There remains a good deal of scepticism concerning the effectiveness of employee engagement surveys. Some commentators have pointed to workplace changes and the speed of change as factors in the need for more regular employee feedback. And, while that is all true, the fact is that lots of engagement surveys (and pulse checks) fail for two very basic but fundamental reasons:

  1. They do not ask the right questions
  2. Managers and/or the organisation are not committed to acting on findings

As an engagement survey provider ourselves, we know the above to be all too common. So, what’s the solution? In this blog we’ll focus just on getting the right questions. But, if you’d like a few pointers for managers on taking action, check out this 7-step guide to employee survey action planning.

What type of questions do you need?

To say “you need to ask the right questions” is, I appreciate stating the obvious. But it bears repeating because there are no right answers to the wrong questions. So, for the many employee listening initiatives being run, these are having little to no value if they aren’t covering relevant issues.What are the best employee engagement survey questions to ask then? It is important that the more ‘standard’ ones you’ll want to include are supplemented by those that measure key issues specific to your business, its goals and employees. Our master guide covers how best to involve stakeholder groups in the design process.That’s why we swear by a questionnaire design or review process for our clients – to ensure their survey will measure what matters most for them. It should also not focus entirely on engagement. To get a broader picture of your employee experience, you should also include questions directly relating to enablement and empowerment too (more on that later). In addition, asking some open text questions where relevant can prove insightful.

A list of our recommended engagement survey questions

This ISN’T a definitive list - our blog post template isn’t long enough for that! But what we have done is compile a comprehensive list to help get you started.

Job satisfaction & engagement

  • I am proud to work for Company X
  • Overall I am satisfied with my job
  • I am treated fairly within Company X
  • My job provides me with challenge and interest
  • I am committed to doing what I can to make Company X great
  • Overall I would recommend Company X to family and friends
  • I am planning to stay with Company X for next 12 months

Enablement & empowerment

  • I have the appropriate level of freedom within my role to do my job well
  • I feel like a trusted member of the company
  • Overall, I have everything I need to do my job well
  • I feel fully supported to do my job well

My role, training & development

  • I feel I have equal and sufficient opportunity to apply for roles
  • My job makes the best use of my skills and abilities
  • I always work hard to do everything I can to deliver a good end result
  • I feel supported in my personal development
  • I have had opportunities in the last year to develop my skills
  • I have received feedback for ideas I put forward
  • I receive timely praise or recognition
  • I receive regular appraisals and feedback about my performance
  • Performance reviews are affective
  • Poor performance or inappropriate behaviour is dealt with in an effective manner

Work environment

  • The physical environment is satisfactory
  • I am provided with the right tools and equipment
  • People in my work area are appropriately protected from hazards
  • We are encouraged to come up with ideas
  • We are encouraged to challenge existing ways of doing things
  • I am comfortable sharing my ideas and opinions knowing there will be no negative consequences
  • There is a good sense of teamwork
  • There is cooperation between different areas of the business

Leadership & communication

  • Our supervisors and managers understand and value my work
  • Our supervisors and managers treat us and speak to us in a polite and respectful manner
  • I can approach my supervisor or manager if I have concerns with work colleagues
  • I believe my supervisor or manager will deal with complaints in a confidential and supportive manner
  • My supervisor/manager keeps me informed about important issues
  • I feel well informed about Company X
  • We get all the help and support we need from our supervisors/managers
  • Our supervisors/managers are open and honest with us
  • Our managers/supervisors are approachable and operate ethically
  • Our supervisors/managers value my suggestions and ideas
  • When I need information about Company X I know where to find it
  • I am satisfied with the level of communication I receive

Pay & benefits

  • All things considered I am satisfied with my pay
  • I believe Company X has a good benefits package
  • I believe the new site is a good thing to help the business grow and provide new opportunities
  • Company X treats its employees in a fair and ethical manner


  • Actions that will improve Company X will be taken as a result of this survey
  • By its actions, Company X shows that its employees are important