-Life Balance 3. Growth Opportunities 4. Reward & Recognition for Positive Performance 5. Career Motivations 6. Fair and Standard Pay Structure 7. Employee Benefit Policies 8. Company Culture 9. Transparency and Integrity 10. Relationship with Authorities, co-workers and juniors

1. Job Satisfaction

The contentment and happiness employees derive as a result of working, carrying out their assigned goals, tasks, etc., or performing their job functions in general.

2. Work-Life Balance

The amount of time spent by the employee for the job and related activities vs the time he is able to devote to his personal life and activities. 

3. Growth Opportunities

The vertical for growth within an organization, enabling employees to upscale and move to higher positions.

4. Reward & Recognition for Positive Performance

Allocating rewards and recognitions to recognize and reinforce positive performance on the work front.

5. Career Motivations

The aspirations and ambitions an employee has with regard to his career and professional growth.

6. Fair and Standard Pay Structure

A compensation structure that matches industry standards and values employee experience and background.

7. Employee Benefit Policies

Benefits, perks and incentives that are lucrative and beneficial to the employees in the long run, such as medical insurance or health coverage. 

8. Company Culture

The overall environment and atmosphere of the company, resulted from work structure, policies, engagement activities, the scope for expression, freedom and autonomy, etc., cumulatively.  

9. Transparency and Integrity

The transparency, openness and integrity maintained within professional communications, written or verbal.

10. Relationship with Authorities, Co-workers and Subordinates

The degree of healthy professional relationship an employee has with his authorities, co-workers and subordinates.

The importance of Employee Engagement is such that Quantum Workplace recommends administering surveys 4 to 5 times a year to achieve optimal results;

And, supplementing an annual employee engagement survey with pulse and lifecycle surveys to gauge the success of HR initiatives.

Hence, comes into play the need for well-designed, thoughtful, result-oriented and insight-driven Surveys.

Having discussed the factors affecting Employee Engagement, let's dive into...

5 Steps to Create an Effective Employee Engagement Survey 

Step 1: Defining Parameters

As discussed earlier, employee engagement is a vast concept, involving multiple and diverse affecting factors.

That said, it is a given that not all factors can be covered and analyzed all at once;

Therefore, it becomes necessary to shortlist the factors that your Organization is seeking to improve the most.

If the factors are limited, it becomes easier to gain an in-depth insight into each of the parameters, instead of diluted results as a result of trying to cover multiple aspects.

Note: The reason why it is recommended to conduct 4-5 employee engagement surveys per year, is because:

  1. Employee Engagement is Dynamic
  2. To oversee the effect of changes implemented based on previous surveys
  3. Ask multiple important questions for each individual parameter to gain deeper insights into each of them
  4. Gather information that identifies and isolates key problems and enables management to address them appropriately
  5. Maintain an adequate length for the survey 

Examples of Parameters: Job Satisfaction, Career Motivations, Relationship with Authorities, co-workers and juniors, etc.

Step 2: Designing the Flow of the Survey

Once the parameters to be assessed have been finalized, it is important to demarcate these parameters as different sections to define the flow of the survey.

This will also enable you to categorize and list the various questions appropriately.

This will make the survey organized, instead of making it look like just a document with a bunch of questions.

At the same time, this will help provide better context to your employees as they answer the questions.

Step 3: Selecting The Questions To be Asked

After the relevant categories have been decided, it is time to add the right questions.

The definition of right can be quite subjective to every organization, depending on the work structure, policies and company culture.

In order to determine the exact questions to be included in the survey, it is essential to involve Upper Management such as Managers, Team Leaders, Department Heads etc., alongside the HR department, as they directly engage and communicate with the employees on a regular basis, and therefore have a higher chance of giving valuable feedback about which parameters need the most attention.

Some Good Practices when Developing Survey Questions 

  1. Keep the questions short and simple
  2. Ask direct questions 
  3. Assign questions to the right categories
  4. Avoid trite questions
  5. Strike a balance of open and close-ended questions
  6. Keep an objective and consistent rating scale
  7. When including open-ended answers, try to give a hint about the negative and positive keywords that can be used in the answers;
  8. And assign corresponding negative/positive values to these keywords;
  9. This can help introduce some objectivity to the rather subjective answers.
  10. Allow for anonymity but track broader categories;                                                          For eg: The names of individual employees may remain anonymous, but their Departments should be known.

Step 4: Analyzing Results and Decision Making

Once the survey has been conducted, track and analyze the results.

Visualize the data gathered into statistical forms and expressions for better clarity.

Also recording the data in numerical forms enables quick comparison when comparing results with former and latter survey results.

Needless to say, this also gives a clear understanding of what's working and what's not.

When revising existing strategies and developing new ones, take into consideration the employees' suggestions. Also, it is best to include the concerned Department Heads alongside the HR department, for the same.

Step 5: Publishing Survey Results and Retaining Transparency

After obtaining the results, share them with your employees!

This helps retain mutual transparency amongst the employees and the organization.

Most importantly, this will give the employees a chance to understand and assess and reassess their part, productivity and performance; both in terms of expectation and execution.

Put a spotlight on the areas where you see positive feedback;

And zero in on the ones that call for improvement.

Again, consider your employees' suggestions for them.

This helps develop a sense of inclusion and belongingness toward the organization.

And just like that, simply in 5 simple steps, your organization will have conducted a worthwhile Employee Engagement Survey!

But before we move on;

Here is a list of...

25 Sample Questions to Ask in an Employee Engagement Survey

  1. How satisfied are you with the tasks/goals assigned to you as part of your job role?
  2. On a scale of 1-10, how often do you find yourself doing tasks beyond your defined scope of work?
  3. On a scale of 1-10, how enthusiastic are you about coming to work?
  4. Which mode of work do you prefer: Work from Office, Work from Home or Hybrid?
  5. On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend this [organization name], to your social circle?
  6. Do you feel recognized and valued for the extra effort that you put in for accomplishing your goals?
  7. Does your superior recognize your efforts?
  8. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your professional relationships with your co-workers?
  9. Do you find your work challenging and meaningful?
  10. Do you feel there is ample scope for growth in this organization?
  11. Do the tools and platforms made available to you, help you perform your tasks effectively?
  12. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the culture of this organization?
  13. Do you feel aligned with the vision, mission and goals of the organization?
  14. Do you feel your superior is invested in your professional growth and development?
  15. If there was one thing you could change about this workplace, what would it be and why?
  16. Are you satisfied with the work distribution within your team and department?
  17. Do you feel proud about being a part of this organization?
  18. Do you feel comfortable giving feedback to your supervisor?
  19. Do you feel the organization's policies are supportive of diversity and inclusion? 
  20. On a scale of 1-10, how comfortable/relaxed do you feel at your work?
  21. Do you enjoy your work?
  22. Are you aware of any office politics?
  23. On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with the company's Corporate Wellness Program?
  24. How often are you stressed about work targets/deadlines?
  25. Do you feel the organization cares about your mental and physical well-being?

But the survey isn't over just after gathering responses;

It is also important to track your progress against several key metrics.

There are many metrics that can be tracked for an Employee Engagement Survey;

Here are the...

5 Key Metrics to Track in an Employee Engagement Survey

Infographic showing: 5 Key Metrics to Track in an Employee Engagement Survey, namely: 1. Voluntary Employee Turnover Rate 2. Employee Retention Rate 3. Absenteeism 4. Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) 5. Employee satisfaction

1. Voluntary Employee Turnover Rate

This metric is a measure of the rate at which the employees choose to leave the company, voluntarily or out of their own free will.

This is an important metric, as no organization wants to lose out on employees that are of immense value to it.

Also, a number of employees choosing to leave may give the company a bad name and reputation.

Formula: Turnover rate = Number of employees who left / Average number of employees

2. Employee Retention Rate

This metric is a measure of the percentage of employees who chose to retain their jobs, from the beginning and end of a specific time period. It does not include any new-hirees who were hired during this time period. 

Formula: ( Number of individual employees who remained employed for entire measurement period / Number of employees at start of measurement period) x 100

3. Absenteeism

This metric refers to the measurement of employees' absence from work, extending beyond reasonable, legitimate and customary causes, such as vacations, PTOs, health issues and so on.

It is an important metric as it is reflective of what's causing disengagement and the psychology or behavioral motivations behind this.

Formula: Absentee Rate = ((Number of Unexcused Absences) / Total Time Period) x 100  

4. Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

This metric is built around the concept of Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric used to assess customer loyalty, satisfaction, and enthusiasm toward a company.

An eNPS, therefore, becomes a metric that tracks employee loyalty, satisfaction and enthusiasm toward the company.

It is also indicative of your employees' willingness to recommend their workplace to their social circle.

Formula: eNPS = % of promoters – % of detractors

5. Employee satisfaction

This metric is used to measure employees' contentment with their job;

The happiness and fulfillment they feel while performing the tasks, goals and activities assigned to them.

Formula: ESI = (question mean value/3) x 100

But before you go, it is important to know...

The Benefits of Measuring Employee Engagement

Infographic showing: Benefits of Measuring Employee Engagement, namely: 1. Improved Employee Efficiency and Performance 2. Enhanced Productivity 2. Improved Employee Job Satisfaction 3. Development of Finer Employee Retention Policies 4. Identification of Improvement Scope and/or Pain Points in Work Policies, Strategies and Company Culture  5. Understanding of Employee Motivations and Aims to Empower Mutual Growth 6. Healthier Work Engagements 7. Positive Organizational Growth

1. Improved Employee Efficiency and Performance

Gaining and acting on insights gathered from the Employee Engagement Survey can help improve employee efficiency, as the organization gains a better understanding of the factors affecting their engagement. Also as such, the employees start feeling valued.

2. Enhanced Productivity

When employee engagement and efficiency improve, enhanced productivity becomes a natural consequence. As the employees start to feel more engaged at their workplace, they try to deliver their best and the overall productivity of the department also increases.  

3. Improved Employee Job Satisfaction

Having a better understanding of the employees' job descriptions and functions, and providing them with meaningful tasks, learning opportunities and scope for growth, leads to improved employee job satisfaction.

4. Development of Finer Employee Retention Policies

If the organization is able to tap into the factors that improve or degrade employee engagement, it becomes possible to develop and refine retention policies as such.

5. Identification of Improvement Scope and/or Pain Points in Work Policies, Strategies and Company Culture 

Employee Engagement Surveys may help identify specific scope for improvement and/or pain points in work policies, strategies and company culture, which a large number of employees agree upon. Revising existing or developing new policies in accordance will help develop a healthier work culture and atmosphere.

6. Understanding of Employee Motivations and Aims to Empower Mutual Growth

An employee engagement survey is capable of giving valuable insights into individual employees' motivations and career aims. The organization can take strategic growth opportunities which mutually empower the employee and the organization.

For instance, allowing capable individuals with monetary rewards when they obtain a certification which not only increases their professional value, but also allows them to take up new roles and responsibilities at their workplace.

7. Healthier Work Engagements

A better understanding of employee engagement with their co-workers and authorities can help the management and leadership to come up with new and efficient ways to approach meetings, one-on-ones, management styles, etc., eventually leading to a healthier work environment.

8. Positive Organizational Growth

Last but not the least, all the above-mentioned factors organically result in positive organizational growth, owing to positive upgradation and reforms in multiple aspects and departments.

According to People Managing People

Gallup compared business units with high engagement levels with those that don’t and came up with the following conclusions. Its employee engagement survey reveals that engaged employees:   

  • Increase productivity by 14%
  • Increase customer ratings by 10%
  • Increase sales by 18%
  • Increase profitability by 23% 
  • Increase organizational participation by 13%

And that's all about Employee Engagement Surveys!

Did you know, at Formester, you could...

Create a Free Employee Engagement Survey in 3 Simple Steps

Infographic showing: How to Create a Free Employee Engagement Survey in 3 Simple Steps using Formester: 1. Sign-up for Formester 2. Create your own form or use a free template 3. Publish your survey and gather actionable insights!

  1. Sign-up for Formester;

It's completely free!

  1. Create a response-oriented and insightful Employee Engagement survey, using Formester's intuitive, no-code, drag-and-drop interface;

Or, simply use this pre-designed, customizable Employee Engagement Survey Template.

  1. Publish your survey and gather actionable insights!

So start your survey journey with Formester now!

Create your first form for free

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