Sample Employee Survey

Complete our short sample survey and receive a Personal Engagement Profile Report!

engagement survey example

Employee Engagement
Survey Structure

How many questions should be included in an employee survey?

There are a lot of things that can impact your contributors' levels of engagement. Your questionnaire needs to cover all of the most critical areas, but it also needs to be as short as possible in order to maintain data quality and minimize the impact on the organization.

An engagement survey typically covers a fairly broad range of topics (see examples below). Comprehensive questionnaires can cover the most important engagement topics with 35 to 50 questions.

  • 35-50 rating questions
  • 5-point Likert rating scale
  • Use mostly benchmarked items
  • Include short-answer questions
  • A few tailored follow-up questions

Very short surveys (e.g. 12 items) can do a great job of identifying whether people are engaged or disengaged, but they won't tell you why they are engaged or disengaged. This will leave you with more questions than answers when you try to understand what is driving employee engagement or disengagement in your workplace.

Longer questionnaires (e.g. more than 60 items) lead to lower participation rates and higher levels of "rater fatigue", where the quality of responses drops off as raters begin to spend less time carefully reading and thinking about their answers to the questions.

Should an engagement survey include Custom Questions?

It's fine to include custom questions if there are some specific areas that you want to explore. Just be sure to start with a strong foundation of statistically validated engagement items. Maintain the statistical integrity of those items by not changing the way they are worded. If there are areas that you feel are important, but that are not covered by the standard template, find out if there might be other questions in the survey item library that address those topics. Often, there will already be some statistically validated and benchmarked items available.

Keep in mind that custom questions can't be statistically validated, and they won't include benchmark scores. This can make it harder to know whether the results are positive or negative.

What Question Format Works best in an Employee Survey?

Most surveys use multi-point rating items, also called Likert scale items, for the numeric part of the questionnaire. The most popular format is a 5-point rating scale, with responses ranging from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree".

Engagement surveys should also include qualitative feedback. Be sure to include short-answer questions so contributors can share their specific thoughts and concerns. Ask 3-5 short-answer questions at the end of the survey. Ask people what they are happy with as well as what causes them frustration. Examples of good short-answer questions are included below.

Collect demographic information using multiple choice questions at the end of the survey. Be sure to include an opt-out choice with each question for contributors who prefer not to answer. It's better to include demographic questions at the end because people will be more candid in their feedback if they have not already identified themselves. They can then decide whether they are comfortable answering some or all of the demographic questions at the end.

Sample Employee Survey Questions

Below are examples of items from an engagement questionnaire.
Items like these are available with benchmarks, which provide insight into how good or bad your results are.

Purpose and Direction

  • I understand how my work directly contributes to the overall success of the organization.
  • I have a good understanding of the mission and goals of this organization.
  • My job is important in accomplishing the mission of the organization.
  • My supervisor provides me regular information about the mission and the goals of this organization.
  • I am familiar with and understand the organization's strategic goals.
  • Doing my job well gives me a sense of personal satisfaction.


  • I receive useful and constructive feedback from my manager.
  • I am given adequate feedback about my performance.
  • I receive feedback that helps me improve my performance.
  • I have an opportunity to participate in the goal setting process.
  • Employee performance evaluations are fair and appropriate.
  • My supervisor gives me praise and recognition when I do a good job.
  • When I do a good job, I receive the praise and recognition I deserve.


  • Teamwork is encouraged and practiced in this organization.
  • There is a strong feeling of teamwork and cooperation in this organization.


  • I am paid fairly for the work I do.
  • My salary is competitive with similar jobs I might find elsewhere.
  • My benefits are comparable to those offered by other organizations.
  • I understand my benefit plan.
  • I am satisfied with my benefit package.

Workplace and Resources

  • I have the resources I need to do my job well.
  • The necessary information systems are in place and accessible for me to get my job done.
  • I have all the information I need to do my job effectively.
  • My workplace is well maintained.
  • My workplace is a physically comfortable place to work.
  • My workplace is safe.


  • Information and knowledge are shared openly within this organization.
  • Communication is encouraged in this organization.
  • My manager does a good job of sharing information.
  • Senior management communicates well with the rest of the organization.

Respect for Management

  • I respect the senior leaders of this organization.
  • Our senior management leads by example.
  • I respect my manager as a competent professional.
  • The leaders of this organization know what they are doing.
  • Our senior managers demonstrate strong leadership skills.
  • I am very satisfied with my manager.

Respect for Employees

  • My manager always treats me with respect.
  • My manager listens to what I'm saying.
  • This organization respects its employees.
  • My manager values my talents and the contribution I make.
  • Employee job satisfaction is a top priority of senior management.
  • My coworkers care about me as a person.

Opportunities for Growth

  • My manager is actively interested in my professional development and advancement.
  • My manager encourages and supports my development.
  • I am encouraged to learn from my mistakes.
  • My work is challenging, stimulating, and rewarding.

Work/Life Balance; Stress and Work Pace

  • The environment in this organization supports a balance between work and personal life.
  • My manager understands the benefits of maintaining a balance between work and personal life.
  • I am able to satisfy both my job and family/personal responsibilities.
  • The pace of the work in this organization enables me to do a good job.
  • The amount of work I am asked to do is reasonable.
  • My job does not cause unreasonable amounts of stress in my life.


  • My manager treats all his/her employees fairly.
  • The organization's policies for promotion and advancement are always fair.
  • Favoritism is not an issue in raises or promotions.
  • My manager is always consistent when administering policies concerning employees.
  • I am always treated fairly by my manager.
  • Everybody is treated fairly in this organization.

Performance and Accountability

  • Poor performance is effectively addressed throughout this organization.
  • Senior management is held accountable for achieving results.
  • This organization has high performance standards.
  • People are held accountable for achieving goals and meeting expectations.
  • We measure job performance to ensure all staff are achieving results.

Personal Expression / Diversity

  • I can disagree with my supervisor without fear of getting in trouble.
  • I am comfortable sharing my opinions at work.
  • We work to attract, develop, and retain people with diverse backgrounds.
  • Senior management is genuinely interested in employee opinions and ideas.
  • People with different ideas are valued in this organization.

Measuring Overall Employee Satisfaction and Employee Engagement

The examples below are questions that measure employee satisfaction or engagement more directly. These are the kinds of questions that very short surveys typically use. We don't use these kinds of questions in our engagement survey template for one simple reason - they are not actionable. These questions provide a good indication of whether contributors are satisfied or engaged, but they don't do a very good job of measuring why.

  • I am very satisfied with my job.
  • I am highly committed to this organization.
  • I would recommend this organization to friends and family.
  • I am proud to tell people that I work for this organization.