5 Employee Survey Questions to Measure More Than Satisfaction

ELIOT BUSH

Author

ELIOT BUSH

Author

CATEGORIES

Categories

These research-backed Great Place To Work employee survey questions reveal what employees really think of their experience and help you create a high-trust workplace culture.

Having a listening strategy is an essential part of creating a positive employee experience. Leaders need to be able to hear employees’ feedback and respond to their needs to build a company culture where employees feel valued and find purpose in their work.

Employee survey questions are one of the most powerful tools in any listening strategy because they can:

  • Provide quantitative data that can guide action planning
  • Uncover inconsistencies in experience between different groups of employees
  • Enable organizations to objectively compare their employee experience to the experience at other organizations

How well your employee engagement survey questions fulfill the above will depend on the quality of the questions you ask. Great Place To Work survey questions give you a detailed picture of the employee experience in your organization.

The problem with survey questions that only measure employee satisfaction

Companies often use employee workplace survey questions for measuring employee satisfaction – in other words, to gauge whether employees are satisfied with their situation at work.

For example, a company may want to know if employees are satisfied with their compensation and benefits, or if they have issues with their manager.

Some companies also use employee engagement survey questions to try to measure employee engagement, or the extent to which employees feel motivated and excited by their work.

Both employee satisfaction and employee engagement are important. The most insightful surveys, however, are those measuring employee experience: a holistic view that closely links satisfaction and engagement.

For example, an employee might be satisfied with their allotted paid time off (PTO), but still struggle with work-life balance. Why? Because their manager expects them to be reachable even when they’re supposedly offline. This practice usually leads to burnout.

A survey that only measures whether employees are satisfied with their PTO benefits would miss this burnout – the bigger issue – because employees would only report PTO satisfaction.

However, a survey that simply measures employee burnout might misinterpret the problem and companies would not realize additional time off won’t solve it.

It’s only through a comprehensive Great Place To Work Trust Index™ Survey that we can see the full picture, address the root cause, and achieve the right solution.

Remote Work and Flexibility

Remote work is quickly becoming a new norm. This shift has introduced new challenges and opportunities in maintaining employee satisfaction.

It might be beneficial to explore “How satisfied are you with the company’s remote work policies?” or “Do you feel you have the flexibility you need in your work schedule?”. Great Place To Work Trust Index™ Survey questions take these aspects into account.

Mental Health Awareness

There is a growing trend of companies paying more attention to their employees’ mental health. This is especially important given the increased levels of stress and anxiety many people are experiencing.

Great Place To Work Trust Index™ Survey questions acknowledge issues such as “Do you feel your workload is manageable?” or “Do you feel comfortable discussing mental health with your manager?”.

Career Development Opportunities

With the changing job market, employees are increasingly looking for opportunities for growth and development within their current roles.

Questions might include “Do you feel there are sufficient opportunities for professional growth in your role?” or “Are you satisfied with the learning and development resources provided by the company?”.

Rather than viewing employees’ relationship with management as a binary “satisfied/dissatisfied,” an employee experience survey seeks to understand the level of trust that employees have in their company leaders, including during a crisis.

An effective survey strives to understand how management’s leadership style impacts employees’ perceptions of fairness, or whether certain practices are undermining employee well-being. Leaders must be able to demonstrate consistent credibility, respect, and fairness to earn – and sustain – their employees’ trust.

5 questions to Ask in an Employee Experience Survey

1. Does management try to connect with employees on a personal level?

When it comes to employee experience, it’s essential that you build a high-trust relationship between management and employees. Trust, however, is a deeply personal feeling – it’s nearly impossible to earn someone’s trust without establishing a personal relationship of some kind.

The first step in building that relationship is for management to show that they care about their employees as people, not just what they’re able to bring to the table from a professional standpoint. Answers to this question reveal the quality of your employee-management relationships.

2. Does management recognize outstanding work or effort?

This question measures two critical pieces of a high-trust relationship between management and employees:

  • How much management shows employee recognition in a way that resonates with employees (essential for making employees feel valued, appreciated, and cared for).
  • How much management is perceived as impartial: Is the recognition tied to the work people do, or do certain people get recognition more easily?
3. Does management listen to employees’ ideas?

It’s difficult to trust someone if you don’t feel that they trust you, so management should constantly seek out opportunities to make employees feel trusted. One great way to do that is to listen and respond to employees’ ideas – it shows that managers respect and value what their people think and feel.

Encouraging managers to be receptive to employees’ ideas also makes employees more comfortable sharing feedback about their experience at work. This gives you more valuable information that you can use to further improve your employee experience.

It’s difficult to trust someone if you don’t feel that they trust you, so management should constantly seek out opportunities to make employees feel trusted
4. Are people treated the same regardless of their background or personal characteristics?

When measuring employee experience, it’s essential to not only look at the big picture but also understand that different groups of people may have very different experiences at the same workplace.

Questions like this one help measure how employees feel about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) within their workplace, and can point leaders in the right direction as they expand their DEIB efforts.

It’s especially useful to break out the results to DEIB-related questions by demographic group (for example, by gender) so that you can identify and analyze any differences in experience across groups.

5. Is it a psychologically healthy workplace?

Employees need to feel psychologically and emotionally safe to have a positive experience at work. Measuring these forms of safety is an important function of an effective employee experience survey.

If a company is doing everything else right, but employees feel burnt out, feel trapped in a toxic culture, feel uncertainty or feel they can’t get the support they need, it can severely impact the overall employee experience.

On the flip side, when employees do feel psychologically healthy, they’re much more likely to be willing to extend trust to management, which means other attempts to build trust are more likely to succeed.

Launch an employee survey that asks the right questions and helps you improve the employee experience

With the detailed results of Great Place To Work survey questions in hand, leaders can build a better employee experience. What does this look like? It includes managers who fulfill promises and express genuine care; who provide all employees with equal opportunities for growth and recognition; and who strive to be as competent, authentic and honest as possible.

Such efforts naturally lead to happier employees, greater innovation and increased productivity. Employees with deep trust in their company leadership will be less likely to quit and more likely to generate winning ideas.

Great Place To Work® Certification™ looks beyond basic employee satisfaction to measure the level of trust between leaders and employees.

Reach out today to see how the Great Place To Work trust index survey can help you attract and retain top talent.

ELIOT BUSH

Eliot Bush is a Culture Coach at Great Place to Work®. He is an expert in data-driven analysis of employee experience. In intensive one-on-one Culture Coaching sessions, Eliot uses Great Place to Work’s survey platform Emprising™ to help companies identify their culture’s unique strengths and areas of opportunity. Eliot also helps companies understand how to create a company culture honored on our Best Workplaces™ lists. 

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying over 1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting over 4.7 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2021 or early 2022.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

This year, Great Place To Work® Singapore is proud to launch our inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces™ in Healthcare & Biopharma List. This list recognizes exemplary companies in the healthcare & biopharma industry.

Recognized as a global hub for medical technology and research, Singapore has attracted top healthcare and biopharma talents and companies from around the world. It has become the center for essential healthcare services and innovations with its world-class research institutes, academic medical centers, and industry clusters.

In turn, the healthcare and biopharma sectors play a critical role in the country’s economic competitiveness, sustainability, and innovation. These industries have significantly helped in the overall improvement of public health and well-being of the people of Singapore and its neighboring countries.

The inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces in Healthcare and Biopharma List puts the spotlight on the organizations that are dedicated to providing employee satisfaction and engagement, and their commitment to excellence in the industry.

The companies in our Great Place To Work Certified™ community have the premier distinction that helps attract the best talent, build your employer brand, and secure a competitive advantage. To achieve this, they built a working environment that is purpose-driven and people-first. These companies have demonstrated that showing authentic care, prioritizing employee’s holistic well-being, and building a culture of trust go hand in hand with growth and success.

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Healthcare and Biopharma, Great Place to Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore.Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place to Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place to Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry.The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced.To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place to Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place to Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry. The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category.

Methodology

This year, Great Place To Work™ Singapore is proud to launch our inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces in Technology List. This List recognizes exemplary companies in the information and communication technologies industry in four categories:

  • Micro category (10–29 employees)
  • Small (30-99 employees)
  • Medium (100-999 employees)
  • Large (> 1000 employees)

With Singapore’s ambition to be recognized as a regional technology hub, the influx of technology firms (around 80 of the world’s top 100 technology firms have a presence here) and global rankings that place us a leading technology hub outside of San Francisco, the establishment of a Singapore Best Workplaces List in Technology is indeed a timely and needed one. Technology firms in Singapore are characterized by hyper-growth and ambitious expansion plans. This means a continuous war for talent in a highly competitive and rapidly evolving industry.

To maintain our lead as a technology and innovation hub, the ability to attract, retain and sustain skilled talent is critical. We are proud that companies in our Great Place To Work®-Certified community List have built a high-trust culture, engaged employees and maximized their potential to facilitate innovation. They are purpose-driven and adopt a people-first mindset. These are companies that have shown that authentic care and employee well-being need not be compromised for ambitious growth, and that it is possible for businesses to scale up quickly and responsibly. Their culture and core values are embodied in every individual—from senior leadership to rank-and-file employees—and differentiate them from their competitors, priming them to be powerful magnets for top talent.

To determine the 2022 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore.Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry.The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category

 

Methodology

To determine the 2022 Singapore’s Best Workplaces™️, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing close to 70,000 employees across different industries in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place to Work For All™️. 85% of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do.

Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical in their industry. The remaining 15% of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry. The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category