Employee engagement seems to be the thing on everyone’s mind nowadays.
Recent studies have shown the positive impact it can have on organizations, and CHROs have listed it as a top concern for several years in a row.
But how do you actually do it? Where do you get started?
Well, the best place to get started is to assess your current situation. How engaged are your employees already? Are they happy at work? Do they feel motivated? Are they aligned with your mission?
Knowing the answer to all of these questions will help you form a baseline to which then build your employee engagement strategy and benchmarks off of.
I know what you are thinking. How am I going to get this information?
The answer: surveys! (SURVEYS - in loud print for the people in the back.)
You should survey your employees, your different teams, managers, and so many other areas of your organization to get this baseline of how well everything (and everyone) is working. And that is where we come in.
We've made a list of all of the different types of surveys you could ever want to send out when evaluating employee engagement. In this blog, we will go through each survey individually, explaining the purpose of it, and provide you with a copy of the questions generally found on each survey.
If one of the surveys don’t pertain to you, or you already have it covered at your organization, please disregard and scroll onto the next. We hope you enjoy!
Employee Engagement Surveys: Employee Satisfaction
An employee satisfaction survey is exactly what it sounds like. In this survey, you are trying to figure out if your employees are engaged with your company, their team, their job duties, and even their manager. Sometimes, as you'll find, someone can be engaged with their specific role but not the overall organization. Or, someone may really like working with their manager but no one else. Employee engagement is complex so these initial surveys are really meant to help you understand what is going on.
These surveys are generally given anonymously. Companies who put a lot of emphasis on employee engagement usually send these out annually and compare their answers against the previous years to look for successes (and failures) in policies. Of course, you don't have to wait to send them out once per year. The ball is in your court!
Below are some of the most common employee satisfaction questions. Generally, it is best to use a ranking scale or open-ended questions, as opposed to single Yes versus No, or True versus False, because it will provide you with more well-rounded data that you can analyze more deeply. Here are the statements they can rank:
- I can see myself working here in five years.
- I know what is expected of me and my team.
- I feel like all of my coworkers are on the same team.
- My manager provides me ample recognition.
- My manager provides me ample development.
- My manager capitalizes on my strengths and helps me grow on my weaknesses.
- I’m proud to be apart of this company.
- I enjoy coming to work everyday.
- I would refer a friend or family member to work for this company.
- I believe that my leaders know what they are doing.
- I believe in the company’s mission.
- Do you have a clear understanding of your career path or promotion path?
- I have a great work/life balance.
- What would you change about the company?
- How frequently do you feel recognized or appreciated at work?
- Do you see yourself working here one year from now?
- What words would you use to describe our culture?
As you can see, these questions are really basic. They aim to help you paint a picture of each employee at your company. When all is said and done, you should have quite a bit of data to poor through. Look for trends!
Employee Engagement Surveys: Team Effectiveness
The purpose of this survey is to see how engaged an employee is with their particular team.
When people are registering for the surveys, ask them a question that will help you segment them into their different work teams. This will allow you to see the engagement within each team, as well as see the overall engagement of all of your teams. For example, you can use a very easy question like: what department are you from? Or something along those lines. If you don't, you'll have to basically guess what team is what.
Again, we recommend that these questions actually be statements that people can rate on a sliding scale for the same reasons we mentioned above.
Here are some common questions:
- Our team members trust and respect each other in all situations.
- Our team can openly express ideas, opinions, and thoughts internally.
- Our team values diversity of opinion.
- We can function without the help of our team leader.
- Our team leader succeeds at managing our team.
- Our team leader has a process for operating the team, sharing information, and giving feedback.
- Our team has a set of rules regarding expectation, results, and overall behavior.
- I am excited to be apart of my team.
- Our team has the right resources (members, budget, support, etc) to be successful.
- If I could change one thing about my team, it would be:
Having questions like number 10 can be invaluable. Sure, sometimes you may get a few nonsense answers or have people who refuse to give an answer. But, these can all be undone by someone who truly cares and has thought about the issue. These answers can seriously help you understand what's going on and even give you great ideas for positive change.
Employee Engagement Surveys: Training and Development Effectiveness
As most HR people know, training and development is a huge part of employee engagement. For employees to feel engaged, they need to feel like their company is developing them, so that they can improve and have successful careers at the company or even elsewhere.
So, developing a survey to test how well your HR strategy is doing this is of utmost importance. In today's tight labor market, development and training is even more important than ever.
This time, we'll switch out our statement questions for some actual questions. Again, though, you want your employees to say as much as they can for each answer. This means you shouldn't provide multiple choice. Having the questions be in essay form will help you in the long run. Here's what we recommend:
- Are you satisfied with the amount of development you have received in the last year?
- Do you feel that your manager has taken time to develop you?
- Do you feel like the company has put in effort to develop you?
- How much time have you spent on development in the past year?
- Was the type of development satisfactory?
- Do you feel like you had enough time to work on development?
- What other types of development do you think would be useful to you?
- What other types of development do you think would be useful to your team?
- What other types of development do you think would be useful to the entire company?
Employee Engagement Surveys: Employee Motivation
So, while the employee engagement and employee motivation surveys will be similar, they are not the exact same thing. And this is because employee engagement and employee motivation are not the same thing.
An employee can be motivated without being engaged, and vice-versa.
You might have an employee who is super engaged, loves the company, his coworkers, and believes in your mission. But he might also not really like his day to day and feel unmotivated when going to work. On the other hand, you may have someone who comes to work because they like to be social and hangout with their coworkers. This person is quite happy in the office but, when it comes to actual work, may not care about the bigger picture.
As you can see, what motivates an employee to come to work can be a bunch of different things (a paycheck, for starters), but that doesn't mean they are engaged. In fact, based on recent polling the vast majority of workers world wide are listed as 'disengaged.'
Here are some questions to help you get to the bottom of you employee motivation (back to statement questions again):
- I feel completely focused on getting my job done when at work.
- I give my best effort everyday.
- The days go by quickly because I’m trying to get things done.
- The days go by slowly as I think about other things.
- I am excited to go to work when I wake up in the morning.
- I have goals at work that I am trying to meet.
- I feel motivated to meet those goals.
- I feel that I have the right resources and support to meet those goals.
- I feel motivated by my manager.
- I feel motivated by my team members.
- I am inspired by the company’s mission and am motivated to help it achieve it.
Employee Engagement Surveys: Manager Effectiveness
This is the final employee engagement survey we will go over today, but that doesn't mean it's not important.
Data has shown that employees are more likely to leave an organization because of their boss, not the actual company. This makes sense, right? After all, bosses are generally the gatekeepers employees have to deal with. They control their raises. They control their development. Plus, if a manager is straight up bad at their job, it makes sense that their team will suffer alongside them.
So, since managers play such an important role in whether your employees are engaged or not, it is important to see how effective they are at their jobs.
Here are some questions you should include on your survey:
- I like my manager.
- I think my manager does a good job.
- I feel a personal connection with my manager.
- My manager takes responsibility for mistakes.
- My manager talks with me about my career.
- My manager helps to develop me.
- My manager has high standards of conduct.
- My manager is open to resolving conflict.
- My manager gives me feedback.
- My manager is open to getting feedback.
- I feel comfortable talking to my manager about personal problems when it affects my work.
- My manager makes everyone feel included on the team.
- My manager has favorites.
- My manager provides me with ample recognition and praise.
- What one thing could your manager change to be more effective?
Employee Engagement Surveys: The Final Points
While these questions are just a starting point to start with your survey process, they provide a good foundation from which your HR team can build. When administering surveys make sure that you analyze historical data, and try to make insights from the current year. If a question stands out in particular after accumulating data, try hosting a focus group around the point.
When you have gathered all of the needed data, you should find yourself with a pretty detailed picture of how your employees are operating. With this data, you can go about making changes to your policies and programs to hopefully influence engagement. Good luck!