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The 5 Questions You Need To Ask In Your Employee Survey

Posted by Insightlink on 01/13/20

If you are doing any kind of employee survey, these are the critical questions you need to ask. More importantly, these are the target scores you should be aiming for. If you are close to or above the target scores below, congratulations, you have a highly engaged workforce with outstanding levels of overall satisfaction. You’re doing really well.

If, on the other hand, you’re below the average scores, then it’s almost certain that you have an engagement problem that’s affecting your organization’s productivity, customer service, turnover rates and, ultimately, your bottom line.

So how would your organization score on these 5 questions?

  • How much do you agree or disagree that the work you do is enjoyable?
  • How satisfied are you with the level of reward and recognition at your organization?
  • How satisfied are you with acknowledgement of your work by others at your organization?
  • How satisfied are you with your opportunity to make suggestions and be involved in your work?
  • How satisfied are you with your ongoing opportunities to learn new skills and grow?

How did we arrive at these questions and what makes them important?

We’ve been conducting comprehensive employee surveys for two decades and in that time we’ve collected millions of data points for review. A thorough and detailed statistical analysis of responses across hundreds of survey questions revealed the statements that are most highly correlated with overall job satisfaction and engagement. What’s more, these are areas where employers can make changes and improvements to move the needle.

  • You can implement effective reward & recognition programs,
  • You can create a culture of acknowledgement and gratitude,
  • You can make management open and receptive to employee suggestions and
  • You can give employees opportunities for growth and learning.
  • In other words, you can make work more enjoyable.

If you make improvements in each of these areas, you will see a corresponding increase in employee engagement and all the benefits that come along with that. And, in turn, make your employees more committed, loyal and less likely to leave.

Are these the only 5 questions to ask?

The big five questions are certainly the most important (i.e. the most highly correlated) but they are not the only questions you should be asking in your survey. In total, when we did our analysis and based on our experience, we came up with a list of 21 questions we found to be essential. Those questions and a few others became the foundation for our E-21 Employee Survey.

While we’ve always been fans of comprehensive surveys, the world is changing. Shorter pulse surveys are becoming the norm and that’s fine. Done right, they can be very effective. But it’s incredibly important now, that if you are going to go the pulse survey route, you ask the right questions. The questions that will give you the biggest boost for the effort.  A short survey with pointless questions simply won’t give you the information you need to know what to change. Find out more about our E21 Pulse Surveys here.

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Where does your company stand on each of the critical "4Cs" of employee engagement and satisfaction?
  • Commitment
  • Culture
  • Communications
  • Compensation
Find out with a benchmarked and validated 4Cs Employee Survey from Insightlink. Since 2001, one of the most trusted research companies in North America.

How many of each do you have?
  • Committed Loyalists
  • Change Seekers
  • Dissatisfied Compromisers
  • Satisfied Opportunists
Only the Insightlink 4Cs Employee Survey can give you the full picture and let you hear how your employees feel about their experience at your organization.


Insightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.

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