Human Resources

Improve Your Employee Engagement Surveys With These 4 Questions

9 min read
Sep 23, 2021

To retain your best employees, you need to ensure that they feel valued and passionate about their work. Asking the right questions in your employee engagement surveys is the key to this insight.

Andrew ConradSr Content Writer

Have you ever lost a valued member of your team and thought, “I had no idea they were looking for a new job,” and wondered about their employee satisfaction after the fact? Some employee turnover is inevitable in the modern workplace, but that doesn’t mean that it’s also not preventable.

One way to avoid employee turnover is to gain insight into what your staff enjoy about their job, what they dislike, and what they want out of their role that they’re not already getting.

For example, our recent Hybrid Work Survey (methodology below) found that a majority (53%) of small business employees are likely to consider looking for a new job if their current job did not offer some sort of flexible work arrangement.

Some companies are more suited than others to offer a hybrid work model, but as an employer, you’re better off at least knowing that offering such an arrangement could potentially help retain a valuable employee.

You could ask staff about their employee experience during routine check-ins if your company is small enough, but you can’t always expect honest feedback. After all, fear of retaliation for critical responses may deter honest employee feedback.

This is where employee engagement surveys come in.

By surveying your employees anonymously, you can get a sense of overall employee happiness and potentially reduce unwanted turnover.  

In this article we’ll look at how to run an effective employee engagement survey, including specific questions to ask in your surveys, along with tips on improving employee retention.

What are employee engagement surveys?

Employee engagement surveys give your employees a safe platform to share their opinions on how they feel about their job and the company in specific areas, including advancement opportunities, compensation, leadership, and work environment.

These surveys are typically conducted through employee engagement software, which is a subset of human resources software.

Employee engagement surveys give employers actionable insights into their employees’ engagement level, allowing them to make changes to improve morale and retention.

Employee engagement survey questions to include

These questions are informed by our recent Global HR Survey (HR in the New Era, methodology below) based on answers that respondents provided to the question, “What are the most important factors when considering a job after the COVID-19 pandemic is over?”

1. Do you feel like you are being fairly compensated for your work?

When it comes down to it, most people work to pay their bills, and if your employees don’t feel like they’re being paid fairly for their time and effort, they will be more likely to look for a new job that pays better and then leave when the opportunity arises.

Additional questions to consider:

  • How do you feel about your benefits package?

  • Do you feel like you have enough paid time off?

  • Are there any missing benefits that you wish you had?

Evaluate your pay and benefits: Almost everyone would like to make more money. But if the overwhelming majority of your staff feels like they’re being underpaid for their work, you either need to increase salaries or be OK with constantly losing employees who are pursuing greener pastures. If your company is already on a tight budget, consider improving compensation in other areas, such as better benefits or more paid time off. If you’re having trouble determining what is a fair salary, you can use compensation management software to remove some of the guesswork.

2. Do you feel passionate about your work?

A high salary can only go so far in keeping satisfied employees, and if your employees don’t feel passionate about what they’re doing for 40+ hours a week, they may consider looking for something more exciting and rewarding, even if it means accepting a lower paycheck.

Additional questions to consider:

  • How often do you feel challenged in your role?

  • Do you feel like you’re being fully utilized?

  • Do you feel valued and recognized for your work?

Empower team leaders to grow new leaders: If you find out that most of your employees rarely feel challenged, aren’t using their best skills, and don’t feel excited about what they’re doing, you either have a lot of talent that is mismatched with their job descriptions, or you’re not managing their career growth properly. Improvement in this area should fall on the shoulders of your team leaders, who can give their staff more challenging projects and leadership opportunities when they’re ready.

3. How do you feel about our remote work policy?

As we mentioned earlier, a majority of employees are likely to consider looking for a new job if they’re not allowed to work from home at least part of the time. After being forced to adopt some sort of remote work policy during COVID-19, many companies have made remote work a permanent part of their business operations. In the post-pandemic work environment, the possibility of working remotely at least part of the time is becoming the standard, so it’s worth asking your employees this question.

Additional questions to consider:

  • Do you feel safe working in the office?

  • How many days per week would you prefer to work from home?

  • Do you feel like you have everything you need to do your job effectively from home?

Consider remote and hybrid work options: Not all jobs translate well to remote work. For example, your facilities manager will probably need to be on site at least several days per week to effectively do their job. But if your employees are asking for a more generous remote work policy, and they’re able to do their work effectively from home, you can either let them do so or lose them to a job that allows them to work remotely.

If you’re not sure where to start with expanding your remote work policy and managing remote teams, check out our remote work resource guide here.

4. Do you feel like you have opportunities to learn and develop in your role?

No matter how well-suited someone is for their role, people grow and evolve over time, and their interests and goals will eventually change. As an employer, you should make sure that your employees have opportunities to learn and develop new skills within your organization so that you can retain your most talented employees.

Additional questions to consider:

  • Do you feel like you have the opportunity to learn new skills in your position?

  • Which skills would you like to learn related to your job?

  • Do you feel like this job prepares you well for bigger opportunities in your career?

Look for internal opportunities to strengthen your staff: Make sure that you’re posting open job listings internally to give current employees the chance to grow and evolve within your company, and offer employee training to foster their career development. You can also start a mentorship program to let more experienced employees help develop less experienced members of the team.

Streamline your employee feedback with employee engagement software

Gathering honest feedback from employees can seem like a daunting task, but it’s crucial to uncover what makes your employees feel valued so that you can retain top talent. Employee engagement software can help you make this process more efficient in gathering survey results, with features like 360 degree feedback, benchmarking, gamification, goal tracking, knowledge base management, and lots more.

Browse our Category Leaders for employee engagement software here for 10 top options based on verified user reviews.

GetApp’s Category Leaders for Employee Engagement (Source)


GetApp conducted the Hybrid Work survey in May 2021 of 488 small business employees and 503 small business decision makers to learn more about the preferences, benefits, challenges, and opportunities with a hybrid work model. Respondents were screened for employment status and business size.

GetApp conducted the Global HR Survey (HR in the New Era) in January 2021 of 922 U.S. workers to learn more about their experience and preferences at work. Respondents were screened for employment status and business size.

About the author

Andrew Conrad

Sr Content Writer

Hey there, I’m Andrew. I’m a Senior Content Writer at GetApp. I bring you insights about retail, eCommerce, and marketing. I studied at Loyola University Maryland and have more than a decade of professional writing experience. Home base: Austin. 2 things about me: I am a lifetime Baltimore Orioles fan, and I love walks in the woods. The tech trend I think you should keep an eye on: Mixed reality in retail. Trying on clothes will never be the same.

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