Great workplace culture is more than happy hours and free pizza. It focuses on innovation, career development, and, most importantly, employee engagement. The Great Resignation of 2021 exemplified that. 

Pew Research asked employees what made them quit, and 63% responded low pay was the major reason. Other top reasons include lack of career advancement opportunities (63%) and disrespect at work (57%). If you flip through the entire report, you’ll notice that employees may leave the workplace for factors you can uncover and remedy utilizing employee engagement surveys. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to use employee engagement surveys to find the soul, passion, and real issues going on within your workplace from day to day. We’ll show you how to save your small business and build a happy, positive environment for employees.

What is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement refers to the mental and emotional connection your employees feel towards your organization, their work, and the team. It measures how committed your employees are to their work and the company’s overarching goals and values.

A happy or satisfied employee isn’t necessarily engaged. An employee might be happy, but that doesn’t mean they work productively to benefit the organization. A satisfied employee might show up for work without complaint but may be uninspired to put in the hard yards on their own. 

An engaged employee shows up to work every day with purpose. They’re dedicated to performing well, show a collaborative attitude, and have good communication with their co-workers. In addition, they show a deep commitment to the organization’s goals and take or give feedback positively to help the company succeed.

An employee engagement survey helps you determine the levels of employee engagement within your organization. Besides the traditional engagement survey, you can conduct pulse checks or employee lifecycle surveys. 

Why do an Employee Engagement Survey?

An employee engagement survey helps you initiate intimate conversations with employees to pinpoint underlying issues getting in the way as they work towards their goals and the company’s goals. An employee engagement survey can help you keep a thriving workplace. 

1. Measure Employee Engagement

Employee engagement surveys help you see what it is about your workplace that keeps employees going and wanting to contribute to the vision and mission. If employees are engaged, they find their work more purposeful and meaningful and are likely to be more reliable. 

As a result, they feel more immersed in their role, and that leads to higher productivity which positively impacts the company’s bottom line. Data collected by Gallup shows that high employee engagement leads to 18% higher productivity, a 10% increase in customer loyalty, and a 23% growth in profitability. 

If employees are disengaged, you have to dig deeper to determine where the disconnect is between yourself, them, and the organization as a whole. Whether it’s recognition, career progression, employment benefits, salary, or work-life balance, a survey can give clear results. 

Perhaps you have the right people, but not everyone is put in the right role. Maybe there are roadblocks within employee training and development. Whatever the problem, it’s important to fix it where you can and regularly check in with the employees for feedback to improve. 

2. Understand Where your Organization Excels or Flounders

In addition, an engagement survey can help you determine where your organization excels. For example, you may notice one department with exceptionally high engagement levels. The employees are happy and satisfied with their managers, and as a result, they are the best-performing team in the organization. This synergy within the team may showcase the power of enterprise collaboration, where team members are working cohesively, sharing ideas, and supporting one another to achieve outstanding results.

You could schedule 1:1 meetings with the manager and some of the other team members from that department to learn details about what they are doing differently from other departments. From your finding, you can build a blueprint for success that other departments can emulate. 

3. Build a Community Where Employees are Heard and Valued

Employee engagement surveys give employees a platform to voice their feelings and thoughts about the workplace. However, it’s one thing to solicit employees’ feedback and another to apply it (or part of it). In today’s workplace, 63% of employees feel their views and opinions have been ignored at some point. 

During a survey, you may find an issue raised about a manager not supporting employees. If most of the employees feel the same way about that manager, it’s a strong indication you need to dig deeper into this and find a solution right away.

If the issue is left unresolved, employees will assume their voices don’t count, making them more likely to withhold their thoughts during the next survey. To build a community where everyone feels heard and valued, you have to take action and refine your processes and systems based on employee feedback. 

According to Nicole Webb, MatchCraft’s Head of People+Culture, the company has an enviable knack for implementing employee feedback. She says that activities like happy hours, pets at the workplace, holiday parties, and quarterly recesses were voiced by employees through surveys as changes they wanted to see.  

4. Measure Future Alignment

Ken Blanchard advises organizations to connect the dots between individual roles and the organization’s goals. He opines that the easier it is for employees to see that connection, the more energy they get out of work. The more connected the employees are, the more likely they are to stay with your organization for a longer term. 

An engagement survey will help you understand if your workforce is connected with your company’s vision (or not). If employees don’t feel aligned with the mission, then it means there is a misalignment, and they need better guidance to connect the dots. A more serious issue could also be in play, such as an unsupportive manager or an unhealthy work environment. 

You’ll have to communicate your mission clearly to get employees on board with your company goals, values, and plans. Doing so will make the employees feel confident, fulfilled, and more invested in the company’s growth, which can significantly reduce employee turnover rates. 

Employee Engagement Survey Questions

As mentioned, an employee engagement survey is all-encompassing and can be used to test a number of factors, from satisfaction to future orientation. If you’re planning to conduct an engagement survey, here are some questions to consider: 

Alignment questions:

  • Do you feel empowered in your roles?
  • Do you find your work meaningful?
  • Does the organization culture support a positive and conducive work environment?
  • Is your manager or supervisor invested in your growth and development?

Recognition Questions

  • Do you feel you’re recognized and appreciated?
  • Does your manager and co-workers provide you with recognition for your accomplishments?
  • Do you feel there are enough opportunities for growth and development in the company?
  • Do you feel you’re fairly rewarded for the effort you put in?

Satisfaction questions:

  • Would you recommend our organization to friends and family?
  • Do you enjoy working with your co-workers?
  • Do you feel motivated and excited about coming to work?

Future orientation questions

  • Do you see yourself working for our organization in a year?
  • Do you see a clear path for career progression?
  • Has the thought of leaving our organization crossed your mind?

Build a Happy Workplace for Employees

The issues we touched on are just the tip of the iceberg. Employee engagement surveys are powerful tools that can help unearth the rot in your company and build an environment where everyone is happy, satisfied, and motivated to work for your organization.

However, that’s possible only if you can find a way to get honest responses from employees. There will be flaws during the surveys. For example, in some cases, employees may be cagy with their responses, or the best-performing ones might not find time to complete the survey. The responsibility is on you to find a way to sidestep most of these obstacles to get accurate data.

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by Benchmark Team