IC Matters

Employee Comms

15 Simple Employee Engagement Survey Questions


 — September 18th, 2019

15 Simple Employee Engagement Survey Questions

What’s the point of asking staff for their opinion on the workplace? It seems like a simple question but, embedded in it are a host of far more complex motivations and assumptions. So let’s look at just a few.

At its most basic, asking employees for their views on the workplace will, over time, create a benchmark against which any interventions applied by Human Resources can be judged. Without a reference point and empirical data on set criteria, objectively judging the performance improvements of any implemented changes will simply be moot.

Understanding how an organization shapes up in areas such as employee satisfaction, the management or leadership performance, and the workplace environment can provide vital intelligence for setting objectives and areas that should be targetted for change.

Assessing employee engagement also allows HR teams to pinpoint areas of best practice. A department or team might rate very high on engagement. By analyzing survey data HR can gain insights into how or why this is happening and implement best practices learned throughout the company. Surveying staff provides actionable data.

In essence, the act of carrying out a survey implicitly engages with the workforce. It says that the organization wants to know what the staff thinks. It gives voice to staff and lets them see that the organization is interested in the views of its employees.

Below you’ll find ideas for 15 engagement questions, both of the agree/disagree and open-ended variety, which should be good fuel for thought for your employee survey.

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Digging Deep

Not all questions are equal. Very broadly you can have questions where you ask participants whether they feel they agree or disagree with a statement such as “I feel that if I have an issue my manager helps me find a solution”.

Questions can also be open-ended and intended to elicit a more subtle assessment of the feelings and opinions of the subject. An example might be, “Based on your daily experience, what one change would you make to your job more effective?”

Questions can be broadly categorized into five themes.

Beliefs & Feelings

Questions focus on whether the employee is proud to work at the company, their level of happiness, whether they would recommend their workplace to others and their levels of motivation with their role.

Examples (Typically measured using a mechanic where 1 equals completely disagree and 5 completely agree)

  • Working here makes me happy
  • I feel pride knowing I work for company X
  • My workplace and/or role gives me motivation

Support & Resources

This focuses on queries about the available resources, information and time staff need to do their job, as well as whether they feel their role is recognized by the company.


  • My work is well done because I get the time to do it right
  • The company recognizes my efforts
  • The company gives me the necessary resources to do the job asked of me

Management & Team Support

Questioning here is about teasing out whether the subject feels heard and/or valued by their manager or the wider organization. The scope can extend to cover topics such as trust and enjoyment in working with their colleagues and managers. Does, for example, management show an interest in my career plans and ambitions?


  • Management listens to and values my input
  • My organization's leadership cares about my personal career and development goals
  • My department colleagues are dependable and trustworthy

Career & Development

Is this company a good place for an employee to develop their career? Do they see themselves working here X years from now? Are they challenged and excited by the role they perform for the organization?


  • I feel this company supports my career development
  • The work I am given is enjoyable and challenging
  • I understand what is expected and how my career can develop in the organization


Open-ended questions give the subject room to speculate and, in their own words, provide a more qualitative sense of their experience of work within and organization. Typically these will be broad-brush asking about what an employee sees as the strengths or weaknesses of the company and what they would change is given carte blanche?

Examples (unlike the previous example questions this would be a freeform entry or face-to-face Q & A session)

  • What do see as this organization's greatest strengths?
  • Do you feel there are weaknesses the company should address?
  • What do you most enjoy about working here?
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The question of questioning?

Ultimately, it’s important to emphasize that surveys are a valuable tool in the armory but far from the only solution. Focus Groups, one-on-one interviews, and even exit interviews are equally useful ways to gain qualitative data on employee engagement.

It is also worth stressing that employees need context. Most will wonder why the company is asking them about their views and opinions, especially if it isn’t part of normal practice. The organization, therefore, needs to have considered and be able to provide meaningful reasons for the exercise and what the data gathered will be used for. For example,

  • Will it be anonymous?
  • Who will see the data?
  • What happens if I provide a less-than-stellar critique of my place of work?

Thus, to get a candid response from employees, it ultimately helps if you prime participants ahead of time and answer head-on any staff queries about the motivation behind a survey.

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