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Employee Survey Questions about Work Environment


 — November 2nd, 2021

Employee Survey Questions about Work Environment

Attracting and retaining staff is a growing challenge for organizations all over the world. As attractive salaries and perks become more commonplace, employees and potential employees are instead focusing on an organization's culture and values when choosing where to work

An organization's culture and work environment have become a prominent factor in retaining key staff and recruiting new ones. It's a huge piece of the 'quality hire' puzzle according to recruiting strategist Jena Brown, and quality hires can have a significant impact on service delivery as well as employee retention.

The Ultimate Guide to Internal Communications Strategy

For organizations intent on holding on to valuable employees, it's worth investigating what your staff thinks about their work environment through regular surveys. One of the keys to getting insightful responses is to ask what Joni Fedders, Aileron President calls "empowering questions". "Empowering questions are open-ended, thought-provoking, challenging, and solution-oriented questions that cause a person to search for answers and new possibilities."

Asking questions that require only a 'yes' or 'no' answer can have the effect of stopping the conversation, or preventing one from beginning in the first place. When compiling your employee survey questions about culture take the time to think about your questions. A simple rephrasing of a question can often change it from a dead-end to a conversation starter.

Here are 11 examples of survey questions you can ask your employees regularly to determine the general feeling among your workforce.

  1. What does a good work environment look like to you?
  2. What areas do you think we as an organization can improve upon?
  3. What one word would you use to describe our work culture?
  4. What do you think is the organization's biggest strength?
  5. What quality have you seen in a colleague that you'd like to nurture in yourself?
  6. How do you see the work you do having an impact on organizational goals?
  7. What is the one thing that stands out for you about working at this organization?
  8. How can your manager be a better leader?
  9. How does your manager recognize or highlight employees' work?
  10. What does a successful project look like to you?
  11. Give us a recent example of when you felt pride in your work or in the organization?

With work culture emerging as a key factor in staff recruitment and retention, it's become more important than ever that you understand your organization's culture and how it's perceived internally by employees.

Organizational culture is broadly defined by The Business Dictionary as the underlying beliefs, assumptions, values and ways of interacting that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization.

Senior management could have a different view of the work environment than their employees. The goal of regular work culture surveys is to identify the common values of your organization and to hire people who fit in with these values.

According to Brent Gleeson of TalkingPoint Leadership, this is a critical point in the success of an organization: "Hiring based on shared values and cultural beliefs lead to winning results."

An interesting study conducted by the Henry B. Tippie College of Business on the consequences of an individual's fit within an organization showed that employees who sit in well with their organization enjoy better job satisfaction, were more likely to stay with the organization, and their job performance was significantly better than those who weren't a natural fit.

Through regular surveys with probing, open-ended questions, organizations can gain invaluable employee feedback on the true work culture, and use that insight to enhance staff retention as well as give them a leading edge for recruiting key staff.

Employee wellbeing survey questions

Measuring wellbeing in the workplace is possible, and it’s important. When companies use feedback from their employees, they can take action where needed and ensure everyone’s wellbeing is supported.

  1. Does the workload assigned to you allow you to achieve a healthy work-life balance?
  2. Do you feel that your colleagues and managers care about your wellbeing?
  3. Do you have someone to talk to at work when you are feeling stressed?
  4. Does your manager vocalize support for the company’s wellbeing program?
  5. Does your manager give you a reasonable workload?
  6. Do you believe your manager would be understanding if you took a sick day for mental health reasons?
  7. Do you feel comfortable asking your manager for support in sustaining a healthy work-life balance?
  8. Do you feel well-rested most mornings?
  9. Does your work allow you to allocate time to physical fitness?
  10. Do you feel safe at work?
  11. Does your work allow you to spend enough time with family, friends, and non-work activities?
  12. Does your work allow you to take enough vacation time throughout the year?
  13. Do you feel interested in participating in your organization’s wellness offerings?

Manager effectiveness survey questions

Good managers are a key asset for any organization. Survey questions that focus on managerial traits such as competency, communication, and consistency can aid companies in determining the effectiveness of managers.

  1. Are you confident in the overall effectiveness of your immediate manager?
  2. Does your manager have the expertise and ability to help you and your team succeed?
  3. Does your manager maintain high standards for their conduct?
  4. Has your manager worked to improve on issues in the last year?
  5. Does your manager make consistently effective decisions?
  6. Does management clearly communicate performance expectations?
  7. Does your manager effectively communicate the information you need to understand?
  8. Do you regularly receive constructive performance feedback from your manager?
  9. Do you understand how your performance is measured?
  10. Do you have a clear understanding of the organization's goals and objectives?
  11. Is organization-wide communication effective?
  12. Is the organization competing effectively in its sector?

See a more extended list of questions for gauging manager effectiveness here.

The Ultimate Guide to Internal Communications Strategy

Work environment survey questions

An organization's culture and work environment have become a prominent factor in retaining key staff and recruiting new ones. This is why it is beneficial for businesses to regularly investigate how their staff feels about their work environment through regular surveys.

  1. How would you describe the workplace atmosphere?
  2. What does a good work environment look like to you?
  3. What areas do you think we as an organization can improve upon?
  4. How prominent is office politics in the workplace?
  5. Do you have the basic amenities to feel comfortable and relaxed at work?
  6. Does the company provide you with all the tools and materials you need to do your job?
  7. Is your organization dedicated to fostering diversity and inclusion?
  8. Does your organization operate in a socially responsible manner?

Job Satisfaction survey questions

Understanding how an organization performs in terms of employee satisfaction, can provide vital intelligence for setting objectives and identifying areas that should be targeted for change.

  1. Do you find your work meaningful?
  2. Do you have a good work-life balance?
  3. Do you feel pride knowing you work for company X?
  4. Do you feel inspired by the purpose and mission of your company?
  5. Do you like your company culture?
  6. Do you feel there is a scope for personal growth such as skill enhancement?
  7. Do you feel valued for your contributions?
  8. Does your team inspire you to do your best work?
  9. Do you feel connected to your coworkers?
  10. Do your managers value your feedback?
  11. Do your superiors communicate company news effectively and in a timely manner?
  12. Do you think that work is distributed evenly across your team?
  13. Does your company give you the tools and technologies you need to do your job well?

Fun employee survey questions

Although finding out how employees feel about their company is usually a serious and important task, there is an opportunity for it to be meaningful but still fun.

One strategy is to add light-hearted questions to official surveys. This will not only make the process less serious but will keep employees engaged and also let management get to know their employees better.

  1. If you could pick a superpower, what would you choose?
  2. Name one dead celebrity you would like to have dinner with?
  3. If you were an animal, what would you be?
  4. Imagine you could step in a time machine for a day and go to any place and time in history. Where and when would you travel to?
  5. What’s the coolest thing about your job?
  6. What is the best gift you ever received?
  7. What is the nerdiest thing you do in your free time?

Key Takeaway

Employee surveys are a great way to improve employee engagement and overall business performance. Gathering employee feedback on important topics and utilizing this information to make relevant changes will aid companies in maintaining higher retention rates, lower absenteeism, improved productivity, better customer service and higher employee morale.

Furthermore, the simple fact that a company is carrying out a survey will send a positive message to employees that their opinions are valued.

Whether it is an annual, quarterly, or weekly survey, it’s important for businesses to carefully consider the exact information they are seeking and to craft their questions carefully to make sure it is attained. Most importantly, it’s essential they carefully analyse the results, take action and monitor the progress and effectiveness of this action.

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