5 Surprising Questions Your Employee Engagement Survey Must Have

How important is an employee engagement survey?

During his GE tenure, highly respected CEO Jack Welch argued, “There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow. It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.”

Employee engagement surveys improve understanding.

It’s no surprise that a powerful connection exists between employee engagement and business results. However, recently Gallup concluded that companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by a staggering 147% in earnings per share. At the same time, Gallup says a whopping 87% of employees worldwide are NOT engaged (70% in the U.S.).

An employee engagement survey provides significant insight into how your people think and feel—what makes them tick. By asking the right questions during employee surveys, you can gain valuable knowledge of how they feel about their jobs, the management, and even your company.

The right questions yield more than just information about workers’ satisfaction levels – they’ll reveal how well you are matching employees with tasks, educating your team, and even building a loyal and committed workforce. 

So, what questions are most useful in an employee engagement survey? The answer may surprise you. While asking about an individual’s own roles and responsibilities undeniably provides useful data, it is equally important to ask questions about the employee’s thoughts and feelings about the company as a whole.

Employee morale and company culture are at the heart of a good employee engagement survey and serve as positive indications of employee retention. Including the employee engagement survey questions below gives you valuable feedback on how you are doing, how likely your employees are to remain, and exactly how ideal your corporate culture is.

#1: Brand Knowledge

Do you have a clear understanding of what we do and our strategic goals?

Studies have shown that employees are more engaged when they understand how their work fits into the organization’s overall goals and objectives. Similarly, those with a clear understanding of your brand can be your company’s best ambassadors in generating excitement among both potential customers and prospective hires.

The answer to this question will reveal a lot about just how much your average worker knows about what you do—and if they can’t come up with an answer, how can they be working toward your business goals?

#2: Career Growth

Do you feel like you have the opportunity for professional growth here?

How do employees feel about their long-term prospects—do they see your organization as a stepping stone or as a place for long-term growth? Employees who cannot envision career advancement at your company become likely candidates to leave. Judge workers’ optimism for their future at your company with employee engagement survey questions like this.

Not every employee will want to stay with you forever, but too many workers who answer this in the negative could indicate you have a retention problem.

#3: Company Culture

Do you enjoy working with your team/co-workers?

One of the biggest contributors to workplace and job satisfaction is the relationship that employees have with one another. Employees who enjoy working together, support one another, and who have positive relationships are strong indicators of a positive workplace. Insight on feelings about the workplace and how well everyone gets along can be generated by simply asking.

Positive responses to this question mean you have a healthy workplace culture and that employees truly enjoy working for you.

#4: Leadership

 Do you know where to go for help?

A smaller staff means employees often must juggle multiple jobs and venture outside of their comfort zones. Wearing many hats can be exciting, but it can also potentially be exhausting. Likewise, pressure to do more with less can take a toll on morale. Asking this question lets you gauge how individuals are handling such demands.

You’ve worked hard to come up with support systems and lines of communication for your workers – but do they know how to access them? The best system in the world won’t work if your team is unaware of it or unable to use it.

#5: Tools for Success

Do you have the tools and team you need to do your job?

A positive environment and a genuine sense of belonging enrich your company culture, but employees who don’t feel supported or who don’t get the tools they need to perform their job can become frustrated. This survey question reveals how well you are doing at setting your team up for success.

Trying to do today’s work with yesterday’s tools is a recipe for failure; workers become frustrated if they do not have the tools they need to deliver what their organization wants.


The message is simple: In order for workers to succeed, employers must hire the right person for each position and provide the necessary tools to get the job done right. Employee surveys, especially employee engagement and company culture surveys, can give you the data you need to make sure you’ve got the right people in the right places to get the job done right.