Employee surveys are a crucial part in organizational improvement. By asking your employees for their honest feedback, you empower them to make the organization a better place to work for everyone. Our template includes 29 questions and a simple rating scale that will allow you to gain insight into your employees well-being, their perception of the company culture, and whether or not they’re happy with the benefits you offer.
Organizational success heavily depends on your employees’ satisfaction. The more they like to work for you, the better they’ll perform, and the more success you’ll see as a company. The best way to figure out how satisfied your employees are with your organization is to ask them.
Simple as it may sound, conducting an employee survey can be quite the undertaking. To make it easier for you, we created a template with 29 questions that you should ask in your next employee survey.
Skip to the template or read the full article to learn how employee surveys help you boost team engagement, manage conflicts, and improve overall satisfaction in your company.
An employee survey is typically conducted by the Human Resources (HR) department once a year. The purpose is to give your employees a chance to anonymously and honestly report how they feel about your organization.
Questions usually cover topics like employee well-being, compensation and benefits, team dynamics, and company culture, among others. Once the data is collected, the HR department or an unbiased third party will analyze and evaluate the data. Based on the findings, you should create action items that address weaknesses or issues your employees pointed out in the survey.Free employee satisfaction survey template
Employee surveys are critical for gauging and managing things like job satisfaction, employee morale, and perceived work environment. You can also use employee surveys to evaluate your onboarding processes or as a part of your exit interview process.
If possible, aim to keep everyone’s feedback anonymous. When you clarify that the survey is anonymous, employees are more likely to feel comfortable being honest about how they really feel. To ensure anonymity, use an online survey or hire a third party to collect data. If you’re conducting the survey in-house using pen and paper, ask your employees to refrain from writing their names on it.
In addition, make sure you aren’t asking questions that make it easy to identify which employee is filling out the survey. The smaller your organization and team are, the more important it is to avoid questions that are too personal. For example, if you’re asking what department a person is in, avoid asking for their age group and gender so they don’t feel like they could be singled out.
Employees who feel like their anonymity isn’t guaranteed in a survey may hold back with their honest feedback fearing there will be consequences.
Pulse surveys are short employee surveys that consist of 1–15 specific questions. While employees typically complete surveys once a year, pulse surveys can be conducted quarterly, monthly, or even weekly.
Pulse surveys are a great tool to use when you’re trying to get quick insights into your employees' job satisfaction. As the same suggests, these questionnaires are a great way to get a pulse check on how you’re doing in between more in-depth evaluation surveys.
There are a few good reasons why organizations should conduct an employee survey:
Empowerment: Asking your employees for their feedback and input gives them a sense of empowerment and ownership over their careers. However, this only rings true if they know that the action items that follow the employee survey address their biggest concerns and your organization is making a true effort to change things.
Engagement: Employee surveys can help you manage and improve employee engagement. Since they’re encouraged to provide feedback, employees are more likely to feel engaged. Plus, they get to report how engaged they feel on a day-to-day basis.
Growth: Your employees can give you insights into weaknesses and strengths that you may not be aware of. This data allows you to make improvements that increase employee engagement and performance—ultimately leading to growth.
Benchmark: By regularly conducting employee surveys, you’ll eventually be able to create a benchmark for your organization that you can use to measure progress.
Satisfaction: Employees who feel engaged and know they’re contributing to your organization’s success are more likely to feel proud and satisfied with their work. This can directly impact your retention rate and, in turn, your organization’s overall performance.
There are different types of employee surveys for all kinds of organizations, departments, teams, and scenarios. The kind of survey that every organization should conduct at least once a year is an employee satisfaction survey.
It’s a great opportunity to get holistic employee feedback—that is, if you ask the right questions. The following 29 questions cover the most important areas of employee satisfaction.
Whether or not your teammates feel satisfied with their job depends on more than just their salary. A healthy work-life balance is key in employee retention. To ensure that your team members feel like they can balance their personal and professional lives, just ask for their feedback.
Here are some questions you can ask your team to find out how they’d rate their well-being at work:
1. Does your work feel meaningful and stimulating?
2. Do you feel valued by our organization?
3. Do you have a clear understanding of our strategic objectives and how you can contribute to them?
4. Do you ever feel as though your work impacts your personal life and well-being?
5. Do you believe our organization is doing its best to promote employee well-being?
6. How would you rate your overall experience with employee well-being?
You can view employee well-being as the foundation of job satisfaction. Some of the other building blocks that make your team feel valued are the opportunities they receive when it comes to career development.
The professional development options you offer your employees can have a big impact on their overall satisfaction. After all, career growth is what keeps many employees motivated to do their best work. Ask your team the following questions to find out whether or not they appreciate the career development you’re offering:
7. How familiar are you with the career development and growth opportunities at our organization?
8. Do you feel motivated by your work and the opportunities that are available to you?
9. Have you taken advantage of the career development opportunities that we offered in the past 12 months?
10. Do you know what you have to do to move forward in your role?
11. Do you feel as though you have the resources you need to advance in your career?
12. Do you feel challenged in your role?
It’s important to leave room for comments in your employee survey—especially in this area. If your team members have additional questions on professional development or feedback on the growth opportunities you offer, they can leave them here for you to answer and discuss later on.Read: What are the stages of team development?
When people spend 40 hours per week in an office (virtually or physically), it’s vital for their overall job satisfaction that they get along with their teammates.
Figure out if your employees can rely on their team members and whether or not they feel treated fairly by asking the following questions:
13. Do you feel valued and welcomed by your team?
14. Is it easy for you to collaborate with your teammates?
15. Do you feel supported and valued by your manager?
16. Do you understand our communication channels?
17. Do you believe that team communication is clear and effective?
Look for large-scale trends around communication and collaboration in your organization but also within each department. For example, the survey could uncover that your marketing team is struggling with cross-functional communication. You can address that issue by asking further questions with a targeted pulse survey that may reveal your marketing team isn’t sure which channels to use for what kind of communication.
Creating or updating your communication plan could resolve the issue and make cross-functional communication easier for your marketing team.
As a leader or manager, it’s important to keep a pulse on your team’s workload to recognize signs of overwork. In fact, 80% of global knowledge workers report feeling overworked and close to burnout. This can lead to less engagement and be detrimental to your organization’s overall success.
Ask your employees about their current workload to get a pulse and see if there’s anything that you can improve to alleviate stress. Example questions include:
18. Do you feel like you have enough time and resources to complete your work in a timely manner?
19. Do you feel like work is distributed evenly between your teammates and yourself?
20. Are your job responsibilities clearly defined?
If necessary, find ways to reduce or more effectively manage team workload. Perhaps, solving this issue is as easy as introducing work management software that defines your workflow, and reduces work about work with clearly assigned tasks.
While money isn’t everything, fair compensation and healthcare benefits are important. These factors impact retention rate and will make it easier for you to attract new talent. After all, security and compensation are the two basic levels in the employee hierarchy of needs.
Find out what your employees think about their salary and the benefits you offer with questions like:
21. Are you paid fairly for the work you do?
22. Are you satisfied with our retirement benefits?
23. Are you satisfied with your insurance benefits?
24. Do you feel like you get enough paid time off to rest and recharge?
By hearing directly from your team, you can get a clearer idea of what employees are looking for and make internal changes that strive toward improvement. Transparently communicate your efforts to ensure your team feels heard and understood.
Last but not least, you’ll want to inquire about how employees view the workplace culture at your organization. You can offer all the free benefits, events, or perks—if they’re not perceived as intended, you’ll have to make changes.
Ask you employees how they view and feel about your company culture, so you know if you’re on the right track:
25. Are you happy with our overall company culture?
26. Do you feel like diversity and inclusion is taken seriously in our organization?
27. Do you believe that everyone in our organization has equal access to employment and growth opportunities?
28. Do you feel as though we are open to change and value your feedback?
29. Do you believe our organization communicates information timely and transparently?
Employees who feel like their company is actually adhering to their company values are more likely to stay engaged, motivated, and inspired.
If you’d like to conduct employee surveys on a larger scale, look into a service or tool that helps you collect and analyze data in a secure and efficient way. Some apps, like Culture Amp, provide easy data collection for large teams or organizations. The app collects data anonymously and automatically evaluates it, so all you have to do is create the action items that follow the survey process.
However, if you’re working with a smaller team or are just getting started with your employee survey process, a simple template can steer you in the right direction.
Download our free template below for your next employee survey. It uses a simple scale that you can easily evaluate to review how each employee feels about the company but also lets you gauge how your team is doing overall.Free employee satisfaction survey template
You’ve collected all the data—great! Now what?
To ensure that your employees feel valued and appreciated, take some time to really digest and process the feedback survey. In order to improve the employee experience, you need to aggregate and evaluate their overall satisfaction levels. Here’s how:
Say thank you: Send a message to everyone who filled out the questionnaire thanking them for their time. Include the next steps and an approximate timeline in the message, so your employees know what’s happening next. The more transparent you are with this process, the more likely it is that your team will trust you.
Analyze and evaluate the survey responses: Whether you’re analyzing the data internally or letting a third party handle it, now’s the time to find out what your employees think about your organization. Uncover commonalities and look for trends within different teams, departments, or your entire organization.
Create an action plan: This step is absolutely critical and the whole point of conducting a survey in the first place. Gather your data and evaluate which strengths and weaknesses you want to address. Your action plan should clearly define in which order and how you plan to implement changes.
Share the survey results and your action plan: Transparency is key. Share the insights you’ve gained from the survey with your organization. Ensure that the way you share results keeps everyone’s individual responses anonymous. Follow each insight with the corresponding action item so your employees know how you plan to change things.
Follow up and repeat: Keep your employees informed about the steps you’ll take. This will ensure that they continue to feel valued and taken seriously throughout the year until you conduct your next employee survey.
A nice and simple way to keep track of how satisfied your employees are with your action plan implementation is to send pulse surveys throughout the year.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you’re sending out pulse surveys, job satisfaction surveys, or self-evaluations. What’s important is that you include the people that work for you in your efforts to continuously improve your organization.
Engaged employees are more motivated and invested in your company. To do this, make sure you not only gather feedback—but that you also listen to it. After sending out your employee satisfaction survey questions, create action plans based on their feedback and communicate how you’re planning to implement changes.Free employee satisfaction survey template