Internal Communications

12 min read

Man standing in front of wall full of question marks
Man standing in front of wall full of question marks

37 useful questions to ask in your employee surveys

When it comes to employee surveys, the data you gather is only as good as the questions you ask. To really understand employee engagement levels, you need to ask about more than just satisfaction – you need to really dig into the employee experience.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the most insightful employee survey questions and examples. From engagement to productivity to work-life balance, these questions probe deep into employee engagement and the employee experience. Let’s dive in!

So why exactly are employee surveys important then? The unique thing about surveys is that – as we’ve already alluded to – they allow you to measure employee engagement through understanding the employee experience. But what does this mean, practically? Employee surveys allow for the following:

  • Employee voices to be heard, thus improving the employee experience.
  • Providing insights into the day-to-day of employee’s work life
  • Highlighting the hurdles and bottlenecks that you may not have already known about.

Employee surveys help you understand what it’s like to be an employee at your company—the good, the not-so-good, and the what-we-need-to-work-on-ASAP.

We’ve previously covered why getting employee engagement right is vital for your business's success and longevity, so here, we’ll discuss how to start your journey to improve it.

But before we get to the questions, let’s take things back a bit. How does a survey help you measure employee engagement? We get that it allows you to understand the employee experience, but how does this translate to tangible, indisputable data? Survey feedback can be used to intersect the following data sets:

  • Indicators of employee engagement
  • Getting employee views on their experience

By analysing these side-by-side, you’ll be able to recognise patterns of how employee experience and subsequent engagement affect other aspects of your business. Think productivity, efficiency, and cost.

Some of these questions are based on self-reporting, and others are more direct. You’ll need a mixture of both to get the clearest view of employee engagement here. When incorporated into a survey asked across multiple employees, you’ll get patterns of actionable insights you might have previously missed.

Understanding what you’re asking and why you’re asking it

So, what influences employee engagement? Engagement is the combination of morale (feelings) and energy (behaviours) which depends on the following:

  • Foundational needs
  • Operational needs
  • Performance needs
  • Culture needs

In employee experience surveys, you’ll need to cover these four foundational areas to fully understand the current employee engagement level. 

Now that we have covered all the bases let’s examine some survey questions you can ask your employees.

Employee engagement outcome poll

You’ll want to understand your employee engagement outcomes in the survey process. There are feelings and behaviours that result from the employee experience. 

In order to grasp the employee engagement outcomes, you’ll need to ask questions that cover these four categories:

  • An ENPS question
  • A morale self-report question
  • An energy self-report question
  • A rating of direct manager

We’ll explain the meaning behind these types of questions in the following. To sum up, though, you need to cover all four categories to get the clearest idea of how truly engaged your employees are. Missing one or two of these means neglecting part of the fuller picture, which is the all-important context you need to enact changes. 

Here are some examples to get you going:

1. ENP question: How likely are you to recommend this company to a friend or colleague?

Customer support and marketing departments widely use the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to gauge customer satisfaction with a company or product. Employers also use it to gauge employee satisfaction (eNPS). To calculate eNPS accurately, you will need to use at least a 5-point rating scale.

2. Morale question: How satisfied do you feel in your job?

This question taps into how an employee feels about their job. Positive feelings at work mean better business outcomes.

3. Energy question: How motivated do you feel in your job?

This question probes into how employees behave in their jobs. High levels of dedication and motivation mean more productivity.

4. Rating of direct manager: How satisfied are you with your line manager on a scale of 1-10?

Gauging how engaged an employee is at their job also means looking at who is managing them – BCG research has found that great managers are a key driver of employee engagement, accounting for a 72% reduction in attrition risk.

Employee experience survey questions

Foundational employee experience needs

The foundational employee experience is based on whether their foundational needs are being met. This includes things like fair pay, leave policies, and job security. These are the things that truly affect life outside of work, too. 

  1. Salary: Taking into consideration both salary and benefits, do you feel compensated fairly for your work?
    This question can help you figure out if unfair compensation is causing your employees to feel less committed to the company. Gallup data shows that "pay/benefits" is the number one reason U.S. employees left their jobs in 2022.
  2. Work-life balance: Over the past three months, how would you rate your work-life balance?
    This question will give you a window into how well your employees feel they’re able to draw boundaries between their work life and personal life. It can be a good predictor of potential burnout
  3. Career development: Do you have a clear understanding of your career goals?
    By asking this question, you can gain insight into how much thought and planning has gone into your employee’s career growth. If they don’t have a clear understanding, it might be time to train your managers on how to have stronger career conversations with direct reports.
  4. Career resources: Do you have the resources to achieve your career goals?
    This question will lend insight into how well you’re setting your employees up for success. If they don’t feel they have the resources they need, it’s time for you to step in and ask for more details on how you can support them, whether that’s through more coaching, classes, or certifications.
  5. Growth: How often has your manager discussed your career growth in the past six months?
    Managers are responsible for helping their direct reports achieve career goals, so they're expected to check in with employees about their professional growth. This question can help you determine if managers are being intentional about discussing career development.
  6. Growth: How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the company's professional development options?
    Career growth is a major reason people choose a job and stay at a company. According to McKinsey, job growth is more important to frontline workers than pay. If your employees are unhappy with the professional development options offered to them, that could negatively impact retention.

Operational employee experience needs

Operational employee experience looks at what doing a particular job is like. Does an employee have access to the resources they need? How manageable is their workload? How easy is it for them to communicate with other employees and managers in the company when they have questions about their jobs? Were they trained effectively for their role?

  1. Resources: Do you have the resources and support you need to do your job well?
    The first step to ensuring your employees are productive is to ensure they have what they need to do their jobs well. This question can help you uncover if your employees are feeling unsupported, as they may not be vocal about it otherwise.
  2. AI: What kind of AI tools would you like to assist you in your work?
    An MIT/Stanford study found that using AI tools boosted productivity by 14%. This question can help you gauge your employees’ attitudes toward AI and ensure you’re providing sufficient technology to empower their work.
  3. Communication tools: What apps or tools have you used to communicate with your coworkers in the past 30 days?
    When planning your digital workplace strategy, the first step is taking stock of what tools your workers are already using to do their jobs. Their answers might surprise you, as many employees use personal apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to communicate with colleagues instead of the workplace-approved tool. 
  4. Desired technology: What devices, apps, and other tools do you wish your employer would provide?
    Another crucial step to optimising your digital workplace is finding out what your employees want to see more of. Getting and implementing their feedback shows that you care about their opinions and well-being.
  5. Overtime: In the past 7 days, how often did you work overtime, or outside of your regular hours?
    By asking this, you can get concrete evidence of how well your employees really are balancing work and personal life. If you find that many people say they regularly work outside of regular office hours, it's an indicator that your employees are taking on too much of a workload. 
  6. Workload: How satisfied are you with your current workload?
    This is yet another way to gauge work-life balance and predict potential burnout. If your employees are dissatisfied with their workload, it may indicate that they need fewer tasks.
  7. Workload: Do you feel pressure from your coworkers or leaders to prioritise work over your personal life?
    Not only will this question help paint a picture of their work-life balance, but it also will help you understand if your workplace culture is potentially toxic. When employees feel pressured to put work above family, it can create an unhealthy environment.
  8. Training: Do you feel that the company trained you adequately for your position?
    Employees who haven’t been adequately trained for their position are less likely to be motivated or satisfied at work, and are a drain on company productivity. This question also gives vital context to other questions about workload and career growth. 

Performance employee experience needs

Performance employee experience is – unsurprisingly – about how far the company enables employees to perform at their best. This is all about the feedback employees receive, the clarity of their goals, and their sense of place within a company.

  1. Clarity of goals: Do you understand what is expected of you at work?
    Clear expectations can help drive employee productivity. Without those, your team members will feel confused and frustrated, as they don't know how to make you happy or if they’re doing a good job.
  2. Appreciation: Has a coworker or manager thanked you in the past week?
    According to O.C. Tanner research, only 57% of employees had gotten a "thank you" from a peer or leader in the past 30 days. But something as simple as those two words made people feel 116% more appreciated! The results of this answer can indicate whether you need to train managers on how to instil a culture of appreciation in the workplace.
  3. Appreciation: Have you thanked a coworker or manager in the past week?
    This question flips it around from the previous question. Having data from both sides (the giver and the recipient) can help you see how honest people are about answering these questions and/or help you see the potential differences in perception of gratitude and appreciation in your workplace.
  4. Recognition: Do you feel appreciated by your coworkers?
    If the scores on this question are low, your workplace might benefit from encouraging more peer-to-peer recognition.
  5. Recognition: Do you feel appreciated by leadership?
    Leadership sets the tone for creating a culture of appreciation. If the answers to this question indicate that leaders aren't showing their gratitude, it's time to figure out how to infuse more appreciation into meetings and everyday behaviours.
  6. Feedback: Do you feel like your feedback matters?
    A key aspect of feeling valued is seeing that your feedback makes an impact. This question will also give you insight into how seriously your team takes employee surveys. If their answers indicate that their feedback doesn’t matter, that’s your cue to be better about showcasing the changes you’ve made based on their ideas, opinions, and concerns.
  7. Incentives: Which of the following makes you feel the most appreciated?
    This question will help you determine how to make your employees feel valued. Not everyone likes the same kinds of gifts or expressions of gratitude. 
    Options for this multiple-choice question might include:
    - Gift cards
    - Experiential rewards (such as classes or vacations)
    - A simple “thank you”
    - Public recognition (such as all-hands shoutouts)
  8. Line management: How often do you meet with your manager for a one-on-one?
    One-on-one meetings between managers and their direct reports are good for establishing rapport, mentoring, and coaching, and ensuring that an employee feels engaged in their work. If you find that employees are never meeting with their managers, it’s time to establish a protocol for leaders to prioritise one-on-ones.
  9. Line management: How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your one-on-ones?
    Just because managers are meeting with their direct reports doesn't necessarily mean it's going well. This question can help gauge how productive these meetings are and if you need to provide more training and resources so that managers can master the art of a helpful one-on-one.

Social and cultural employee experience needs

Social needs refer to the relationships an employee has with their colleagues, while the culture of employee experience depends on what senior management is doing, company values, and the overall company vision. This includes diversity and inclusion, environmental and ethical strategies, and how these are communicated by C-suite.

  1. Connections: Do you feel connected to your coworkers?
    Another predictor of engagement is how connected a team member feels to their coworkers. However, a 2022 EY Belonging Barometer 2.0 study found that more than 80% of employees worldwide feel lonely or have felt lonely at work. 
  2. Friendships: Do you have a close friend at work?
    extensive research into employee engagement has found that having a best friend at work is extremely important to performance and organisational commitment.
  3. Company values: Do your values align with the company values?
    When employees feel that their values are reflected in the company values, they’re more likely to feel committed to the organisation. 
  4. Trust: Do you feel trusted by your employer?
    While this question might not seem related to productivity, it absolutely is. A 2023 Slack survey found that employees who feel that their employers trust them are twice as productive. The responses to this question can help you understand if your organisational culture has the foundation of trust needed for employees to be productive.
  5. Psychological safety: Do you feel comfortable expressing your thoughts, opinions, and ideas freely at work?
    This question gauges the level of psychological safety in your workplace. Psychological safety means they feel safe speaking their mind without fear of getting in trouble or being punished.
  6. Transparency: Is leadership transparent about company developments?
    Again, it might seem off-base, but the same Slack survey found that when employees felt that their company leaders were transparent with them, they were 1.8x more productive.
  7. Leadership trust: Does leadership live out the company values?
    It’s crucial to also check to make sure that your leaders are living out the values that your company outlines.
  8. Coworker trust: Do your coworkers live out the company values?
    A healthy workplace culture should exhibit the company’s core values. Of course, this question assumes that the survey-taker knows those values. 
  9. Care: Do you feel that leadership cares about your well-being?
    Employees want to work for employers who care about them. It can boost their commitment to the organisation. Asking this question will help you see if your employees feel cared for and valued by leadership. If they don’t, it’s time to meet with leadership to see how to improve employee relations.
  10. Inclusion: Do your leaders make you feel included?
    Inclusive leaders create teams where employees are 50% more productive, according to BetterUp. That's a good reason to ask this question! You can find out if your leaders are creating a sense of belonging at work, which is crucial for employee engagement and retention.


Surveys are a key way to measure employee engagement drivers and identify areas of improvement in the employee experience.

In addition to asking directly about engagement levels, you need to ask about all areas of the employee experience to understand what it’s really like. And you need to ask in a way that is accessible and helpful. If you’re looking to survey frontline workers, they don’t have access to a computer during the working day. It's much better to use an app instead. Flip can help with this!

Drawing upon these employee survey examples, you should feel prepared to create your own survey. Be sure to check out these best practices before you do.

But how should you distribute your employee surveys? The Flip employee app offers real-time single-question polls. You can post social media-style polls to your employees' newsfeeds for one-click responses.

Additionally, you can easily distribute more in-depth surveys by including the questionnaire link in a post you create in Flip. This ensures you maximise views and boost participation. Check out how McDonald’s Germany boosted survey participation to over 90%!

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