100 Open-Ended Employee Engagement Survey Questions

Emily Smith

Emily Smith

Remesher

Emily has an eye for all things strategy, spending most of her time spinning data into stories.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to measure employee engagement is to distribute a survey (pulse surveys, open ended question surveys, etc.) and pinpoint exactly how an employee feels. Brands who value their workforce will conduct employee surveys long before red flags such as dropping levels of engagement or lost professional development opportunities become apparent.

driver of employee engagement (Source: Fortune)

But what types of survey questions will determine which employees are highly engaged, and what types of survey platforms can handle open-ended questions at scale? Quantitative surveys like the Likert Scale and Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) are less effective in understanding employee motivation, but qualitative and open-ended questions can take time to write. So why start from scratch?

Improve your employee engagement strategy (and meet company goals by retaining talent) using any of the examples below as a launching point. On a scale of 1 to 5, we strongly agree that these open-ended employee survey questions are a stellar foundation to meeting your brand’s strategic goals for talent retention and growth.

What is Employee Engagement, Anyway?

Employee engagement is so widely discussed that the term itself seemingly means many things. Broadly, employee engagement is defined as the qualitative and quantitative understanding of an organization’s relationship to its employees, and vice versa.

Employee Experience Survey Questions

The drivers of employee engagement can be a mystery - but, with the right questions, you can understand why people feel a certain way about their work environment and other factors like management and corporate policies, all while maintaining a group of engaged employees.

employee engagements trends(Source: LSA Global)

Organizational Change Management Survey Questions

Your company is interested in offering a new benefits package, anticipating a merger or acquisition, or wants to take a pulse on the employee experience for the first time. To confront those challenges, start with these questions.

  1. What are the greatest strengths of our organization?
  2. What are the areas that need the most improvement in our organization?
  3. What are the weaknesses in our company’s leadership?
  4. How could the company improve its career development offerings? Follow Up: What are the company’s current career development offerings?
  5. What do you think of our company’s mission? Follow Up: How does our company follow through on our mission?
  6. What does our company value?
  7. Describe the company’s strategy for training and compliance.
  8. Name one way in which company communication could improve.
  9. Have you seen favoritism in the workplace? Follow Up: How have you seen this play out in the office?
  10. How have you seen the company implement equal opportunity in the workplace?
  11. How does the company communicate changes in policies and procedures?
  12. Describe the vision and mission of the company.
  13. How can the company inspire employees to work toward its mission and vision?
  14. How can the company more clearly express priorities?
  15. How can the company more clearly express employee appreciation?
  16. What is the process for seeking help at our company?
  17. What benefits would make the employee benefits package stronger?
  18. How can our company strengthen the onboarding process?
  19. How do you work to improve our company’s work processes?
  20. How can our company further express inclusivity in the workplace?
  21. What can our company do to increase transparency?
  22. How can our company improve the process for providing customer service?
  23. How can our company improve the process for collecting employee feedback?
  24. How can our company more efficiently address poor performance?
  25. Name one improvement that could be made in office conditions.
  26. Our company attracts, develops, and retains people with diverse backgrounds. Why do you agree or disagree with this statement?
  27. What have you seen recently that made you think, “I wish we had done that.”
  28. What is something we should measure in our company that we’re not?
  29. What part of the company would you like to interact with more?
  30. What process at our company could be fixed or improved?
  31. What is a pet peeve you have at this company?
  32. What was the primary reason you accepted an offer at our company?
  33. What will our company look like in the next 5 years?
  34. Describe the process or path toward promotion at our company.

Employee Engagement Survey Questions

employee-engagement-graph-2

Primary Reasons Why Employees Feel Disengaged

(Source: Axero)

Your company has addressed the employee experience and wants to continue testing progress toward maintaining engaged employees and retaining talent. To understand what drives employees, start with these questions.

  1. What is the most interesting part of your job?
  2. When does coming to work excite you?
  3. How does your job provide you with meaning and purpose?
  4. How does autonomy play into your everyday workflow?
  5. What challenges do you enjoy addressing at work?
  6. What types of results do you see from your individual contribution?
  7. What motivates your individual contributions?
  8. How do the company goals align with your work?
  9. What are your strategies for achieving beyond set KPIs?
  10. What resources do you use to accomplish your job?
  11. How do you manage your workflow?
  12. What inspires you to work at this company?
  13. What is one thing you would change about your job?
  14. How does your role directly affect the company’s success?
  15. What are the expectations of your role?
  16. What motivates you to give your best at work?
  17. What is the primary reason you enjoy working for our company?
  18. If you were the CEO, what is the one thing you would change about the company?
  19. What’s on your mind right now that you would like to tell us?
  20. What’s the best thing that happened to you at work this month?
  21. How long do you plan on staying at this company? Name the primary reason for that decision.
  22. How is your role different at this company than similar roles at other companies?
  23. How do you define success within your role?
  24. What are the current career paths for you at this company?
  25. What motivates you to share your opinion at a team or office meeting?
  26. Describe the recognition you received for your last major project?
  27. What obstacles are your currently in your way in achieving success at work?
  28. How does your job explicitly connect to customer needs? 
  29. What personally drives you to work beyond expectations?
  30. How did a customer directly benefit from your work this year?
  31. What is the most meaningful part of your job?
  32. What one thing did you like best about your previous employer?

Work-Life Balance and Company Culture Survey Questions

Your company is interested in measuring the engagement of employees, their contribution to company culture, work-life balances or imbalances, and the overall experience of work life, independent of workload. Start learning about your employee’s experiences with these questions.

  1. How does our office culture compare to previous offices you’ve worked in?
  2. How would you describe our company to friends and family?
  3. What is one thing you would change about the company’s employee culture?
  4. What is your favorite thing about the employee culture?
  5. What team event would you like to attend or lead?
  6. How do you typically spend your time when not at work?
  7. In what ways do you allot time for family and friends outside of work?
  8. Describe any tensions that arise in your personal life due to work-life balance.
  9. Describe our company culture in three words.
  10. Name one thing that could be changed about our company culture.
  11. What is something you do for fun at work?
  12. What are 3 qualities that new hires must have in terms of organizational culture fit?

Collaboration in the Workplace

How do your employees work together? Use these questions as a launching pad for understanding cross-functional department workflows or internal team dynamics.

  1. How do you connect with other employees?
  2. What motivates your team contributions?
  3. How do you offer recognition to other employees for a job well done?
  4. What do you like about working with your team?
  5. How would you describe your team?
  6. How would you describe the team dynamic within your department?
  7. How do you work cross-functionally with employees outside of your department?
  8. Describe the style of communication within your team.
  9. How does your team aspire to meet and exceed goals?
  10. How does your team help you complete work?
  11. How do your team members handle opinions that are different than their own? 

Employee Satisfaction With Managers

Providing feedback for your employees is an obvious way to encourage their best work - but what happens when employees are allowed to reverse the feedback cycle? Let your employees feel that their observations and suggestions are heard with these questions.

  1. How does your manager recognize your work?
  2. What growth strategies do company leaders implement successfully?
  3. What type of feedback do you receive from your manager?
  4. What is one thing you’d like to change about the employee review process?
  5. What is the nature of the feedback you receive from your manager?
  6. Describe your manager’s style of communication.
  7. Why do you feel or not feel that leadership takes your feedback seriously?
  8. What opportunities are you given to provide your manager with feedback?
  9. How does the executive team contribute to a positive work culture?

Other Feedback From Employees 

Provide an opportunity for your employees to share anything else that’s on their minds with these questions.

  1. Is there something else you expected to be asked in this survey?
  2. What changes have you seen since the last employee engagement survey?

Acting on Survey Results

Feelings can’t be captured in a scale from 1 to 10. So why try capturing your employees in a quantitative capacity? Engage them genuinely with qualitative questions, and discover that employee experience may be the only roadblock to growth and scale at your company. 

Read: "3 Employee Recognition Ideas Your Staff Will Love"

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