In good times and bad, HR teams use employee surveys to get a read on morale, plan new initiatives, or improve existing ones. They also help with buy-in: If employees know that their feedback will be put to good use, they’ll be more supportive of the end result.
While technology makes it easier to measure and track employee sentiment over time, you’ll still need to identify just what you want to learn. Below, we’ve outlined eight important employee surveys to start with, each with a few sample questions.
Note: Sample questions are rated on a Likert scale — meaning possible responses include strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, and strongly agree.
1. Employee Engagement
For people-first companies, employee engagement might be the ultimate barometer of success. Engagement surveys help you better your workplace and identify your company’s strengths. Because engagement is often bundled with belonging, psychological safety, and working relationships, there’s a lot that you could potentially ask. Since you’ll be covering a lot of ground, consider running full engagement surveys no more than once a quarter.
Psychologists have spent decades researching questions that get to the heart of how employees are feeling. Below are a few sample questions to get you started. For more ideas, read 35 Employee Engagement Questions You Need to Ask.
- I am proud to work at this company.
- I am excited about the majority of my work projects/customers.
- I have all the tools I need to consistently do my job well.
- The organization’s mission constantly inspires me to do my best work
- I feel recognized for my hard work and successes at work.
- I believe that generally, my workload is reasonable for my role.
- I plan to still be at this company in two years.
2. Pulse Surveys
While engagement surveys give you a quarterly read on employee sentiment, companies need a way to act on feedback in real-time. To bridge that gap, you should send frequent pulse surveys to your employees. These short, usually one-to-five-question surveys allow you to get a more continuous picture of the effectiveness of your employee engagement strategies. Consider running pulse surveys on a weekly or biweekly basis.
Pulse survey questions help identify the motivational triggers of your company and gauge the overall mood over time. Give employees the opportunity to leave comments for additional insight as well.
- I am enthusiastic about my job.
- When I get up in the morning, I look forward to going to work.
- I talk up this company to my friends as a great company to work for.
- I am proud to tell others that I am part of this company.
- I trust the decisions of senior leadership.
3. Employee Net Promoter Score
Companies have long relied on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology to measure sentiment toward just about anything, including the workplace. Today, employee NPS (eNPS) represents one of the most popular survey methodologies used by HR teams. Part of that popularity lies in its simplicity, as it just requires you to ask one question:
“How likely are you to recommend working at this company to a friend?”
Employees respond to the above using a scale of zero (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely). While that sounds intuitive enough, calculating eNPS isn’t a matter of averaging scores. Based on their feedback, respondents are grouped into one of three categories: promoters, detractors, and “passives.” Learn more by reading this article on how to calculate eNPS.
4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I)
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are table stakes. But knowing whether your DE&I initiatives are actually hitting the mark isn’t easy. Naturally, employees may not talk openly about sensitive, deeply personal topics like DE&I. That’s where anonymous surveying becomes an absolute must.
In drafting your survey, consider incorporating a mix of questions touching on issues like representation, voice, and opportunity. In addition to looking at this feedback as a whole, remember to look at cross-sections in the data, including employee demographics like age, gender identity, and ethnicity. These results will tell you which DE&I goals you need to prioritize.
- This company is committed to diversity.
- I feel like I belong in this company.
- If you make a mistake on this team, it is not held against you.
- People from all backgrounds have an equal opportunity to succeed here.
- My manager is supportive of me participating in DE&I activities.
- This company makes sure that the opinions of individuals from different backgrounds are heard.
5. HR Effectiveness
Consider this your HR team’s performance review. Asking employees for feedback is a great way to learn how they perceive your team’s initiatives, identify opportunities, and adapt your HR strategy. The results will also help you make the case to leadership in case you need additional headcount or budget to roll out new programs.
The following questions cover accessibility, communication, and other key measures of HR effectiveness. If focus areas like recruiting and training fall under your HR team’s purview, remember to include questions on these topics as well.
- Our HR team is readily available for questions or concerns.
- When I have a specific HR question, I know who to reach out to.
- HR is doing a great job at building our employer brand.
- I’m always clear about major HR initiatives, like performance reviews or open enrollment.
- HR does a good job equipping new managers with resources and training.
- Generally, our company’s HR technology is modern and easy to use.
6. 30-Day New Hire Lookback
First impressions count. Your employees’ onboarding experience can have a big impact on their long-term engagement, performance, and overall satisfaction. Is your current program up to par? Running a survey after new hires’ first 30 days can give you the feedback you need to improve your onboarding process moving forward. You might also glean insight into your interview process, specifically whether the role they were sold on ended up meeting expectations.
- My manager was available for questions before my start date.
- It was easy to get started with the software and tools I need to do my job.
- I understand our company’s mission, vision, and values.
- My onboarding workshops were relevant and useful.
- My experience here reflects what I was sold during the interview process.
7. Employee Exit Survey
Goodbyes are always hard. While it might be tough seeing a high-performer leave, they can still provide your team with valuable feedback. In addition to running an in-person exit interview, complement your offboarding process with an exit survey. You’ll want to touch on a variety of issues, including manager support, compensation, and whether they’d consider returning.
Given that Likert scales don’t always lend themselves to specificity, consider adding a few open-ended questions as well. Over time, you might notice recurring themes at a company-wide or (perhaps more tellingly) departmental level.
- I was compensated fairly for my role (salary, benefits, equity).
- I was satisfied with the feedback I received from my manager.
- I would work at this company again in the future.
- I would recommend this company to friends and former colleagues.
- Open-ended: Why are you leaving this role job?
- Open-ended: What were the most important factors in your decision to leave?
- Open-ended: What advice would you give your replacement if you could?
8. Crisis Response Surveys
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that HR teams need to be prepared for just about anything. In times of crisis, managers need to learn how to lead, motivate, and work with their teams virtually. Employees, grappling with uncertainty, might be struggling to adapt personally and professionally. If you’re separated from your team due to a crisis, use surveying to better understand how they’re feeling and act on that information.
Every crisis poses unique challenges. The following questions were drafted with the COVID-19 pandemic in mind, but can be applied in a variety of circumstances. For even more ideas, check out Lattice’s Crisis Response Survey Template.
- My stress level is manageable.
- I am encouraged to take time for myself during the workday.
- I feel supported to adjust my work schedule to accommodate my caregiving needs.
- I have the hardware and software I need to work effectively during this time.
- My manager has effectively responded to my needs in the current environment.
- My manager has checked in on my wellbeing in the last 7 days.
- I like the way my company is handling internal communications during this crisis.
- I am able to maintain meaningful connections with my work friends.
Lattice makes it easy to build and launch each of these employee surveys. If you need even more inspiration, our platform comes with industry-vetted survey templates covering engagement, team effectiveness, and inclusion. Once you launch your survey, you’ll be able to slice the data by department, manager, and other telling dimensions.
Over 1,500 companies use our people management platform to develop engaged, high-performing teams. Learn how we can help you deliver on your next employee survey by scheduling a demo.