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How To Design an Effective Employee Survey + Template To Use

Lisa Ardill

Content Editor at Workvivo

25 May 2023

An employee engagement survey is just what it sounds like – a collection of questions you ask your employees regularly to understand their engagement and satisfaction at work. 

These surveys are helpful because they make it easy for you to keep a pulse on your organizational culture, indicating areas you may need to improve. And when your employees are highly engaged and productive, everyone benefits: happy employees equal happy customers, which leads to greater revenue and growth for you.

In this guide, learn how employee surveys can benefit your organization, what questions you should ask, and what to do with the information you collect. (Stick around – we even provide a free employee survey template to get you started!)

Why your organization should use employee surveys

What’s the benefit of conducting regular employee surveys? While they do measure satisfaction (as we touched on above), there are a few other significant advantages that employee surveys give your organization. 

Measure employee satisfaction and engagement

Employee surveys are a good way to help measure employee satisfaction and engagement. Employees who are highly engaged at work can improve your business profit by 23%. It’s your goal to understand your organization’s current level of engagement so you can take steps to improve things if necessary.  

Promote open, two-way communication

A healthy work environment involves lots of communication – both from the top down and from the bottom up. When you approach your employees to ask for their candid, honest thoughts, you’re telling them that it’s safe to share whatever’s on their mind, helping create a more positive and trust-based working environment. 

Identify areas for improvement

One final benefit of employee surveys is that you’ll gain direct insight into what might need to change around the office. Ideally, employees will tell you exactly what they need at work. And once you make any necessary changes, you can compare future surveys to that initial benchmark to understand how you’re doing. 

How often should you conduct employee surveys?

For best results, run employee evaluation surveys on a regular basis. If you take your employee feedback to heart – making things better for your team – they’ll be more likely to cooperate and engage with future surveys.

But make sure you’re not verging on too much of a good thing. Conducting surveys too often might lead to survey fatigue, where employees roll their eyes at the sight of yet another internal survey landing in their inbox. If employees lose interest in too-frequent surveys, they might not give comprehensive answers, not finish answering the questions, or even not start the survey at all.

Statistics indicate that organizations see the most engagement when sending out surveys once a month. Once your survey strategy is up and running, consider settling into a quarterly cadence, giving you four surveys per year.

Types of questions to ask on an employee survey

Employee surveys cover a lot of ground. To make the process easier (both for your employees and for you), divide your survey into categories with multiple questions for each. Check out the categories and sample questions below!

(P.S. If you’re looking for even more employee survey questions, check out our blog post, 50 Real Life Pulse Survey Questions Every HR Leader Should Use.)

Engagement level

Employee engagement is one metric that’s essential to understand. Employees who are engaged are more productive, happier, and more likely to stick around for the long haul, improving employee retention – all things you want. 

  • On a scale of 0-10, how likely would you be to recommend this organization as a good place to work?
  • True or false: You feel a sense of pride about working here.


To do their jobs most effectively, employees need to trust each other, their leadership, and their overall organization. Your questioning should provide insights into whether or not your organizational culture is one of trust.

  • On a scale of 0-10, how confident are you in this organization’s leadership team?
  • How confident are you in the integrity of your manager?

Organizational and role fit

Role fit refers to how well a person fits into their job title. Organizational fit shows whether an employee’s values align with the organization’s culture. These are both important because employees who fit well will naturally be more at ease – which is the prime condition for doing their best work.

  • Do you know how your role here contributes to the organization’s success?
  • Does your role align with your values and make good use of your skills?

Ownership and involvement

When employees feel a sense of ownership in their role, they are empowered to make decisions, take responsibility, and own their accomplishments *and mistakes. They feel more responsible for outcomes and work harder to ensure those outcomes are good.

  • True or false: You feel empowered to make decisions in your role.
  • Are you given an appropriate level of responsibility?


Remember: above all else, employees are people and they should always be treated as such. Conduct an employee satisfaction survey that touches on the relationships they’ve developed at work and how those dynamics play out within their daily work. 

  • Do you have good friends at work?
  • Does your manager treat you with respect and care about you as a person?

Personal growth

Another important aspect is your employees’ personal growth. Many employees strive for long careers, and one of your objectives should be to help them achieve that goal. You can do this by helping them develop into an accomplished professional who is skilled, confident, and qualified. 

  • Does the organization offer you adequate personal and professional development opportunities?
  • Is anybody in this organization encouraging and helping with your career development?

Rewards and recognition

Employees want and need to be recognized for their contributions and hard work. Are you giving your employees appropriate salaries, benefits, and additional rewards or incentives? Consider including a few questions that touch on your current benefits and others they may consider valuable.

  • Do you feel you are paid fairly for the work that you do?
  • Are the benefits available in this organization valuable to you? If not, what benefits would be more valuable?

Health and well-being

It’s worth reiterating that your employees are people, and they need time to disconnect and focus on their physical and mental health. As such, wellness (and the pursuit of wellness) should be a priority within your organization.

  • Do you feel that the organization values your health and well-being? What types of employee wellness initiatives would you like to see?
  • Do you have a good work-life balance? If not, why?


How effective is your leadership and management? Lower-level team members are the best people to answer this question. 

  • Does your manager make good, timely decisions?
  • How confident are you in the direction you receive from your manager?

My job

Another good employee survey category is to ask specifically about each employee’s role and day-to-day tasks.

  • Does your team look for ways to improve customer satisfaction?
  • Does your role provide you with a great sense of achievement?


Strong, healthy communication is absolutely essential for any business that wants to succeed. Get your employees’ take on whether they’re clear on the expectations and information they need. 

  • Do you feel informed about what’s going on in the organization?
  • Are your expectations clear?

Customer focus

Your employees can provide valuable insight into whether your organization is doing a good job prioritizing customers and clients.

  • Does this organization believe in putting the customer first?
  • Are you given appropriate training to help you provide the best possible service to customers?


Employees can’t be expected to properly do their jobs unless they have access to the resources they need, whether tangible (uniform, work laptop, monitors, headset, communication apps) or intangible (training/knowledge).

  • Do you have the physical resources you need to do your job well?
  • Do you have access to the information, knowledge, and skills you need to do your job well?

Employee survey template to use

The questions above can help you identify several important areas for improvement within your organization – but you won’t want to use them all at once. For the best outcome, keeping your survey short, relevant, and actionable is best, making your employees more likely to complete it. 

Below is a quick and easy employee engagement survey template to help you get started.

1) I feel I am paid fairly for the work I do and that my wage/salary compares favorably with what I could get elsewhere.

  • Strongly disagree
  • Disagree
  • Neutral
  • Agree
  • Strongly agree

2) I know about the perks and benefits available in this organization, and I feel they are of value to me.

  • Strongly disagree
  • Disagree
  • Neutral
  • Agree
  • Strongly agree

3) In this organization, there are opportunities that reward me (financial or otherwise) for outstanding performance.

  • Strongly disagree
  • Disagree
  • Neutral
  • Agree
  • Strongly agree

What should I do with the results of an employee survey?

After completing an employee survey, your job isn’t done: now you need to put those insights into action. 

1) Review results

Share the survey results with anyone on your executive team who needs to know. Together, you can analyze the results and brainstorm ideas to help. But don’t jump to the next step too quickly – take some time to reflect on what your employees said, processing the feedback you received. 

2) Interpret and analyze

Once you better understand what your employees want, it’s time to drill down into the numbers. Quantify data where you can. To help with this, rather than asking open-ended questions, you may want to design your survey with true/false statements or those that employees rate on a scale of 1-10. Then identify any patterns or trends you see.

3) Discuss key findings

Reconvene with executive leadership to talk about what you discovered. Discuss what your employees said, what the survey results mean for each team or department, and the desired outcome. 

4) Create an action plan

Next, decide together how you’re going to take action. This is not the time to think broadly. Instead, consider starting with just one or two areas of focus – whatever stood out in survey results as most important (or, alternately, any areas of low-hanging fruit that would be easy to start with). Later, you can expand to improve other areas. 

5) Communicate with employees

Before launching your action plan, inform your employees that changes are on the horizon. Be transparent, explain why you’re making the changes, and invite questions to encourage two-way communication.

6) Implement changes

Next comes the moment everyone has been waiting for: it’s time to put your plan into action. Designate a team member to oversee each area of focus to help smooth out any obstacles as your plan unfolds.  

7) Monitor progress

Keeping track of your progress might look like holding one-on-one listening sessions to hear how employees feel. Or ask department leads about any improvements they see as a result of your changes. And in a few months, it will be time to conduct another pulse survey or questionnaire and repeat the process again. 

Gather valuable insights from your employees with Workvivo

Employee engagement surveys are valuable for understanding (and improving) your company culture, employee experience, and employee performance. They are a priceless tool that gives your employees a way to voice their thoughts on improving job satisfaction – but they’re only as good as your follow-up. Make sure your leadership is on board and ready to implement change to improve employee satisfaction and engagement.

Looking for more ways to boost employee morale? Check out Workvivo’s employee engagement capabilities. With strong communication and organization capabilities, it’s the best way to take the information you learn from each feedback survey and put it into practice, supercharging your workplace culture like never before.

And what’s more, use Workvivo’s analytics to arm yourself with the best knowledge of and insights into your employees’ sentiments possible. Request a demo for your management team today.