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10 proven questions and templates for employee engagement surveys

Laura Leavitt

Remote Expert & Writer

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Share fun facts and bond with a team quiz

Have your participants choose from a list of questions they’d like their coworkers to answer about them, before watching as they guess the right answer.


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Have your participants choose from a list of questions they’d like their coworkers to answer about them, before watching as they guess the right answer.


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Have your participants choose from a list of questions they’d like their coworkers to answer about them, before watching as they guess the right answer.


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Have your participants choose from a list of questions they’d like their coworkers to answer about them, before watching as they guess the right answer.

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Understanding what your employees need can be tricky. Employee engagement surveys take the guessing away and help you make informed decisions. But the way you ask your questions matters. 

The environment at work, the level of connection your employee feels to the mission, and the results of past surveys all impact your results. Plus, you’ll need to track metrics over time to make an actionable plan moving forward. 

Here’s your one-stop shop for employee engagement surveys. 

Here are the best sample questions for employee engagement surveys

One of the first things to decide is whether you want to offer employee engagement survey questions that are open-ended or close-ended. Open-ended questions leave room for the respondent to come up with an answer, starting with things like “What do you feel…” or “Tell me about a time…”. Close-ended questions offer a set of answer choices, like yes or no, a scale of 1-10, or options ranging from “very happy” to “very dissatisfied.”

With open-ended questions, data analysis may require more time. With close-ended questions, you have to be very careful to offer a range of options so the results are less biased by the options provided. Offering an “other” option can help to get the best of both worlds.

Your company will have their own spin on a survey on employee engagement, but here are the kinds of key questions you should ask:

Why you should ask Example open ended question Example close-ended question with answer options
To understand how well your company communicates How does this company do with getting information to you and listening to your concerns? Do you have all the information you need in a timely manner at this company? “Yes” or “No” with an explanation option.
To understand team dynamics How do you feel about your team’s culture and the connection between you all? Do you agree that your team members work through challenges effectively? Strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree.
To understand perception of company trajectory What changes are you anticipating in the coming two years at this company, both positive and negative? Are you more excited or more nervous about the trajectory of our company? “Excited” and “nervous”
To understand personal value and value of your role How does the company recognize the value of the work you do? Do you feel valued in your role at the company? “Yes” or “no”
To determine management effectiveness What could your manager do differently to help you achieve a new level of work satisfaction? Do you get what you need from your manager to do your job effectively and feel satisfied at work? Yes or no
To gauge the direction taken by top leadership How do you feel about the direction the top leadership is taking our company? Do you feel confident in the leadership of the company and their direction for the company? “Very confident,” “somewhat confident,” and “not confident.”
To review the handling of problems When issues, challenges, or conflict have arisen, how did your team respond? In times of conflict or challenge, do you trust this company to do the right thing? “Yes” “Sometimes” “No”
An employee Net Promoter Score question about loyalty to the brand n/a “How likely are you to recommend our services, products, or other work to others? with potential for an explanation for the 0-10 likelihood answer they give.
To assess reactions to recent changes What did you think of the recent corporate retreat? How happy are you with the latest website relaunch? “Very satisfied,” “satisfied,” “neutral,” “unsatisfied,” and “very unsatisfied.”

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10 real examples and resources for employee engagement surveys

We found some effective examples of employee engagement surveys to show you how you might personalize the general categories of key questions.Take these resources as inspiration, or get started with the templates right away. 


  1. This Typeform employee engagement survey template.
  2. Leapsome offers a template and 72 great survey questions.
  3. Zavvy’s free employee engagement survey template.
  4. SurveyMonkey’s template offers a variety of questions in an easy-to-follow form.
  5. Qualtrics offers both beginner and advanced employee engagement survey templates. 

Other resources:

  • Companies like Relay Payments and Apple implement a live employee engagement survey that is called a stay interview. This is a one-on-one meeting where you ask questions about engagement that focus on why this individual wants to stay at the company. It could also uncover disengagement or disconnection. While their templates aren’t available, there is a Stay Interview app for iPhone! 
  • Achievers shares the top 20 questions to include on your survey. 
  • Basecamp offers a course on their “employee experience programs,” which builds on a standard survey and makes the process more integrated into your workflows. 
  • Sheila Margolis, an organizational culture expert, offers this structure for creating survey questions.
  • The Net Promoter System has a book out. It’s called Winning on Purpose, talking about how companies harness the power of customer satisfaction. Their employee-engagement-focused version is the employee Net Promoter System or eNPS. 

Avoid these mistakes with employee engagement surveys

There are four major mistakes in employee engagement surveys. The best practices to improve your employee engagement surveys involve avoiding these errors to keep your results useful. Making mistakes can make your data inaccurate or cause people to stop filling them out. 

  1. Doing long surveys too often. There is a real condition called survey fatigue. It’s where survey results get less accurate after people have been polled too often. Keep frequent surveys to only 1 or 2 questions. This way, your big, occasional surveys have accurate results.
  2. Punishing critical feedback. Don’t publicly call out anyone who offers suggestions for change. If you make them feel punished for their honesty, the whole team will notice. They may start thinking they need to say they are happy and feel fulfilled at work on every survey. This ruins your data.
  3. Asking questions with biased responses. It may be tempting to only give “super satisfied,” “very satisfied,” and “satisfied” as options for how people feel at work. But biased questions yield bad results. There have to be enough options for people to express their concerns. Otherwise, you may be hiding big issues.
  4. Never publicly making changes because of the surveys. If you’ve crunched the numbers and found the patterns, you need to showcase what you will do about it. Your employees will take future surveys more seriously if they see you pulling actionable next steps from the survey data and showing it to the company.

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Tools that help you create and analyze engagement surveys

Analyzing your data can go faster and generate more useful visualization if you use an employee engagement survey app or platform. These tools help you keep best practices in mind and distribute surveys easily through existing infrastructure like Slack. 

  • OfficeVibe – provides automated pulse surveys featuring different question types and helps you keep an overview of different engagement metrics.
  • Culture Amp - After you get data from surveys, use Culture Amp to see trends and visualize concerns in the data so you can make changes.
  • TINYPulse - with easy app-based surveys, get higher rates of return and make frequent check-ins with your employees the norm.
  • Qualtrics - A robust survey software that can be just as useful for polling customers and potential leads as it is for engaging your employees and evaluating the data.
  • Energage - Offers extensively researched template questions for a great employee survey experience. 
  • 15Five - Focused on the idea that frequent, short surveys help you know your team better, this tool also offers various coaching options for engaging with the issues you may uncover in continuous employee engagement surveys. 

It’s not the end of the world if you need an employee engagement overhaul - just get started

If you make a great employee engagement survey, you may realize your employees are disconnected. Feeling disconnected can lead to employee turnover or employee disengagement. This may mean less of the great work you want. The right time to address employee engagement is now. Consider implementing new techniques to engage your employees today:

Frequently asked questions

Here’s everything you need to know about employee engagement surveys, from basics to their purposes and impacts.

What is an employee engagement survey?

An employee engagement survey is a set of questions distributed to employees. This survey evaluates whether they feel connected and fulfilled at work. Positive results show that company culture is strong and  there aren’t issues that management has missed.

What is the purpose of employee engagement surveys?

Employee engagement survey questions identify areas that can cause an employee to not produce their best work or even leave the company. These include assessing employee loyalty, satisfaction, effort, and trust. Ultimately, the goal is to keep turnover low.

What’s the difference between an employee engagement survey and an employee satisfaction survey?

In general, an employee satisfaction survey measures one straightforward element. It’s whether employees are happy with their workplace at this moment in time. Engagement encompasses much more. It includes a willingness to grow with the company, an effort to do one’s best work, and a connection to the work. These factors may or may not exist just because an employee is “satisfied.”

How often should I measure employee engagement?

Multiple shorter surveys are generally considered more effective than one long annual survey. Consider doing medium-length surveys quarterly. Then, 1-question pulse surveys can be done monthly or bi-weekly. This way, you can track if employee engagement goes down or up as things change in the company.

Do team engagement survey questions even work?

Ask survey questions in a way that gives you data over time. With multiple data points, these surveys can give you key trends about your team. However, they are only as effective as how you use the results. Teams will keep filling out surveys if you take them seriously. Team members need to see the changes implemented publicly.

What should I ask on a new employee engagement survey? 

Employee engagement survey questions can be effective right after hiring. Start with a question about the onboarding process. Then consider a question about the effectiveness of the workplace compared to past employers.

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