Employee engagement

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Employee engagement survey template — How to structure it and what to include

Employee engagement survey template — How to structure it and what to include

In order to improve employee engagement at your business you need to first understand where you’re currently at — effectively, to benchmark your employee engagement.

But as our lives and workplaces are anything but static, this ‘temperature checking’ of employee engagement needs to be done regularly so that you can better respond to the collective mood. Plus, you’ll gain invaluable insight into your team and learn how to make your company a better place to work.

In my time at Charlie, I’ve helped hundreds of small businesses measure and improve their employee engagement, and I’ve tried out many different survey formats as a result. I can therefore say one thing confidently straight off the bat: manually running employee engagement surveys is a real pain.

Surveying employee engagement manually is arduous and time-consuming, and is likely to fall to the bottom of your work pile and become very inconsistent as a result. But consistency is how you’ll get the most out of these surveys, which is why this blog is focusing on how to build your own employee satisfaction survey template, and why automating the entire process is a good idea.

To get you off to a winning start, we’ve created a free employee engagement survey template for you to download. The template contains employee engagement survey example questions, for you to use or adapt to fit your company’s goals, processes and values.

Download our employee engagement survey template

If you want to find out how to run employee engagement surveys and how to structure your survey template, keep reading.

Why run employee engagement surveys?

There are many reasons businesses survey employee engagement, but some of the most common are:

  • You want to show your team members that you value their opinion
  • You want to identify areas for improvement
  • You’re worried about employee retention and want to find out if your team is happy and engaged.

But despite these motivators, employee engagement surveys often fall by the wayside, and there can be big time gaps between sending them out (which in itself can frustrate your team).

Employee engagement surveys: what are the stumbling blocks?

Every company is different, but the obstacles to regularly running engagement surveys tend to be universal. Do any of the following feel familiar?

  • You just don’t have enough time
  • You haven’t run an engagement survey before, so you’re not sure how to do it ‘right’
  • All the different advice is overwhelming (you just want a trusted expert to show you what to do)
  • Your current survey method cannot be anonymised, so it’s a lot of work for a disappointing result (your employees aren’t 100% honest because their feedback’s not anonymous).

What is an employee engagement survey template?

An employee engagement survey template, or employee satisfaction survey template, is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin:

It’s a template that you use to run your own employee engagement surveys.

An employee engagement survey template comes complete with different survey themes and employee engagement survey questions. The questions can either be used exactly as they are, or tweaked to suit your company’s needs.

Using a template for your employee engagement surveys eliminates a lot of hassle, and saves a lot of time.

How to format your employee engagement survey template

I recommend that you pick the type of survey questions so that they can be answered with a 5-point rating scale — where the responses range from ‘strongly disagree’ to ‘strongly agree’. And the questions should match the goal of the survey.

For example, in Charlie’s pre-built template for surveying engagement, which you would run to better understand your team’s emotional and intellectual commitment to your company, we have the following seven questions:

  1. I am proud to work for [company name]
  2. I would recommend [company name] as a great place to work
  3. I rarely think about looking for a job at another company
  4. I see myself still working at [company name] in two years' time
  5. I consider myself an ambassador for [company name]
  6. If I was offered the same job at another company, I would choose to stay at [company name]
  7. I would recommend [company name]'s products or services to my friends and family

Focusing your questions around the aim of the survey will ensure you receive useful feedback, which you can then use in reports or to influence change in your company culture and policies. Your questions should be specific enough to generate actionable insights.

Download our employee engagement survey template

Don’t overwhelm your team either. Employment engagement surveys work best when they’re targeted and easy to complete. In my experience, 5-7 questions per survey will suffice.

How to build your own employee engagement survey template

Research and preparation are two essential elements of building an employee engagement survey template. Skip these steps and your survey could fall apart later on (and you’ll have to start from the beginning again).

  • Understand where you are now

It’s a good idea to talk to your team informally first, as a generic survey template is not going to generate the sort of answers you need. By getting a sense of the ‘mood in the room’, you’ll be able to make your survey questions much more focused around a goal or a theme..

  • Decide on your goal or theme (category)

Employee engagement is a big umbrella under which a lot of topics sit (there are seven survey categories in Charlie’s pre-built templates, for example — see below), so you want to focus on one per survey template.

  • Consider your language

Use clear and concise language with the right tone. No one should struggle to understand any of the survey questions, and they should all align with your company’s goals and values.

  • Look for a survey tool where the feedback is anonymous

Anonymity promotes honesty, and successful employee engagement surveys are those where the feedback can be submitted anonymously. This means that you need to think about how you’re going to distribute the survey template to your team before you create it. Basic survey tools like Google Forms won’t allow you to collect anonymous responses, and your employees are unlikely to give honest feedback if they know HR can identify them.

  • Use pulse surveys to measure employee engagement on a recurring basis

Make sure your engagement survey tool offers the option of running pulse surveys: these are short questionnaires sent to team members multiple times a year, for example monthly or quarterly. A pulse survey system like CharlieHR allows you to track trends in employee engagement levels, so that you can act on them in a timely manner.

A lot to think about isn’t there?

But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Our free employee engagement survey template comes with example questions under different category headings. So you can use it straight off the shelf or adapt it to fit. It’s a simple survey template that you can use to measure your team engagement.

Download our employee engagement survey template

What’s the best tool for automating employee engagement surveys?

An employee engagement survey template will significantly improve how you run your surveys, but if you want to engage with your team regularly without piling on the admin then you need to automate them. Automating your HR surveys removes all the time-consuming manual elements, and eliminates many, if not all, of the obstacles to tracking levels of engagement.

But not all tools are created equal. Some will do a lot of what you need, but ideally you want one that automates as much of the process as possible, simply and easily.

So what’s the best tool for automating your employee engagement surveys? Well, we think it’s Charlie.

Of course you probably think I’m bound to say that, but we don’t think there’s another tool out there that makes it as easy and simple to survey your team.

On top of that, Charlie is not just employee survey software, but a complete HR tool to help you automate all your processes, from onboarding to performance reviews.

With CharlieHR’s engagement surveys:

  1. You choose from a library of survey templates built by qualified HR experts. If none of them are suitable, you build your own custom template.
  2. Launching the survey takes one click once you’ve chosen your template.
  3. All data is anonymised, so your team will feel safe to give honest feedback.
  4. You can launch questionnaires, track responses and analyse engagement survey results, all in one place.
  5. ‘One touch response’ means it’s just as easy for your team.

And with our 7-day free trial, you can see how Charlie’s Polls work for yourself with zero commitment.

Click to start a free trial of CharlieHR

With Charlie, you have access to a library of employee engagement survey templates designed by industry experts across the following categories:

And if one of these templates isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, then you can design your own with the Custom polls function. Everything you need to run employee engagement surveys is right at your fingertips.

(If your team is remote, you may want to check out our guide on how to engage remote employees).

How to run successful employee engagement surveys

The key to running successful employee engagement surveys is to do your research at the start, so that you don’t have to do a lot of work later on.

If you want to make surveying your team part of business as usual, then survey templates and automation are a no brainer. And with Charlie, you’ll reduce the time you spend building surveys from hours to minutes, and feel confident using survey templates built by experts.

And the best thing about running successful employee engagement surveys is the insight you gain from them. You’re informed and empowered to better understand your team and what you need to do to make your company a better place to work.

Want to find out more about employee engagement survey tools? Check out our comparison guides:

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