We all know that the most common response for collecting employee data and attacking issues like attrition, productivity and disengagement is, “Run an employee engagement survey!” But even as I type that sentence I can hear the audible groans from countless HR practitioners who’ve found that employee surveys can not only be expensive to run, they also don’t always deliver actionable data. But it’s not time to give up on engagement surveys yet.


Why Employee Engagement Programs Fail


You may feel that your past employee engagement surveys have failed you, but whether you’re looking for another approach or you’ve decided to walk down the path of resignation and inaction, I’m here to tell you that the issue isn’t your employee engagement program. Fundamentally, engagement programs are the most effective and proven method for getting the data you need to develop your workforce, increase productivity and retain top performers. Not to mention, companies who implement regular employee feedback have turnover rates that are 14.9% lower than for employees who receive no feedback.


So what are you doing wrong?


In order to drive any kind of organizational change you need clear, easy-to-digest and actionable reports and dashboards that enable managers across your entire organization to take action, drive change and measure progress. A successful and digestible dashboard or report can only come from effective survey questions. And therein lies the real problem.


Every single piece of your program relies on the success of your employee engagement survey questions. If your questions aren’t well-worded or configured, getting at the true drivers of engagement, productivity and attrition is nearly impossible.


Identifying Engagement Drivers to Build the Right Questions


Employee engagement survey data is only helpful when it uncovers true engagement drivers. The image below highlights a variety of potential engagement drivers to help you start thinking about which drivers might be most relevant for your organization. Once you’ve identified potential drivers, you should write survey questions and response options in a way that truly uncovers which of of these drivers matter most to the employees within your organization.


Your Ready-to-Use Employee Engagement Survey Template


You don’t need a lengthy list of questions to get the information you need to build a telling, flexible and robust report. You just need the right questions. With the help our our Qualtrics subject matter experts and I-O psychologists, we’ve compiled a template of questions that will uncover the drivers of engagement and help you drive organizational change through employee insights.


You’ll notice the survey template contains 42 questions, which typically requires 10-15 minutes to complete. There is no ideal length for an employee engagement survey – the key is to find a balance between asking enough questions to get the insights you need and not asking so many questions that your survey yields data too complicated to digest in reports. It’s typically best to keep cap your survey at 65-70 questions.


Evaluate each question in your survey to be sure it will yield helpful data by asking yourself the following questions:


  • Are we really prepared to act on this question?
  • Is this question repeating what is asked in another question on the survey?
  • Does this question actually tell us something useful, as opposed to just something interesting?
  • Is this question relevant to all parts of the business?


We hope this survey template will ensure success for your employee engagement survey. Armed with accurate questions and quality data, you can build robust reports and dashboards that help leadership at every level understand what actions to take to drive engagement and make critical business outcomes.

Download the Engagement Survey Template

download template