28 essential employee engagement questions for managers

Written by: Deanna deBara | Edited by: Nora St-Aubin | Illustrated by: Officevibe team
Updated on: Published on: July 12, 2021 |  Reading time: 7m

Engaged employees are the foundation of successful organizations. In fact, engagement is so important, it’s hard to overstate employee engagement benefits. Employees who are engaged with their work are more productive, more committed to their jobs, and less at risk for issues like turnover and absenteeism. But employee engagement numbers are shockingly low.

Just 20% of employees around the globe are engaged at work (down from 22 percent in 2019).

Gallup’s 2021 State of the Global Workplace Report

You can’t improve employee engagement if you don’t measure it, and that’s where an employee engagement survey comes in. Employee engagement surveys can be a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of employee engagement on your team — if you ask the right questions. These survey questions gauge the key employee engagement metrics every manager needs to keep an eye on.

How to measure employee engagement with a survey

Asking questions will help you get a read on how engaged your employees are, but you have to deliver those questions in a structured way. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your employee engagement survey by following some of these best practices.

1. Use the same questions

Using the same questions allows you to compare answers over time and measure how engagement is increasing or decreasing. This is important, because you want to track trends of engagement and see how different sentiments fluctuate as things change and progress on your team. Because if you ask a whole new set of questions each time, you’ll be comparing apples and oranges.

2. Keep historical data

Organizing employee responses and keeping track of engagement survey data helps you review engagement at different times and make more sense of your results. You might spot trends that are seasonal, or if a big change happens that your team has been through before, you can see if they’re reacting in a similar way. This will help you apply your learnings on an ongoing basis.

3. Think about structure

Structure your questions in a way that will get you the clearest data. Because not all questions are built to give you the same information, some are better formatted as multiple choice, sliding scale, or open-ended. So be intentional with what question types you’re using, and why. And don’t forget to word questions clearly, and keep each question to covering a single point.

Employee engagement questions examples

Now that you know how to measure engagement using an engagement survey, you can build your own. Or, you can try an employee pulse survey tool like Officevibe to automate your engagement surveys. Many of the questions in this post are directly from Officevibe’s pulse surveys!

Survey questions about professional growth

People want to see a clear vision of the future, and know the steps that will get them there. For employees to feel engaged with their work, they also need to feel like their work is fostering a sense of growth, both personally and professionally. This is why you’ll want to include growth-related questions on your employee engagement survey.

  • On a scale from 0-10, how confident do you feel that your current role is fostering your professional growth?
  • True or false: I feel excited about my responsibilities.
  • What is one thing you need from your manager to move closer to your personal goals?
  • True or false: I feel like I have a clear growth path in place to reach my professional goals.

Questions about relationships with co-workers

Relationships among colleagues can make or break employee engagement. When people feel like they have good relationships with the people they work with, they’re going to feel more engaged with their work and with the team. On the flip side, if they have challenging relationships with their co-workers, it could lead to lower levels of engagement. So your engagement survey questions should cover peer relationships.

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how supported do you feel by your coworkers?
  • True or false: I feel my team is collaborative.
  • Are communications among peers honest and transparent?
  • If you could change one thing about the team you’re currently on, what would it be and why?

Manager-employee relationship questions

Relationships with co-workers play a major role in employee engagement, and that includes their relationship with their manager. Sometimes you’ll act as a coach, mentor, or enabler for your team members, so you want them to feel comfortable to come to you, and supported when they do. Your employee engagement survey is a great opportunity to ask questions about employee-manager relationships.

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how supported do you feel by your manager?
  • True or false: I feel like my manager cares about my wellbeing.
  • What’s one thing your manager could start or stop doing that would help you do your job better?
  • True or false: I feel like my manager listens to and implements my suggestions.

Engagement survey questions about feedback

Feedback is directly tied to growth. When employees receive feedback, it helps them understand what they’re doing well, what they need to work on, and how they can reach their full potential. Not only that, employees need to have space to share their own feedback, too. So making sure your team’s feedback culture is healthy and strong is a critical part of engagement.

  • Are you satisfied with how often you get feedback from your manager?
  • Does the feedback you receive at work help you grow and develop?
  • When you receive feedback from your peers, is it given in a respectful way?
  • If you have feedback for your manager, do you feel comfortable to share it?

Questions about company alignment

A part of feeling engaged at work is understanding the bigger picture that your role contributes to. People want to know that their work has a purpose, and feel connected to the greater goals of the company. So helping your team members understand and feel aligned with the organization’s direction and mission is important. Start by asking engagement survey questions to get a sense of your team’s alignment with the company.

  • Do you understand how your role contributes to the company’s mission?
  • Are you confident that your organization is able to reach its objectives?
  • Do the leaders of your organization demonstrate that employees are essential to the company’s success?
  • Are the values of the organization aligned with your own personal values?

Survey questions about happiness

Happiness is closely tied to engagement. How can someone feel connected with their job if they’re consistently stressed out, sad, or even angry at work? Understanding employees’ levels of happiness at work helps you spot any potential issues that are creating negative emotions. Or, it can help you understand what makes people show up smiling every day. So ask some engagement survey questions about workplace happiness.

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you in your day-to-day at work?
  • Have you noticed your work has taken a toll on your personal life?
  • True or false: I feel like I have a healthy work-life balance.
  • What’s one thing your manager, team, or leadership can do to make you happier at work?

Questions about organizational culture and workplace environment

People are influenced by their environment and, as such, your company culture and workplace environment have a direct impact on employee engagement. Whether your employees are in-office, completely remote, or a distributed team, you want to understand what blocks and enables them in their work environment. And, you want to foster a positive team culture that lifts people up, and keeps everyone engaged.

  • Do you feel comfortable to be yourself at work?
  • Do you have all the physical and non-physical resources you need to do your job effectively?
  • How does your team’s behaviour reflect your values day to day?
  • What’s the one thing you like the most about your organization’s culture, and what’s the one thing you like the least? Why?

Understand your team with the right employee engagement survey questions

Sending a survey out to your employees shows that you care, and you want to understand how they feel. When you ask the right questions, you get the most accurate, actionable responses so you can make the most meaningful impact.