Employee Engagement Check-up: Are You Asking The Right Questions?

Employee engagement is supported by the use of technology in many organizations. From pulse surveys to always-on employee engagement software, companies understand that if they create a positive work culture, productivity and earnings increase as employees apply their interest and commitment. Getting to this point requires getting specific about what employees are seeking in a career experience. 

Bad Employee Engagement Questions 

It is surprising then that many companies make the mistake of using the same standard employee engagement questions year after year. From research, we know that they don’t work. 

Here are a few examples: 

Please rate your experience here on a scale of one-to-five.

Asking employees to rate things on 5-point scales is ineffective because they will pick random ratings to get past the survey. The points assigned have no real value. 

Are you satisfied at work?

Being direct and asking employees if they are satisfied at work is a waste of time because they don’t understand the business application of this state. Besides, do you want satisfied employees or happy and loyal employees who are excited about the work they do for you? 

What can we do to make things better for you? 

This is a dangerous question for a couple of reasons. First, how do you know what one employee thinks will improve things will have any impact on other employees? Second, what if they indicate something that is beyond your capability to fix? This sets up an expectation that can backfire. 

Asking the Right Employee Engagement Questions 

In order to get to the core of what your employees need to feel engaged at work, carefully designed questions are in order. Where do you start? Understand first that these questions need to focus on specific areas of engagement, loyalty, and commitment to organizational objectives. An example may be:

Since the addition of the new vending machines, has your work day been improved? 

In this question, the company is focused on employee wellness (having access to healthy snacks and beverages) and if the vending machine is contributing to increasing employee well-being and productivity.

See the difference? It’s meaningful and specific to one area of employee engagement. There’s no gray area here. 

Choosing the Best Employee Engagement Platform 

To make sure you are escaping the pitfalls of ineffective or standardized employee engagement questions, you will want to select an employee engagement platform that offers plenty of customization. This means being able to write your own questions that can be based on anything going on in the organization in relationship to employee engagement boosting. Or you can write questions that address changes in the company (like a new CEO or a business merger). You need surveys that are more fluid to adapt to things happening in the organization that may be impacting your people.

While it’s ok to stick to the standard employee engagement questions that are offered with any software, eventually you will outgrow them and need to craft questions about specific areas. A good product will allow you to hide questions or create multiple surveys for unique situations or departments and even job roles. 

The right employee engagement platform will give you the opportunity to respond directly to employees who indicate concerns or request more information. A built-in communication system gives employees a private space in which to bring up problems or make suggestions, and the company can respond to the employee. In the past, engagement surveys did not allow for this kind of two-way dialogue, so it’s a real step up from standard surveys. 


Thymometrics is a new breed of disruptive employee feedback technology. Through real time, always-on surveys and feedback solutions, we provide revolutionary yet simple tools to empower employees and monitor wellbeing whilst providing managers with deep and useable insights to improve business culture, wellbeing programs, productivity and profitability.

For more information, please call 01223 750251, email info@thymometrics.com or visit thymometrics.com.

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