For any small business, it's likely that growth is part of its company goals.

And, to grow, you’ll need to ensure your people are fully on board with your visions, are happy at work and are as productive as they can be. After all, your people are the driving force of the business.

A great way of taking a 'temperature check' is by conducting an employee engagement survey.

In this article we’ll pull apart what an employee engagement survey actually is, and why we're making such a fuss about them.

And, we’ll give you a whole host of questions that we think every small business should include in their own engagement surveys.

What is an employee engagement survey - and what's all the fuss about?

Businesses often measure employee engagement to find out how enthusiastic employees are about the work they’re doing, how motivated they are, how on board they are with the company visions and, ultimately, how likely they are to stay put.

Essentially, it’s the difference between going the extra mile for the company and just sticking with the bog-standard workload you’re paid to do.

Engagement is naturally driven by the leadership team within a business, so it’s important to know how their efforts are paying off and what else they can be doing to engage the people of the business.

So, why should you care?

Well, it’s simple. Having engaged employees means you’ve got a tight-knit team of people who genuinely care about business success, so will work hard to make things happen.

What better way to take your business to the next level?

Employee engagement software providers, WeThrive, say:

“It’s only by conducting a survey that businesses can uncover how employees really feel about their place of work. Well thought out employee surveys allow businesses to measure employee engagement by assessing factors such as recognition, common bond and wellbeing. They will also serve to direct growth and benchmark findings year on year.

“If conducted well, surveys will serve to give employees a voice and, crucially, increase engagement as a result.” 

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The first steps: planning your survey

Before building your survey, you’ll want to decide what it is you want to get out of it.

Are there any specific areas of the business you want to address? Perhaps you want to build on your company culture, or work on how your team works together to get things done? Or maybe you're interested in identifying your strengths and weaknesses.

Whatever it is that you want to improve, this thought process is the best place to start.

You'll also need to decide whether you want your survey to be anonymous or not. Typically, anonymous surveys tend to yield the most honest answers. 

35 Questions you should definitely ask in your employee engagement survey

Once you’ve established your areas for growth, you can start planning out the questions you want to ask.

There may be several topics you want to cover, or you may just want to conduct a survey that paints an overall picture of engagement in the business.

To help you get the most out of your employee engagement survey, here are our go-to questions.

By working with statements that employees can ‘strongly agree’ with, all the way through to ‘strongly disagree’, you’ll be able to add up the scores and identify which areas need the most attention.

General engagement

  • I understand and am engaged with the company vision and goals
  • I rarely/never feel bored of my job
  • My days at work usually go quickly

Management

  • My manager makes me feel like a valued member of the team.
  • The last time I went the extra mile, my manager recognised my efforts.
  • I admire my manager’s leadership style.
  • I have a good working relationship with my manager.
  • I feel my manager genuinely cares about my career aspirations.
  • My manager gives me regular feedback on my work.
  • My manager gives me the freedom to decide my own way of doing things.

Personal development and progression

  • I understand my paths for progressing within the company, and what I need to do to get there.
  • I am excited about the progression opportunities available to me at this company.
  • My work regularly challenges me and helps me grow.
  • The company actively supports me in developing my skills.

Employee retention

  • I rarely/never think about looking for another job.
  • I see myself still working here in 2 years’ time.
  • I would leave for a role in a different company if I was offered a 10% pay-rise.
  • I feel the opportunities available to me at this company will help me to reach my full potential.

Enablement

  • I have everything I need to do my job to the best of my ability.
  • I believe the systems we have in place help me to be productive.
  • I rarely/never find my workload stressful

Satisfaction

  • I rarely dread coming to work.
  • I would recommend this company as a good place to work. 
  • I have a good work-life balance.
  • I have fun at work.
  • I am often able to see the direct impact my work is having on the business.
  • I am proud to work here.

Company culture

  • I think this company has established a great culture.
  • I feel that my wellbeing is genuinely important to the business.
  • I feel the business puts its people first.
  • The business leaders lead by example when it comes to our culture.

Open-ended questions

You could also ask some questions where your employees can write their own thoughts in a text box, rather than providing a rating. 

For example, you could ask:

  • What do you like most about working for this company?
  • If you could change one thing to make your job more enjoyable, what would it be?
  • If you were to hand in your notice tomorrow, what would the reason be?
  • Any other comments?

However you choose to lay out your questions, it's important you keep them clear and concise and jargon-free, and ensure you're only asking questions about things where change is feasible and within reach.

But, get your survey right and it'll prove to be an invaluable tool for increasing employee engagement. 

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