10 Requirements For a Good Employee Engagement Survey

Today, a survey is one of the tools used by human resources departments who want to succeed in their engagement process. The survey has several advantages. It is an independent and confidential way to get an accurate picture of the state of mind of employees, and managers. It also provides an effective, quick, and inexpensive comprehension of the organization’s environment. In other words, it allows acting on what people really say and are concerned about, rather than on intuition and false beliefs.

There are two types of surveys, which reflect two philosophies: satisfaction surveys and engagement surveys. The choice of a survey depends on what is valued by the organization. Satisfaction surveys are more focused on the working conditions of employees. The goal of this type of survey is to make sure the organization meets the needs of employees because a satisfied employee is a successful employee.  Engagement surveys try to measure the experience of an employee with an organization. An employee having a good experience will be attached and loyal to the organization. He is less likely to quit the organization after a short period of time, he will be more mobilized, customers will be more satisfied, and the company will be more profitable. More and more organizations are adopting engagement surveys instead of satisfaction surveys because measuring engagement is a more comprehensive approach: an engaged employee is most likely satisfied but satisfied employees are not necessarily engaged.

There is a debate among researchers about the dimensions that can explain employee engagement. It is known that there is no silver bullet when it comes to human resource management (Guérin and Wils, 1990: 674). The engagement of employees is specific to each organization, influenced by their internal (workforce, technology, budget, etc.) and external (competition, societal values, institutions, etc.) environments.  It is therefore important to customize the questionnaire to obtain the information needed to improve the targeted components of the organization (Harwood, 1998: 27).

Based on a literature review of several scientific articles that cover this subject matter, we concluded that a good employee engagement survey should measure the 10 following dimensions:

1. Relationship with managers

  • Managers should communicate well and go by their words.
  • Here are some examples of questions that can be asked to measure the relationship with management dimension:
    • The leaders at my company have communicated a vision that motivates me
    • I have the appropriate amount of information to make correct decisions about my work
    • If asked, I can clearly explain the vision of this company
    • I have a clear understanding of my company’s strategic goals

2. Job motivation

  • Employees should find their job challenging enough to motivate themselves
  • Here are some examples of questions that can be asked to measure the job motivation dimension:
    • I feel exhausted in the morning at the thought of another day at work.
    • I can see myself working here in five years.
    • I am challenged and excited by the work I do here.
    • It is easy to become absorbed in my job.
    • Most days, I look forward to coming to work.
    • I feel personally driven to help this organization succeed

3. Employee contribution to the company

  • The employee should have a clear understanding as to how they contribute to the company’s performance.
  • Here are some examples of questions that can be asked to measure the employee comtribution to the company dimension:
    • I can easily see how my work affects the company’s overall success.
    • I understand how my role relates to the company’s success.
    • I know what you should do to help the company meet its goals and objectives
    • I can see a clear link between my work and the company’s goals and objectives
    • I can clearly see how my work contributes to the company’s mission and success.

4. Clear job expectations

  • The manager should establish expectations for the employee. Setting clear expectations helps to mobilize employees to perform in a way that will achieve the established goals.
  • Here are some examples of questions that can be asked to measure the clear job expectations dimension:
    • I always know what is expected of me when it comes to my goals and objectives.
    • I know what I need to do to be successful in my role
    • I know what my manager is expecting me to do to be successful in my job

5. Career development

  • Employees should have a clear career path and growth.
  • Here are some examples of questions that can be asked to measure the career development dimension:
    • This is a great company for me to contribute to my development
    • I believe there are good career opportunities for me at this company
    • My manager has shown a genuine interest in my career aspirations
    • In the past year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow
    • There is someone at work who encourages my development.

6. Pride about the company

  • Employees should feel esteemed by being associated with the organization.
  • Here are some examples of questions that can be asked to measure the pride about the company dimension:
    • I am proud to be an employee of this company
    • I would refer a friend or a family member to this company.
    • I feel like I belong to this company

7. Relationship with coworkers

  • Relationship with colleagues significantly increases employee engagement level.
  • Here are some examples of questions that can be asked to measure the relationship with coworkers dimension:
    • I enjoy working with my team.
    • My team inspires me to do my best work
    • I am proud to be a member of my team
    • If something unexpected or confusing comes up, I know where to turn for help.
    • I have a good working relationship with my co-workers

8. Adequate tools to perform work responsibilities

  • When employees are not provided with the right tools, they are forced to rely on what is easily available to them. This can lead to inefficient, slow work that might also result in incorrect completion of a task, which companies would obviously like to avoid.
  • Here are some examples of questions that can be asked to measure the adequate tools to perform work responsibilities dimension:
    • I feel like I have all the resources I need to do my job well
    • I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right
    • I have received the training I need to do my job well

9. Feedback, counseling, and mentoring.

  • Every manager is responsible for developing his staff members which can be achieved by giving them feedback, coaching, and mentoring them regularly; This, in turn, can result in improved employee performance, increase employee engagement, and support the achievement of employee goals.
  • Here are some examples of questions that can be asked to measure the adequate tools to feedback, counseling, and mentoring dimension:
    • I receive useful and constructive feedback from my manager
    • My direct supervisor gives fair and practical feedback to help me improve my work.

10. A culture of listening and respect

  • A culture of listening creates strong and trusting relationships, will encourage creativity, empowered ideas, and more effectively inspire professional development and overall performance. 
  • Here are some examples of questions that can be asked to measure the culture of listening and respect dimension:
    • I receive recognition or praise for good work
    • Employee opinions and suggestions are given significant consideration in the decision-making process.
    • At work, my opinions seem to count
    • My supervisor is approachable and easy to talk to get information and feedback