Employee engagement is an essential ingredient to company success. As a manager, significant thought and effort has to be made so that you can build and maintain an engaged workforce.
Improving employee engagement isn’t easy – you need to focus on engagement initiatives, engagement strategies, and long-term practices that will enable professional development and job satisfaction. Investing your time into creating an engaged workforce is going to create a positive impact and long term benefits for both you and your employees in terms of performance, retention and innovation.
In order to support managers to monitor and improve engagement at work, Fellow has created a guideline that defines employee engagement, why it’s important, and 6 different types of employee engagement questions that you should be asking your employees. Keep scrolling to learn more!
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is a representation of how invested, committed and enthusiastic employees are. It’s the connection that they have and feel with their organization. It is also encompassed by how motivated they are to complete their work successfully, how closely they relate to the company values and their willingness to collaborate and work as a team.
Engagement is an outcome that is dependent on the actions of a company and especially the actions that are driven by leadership, managers, co-workers and teams. The more invested that managers are in their employees, the more invested employees are with the company and the work that they do which contributes to larger, organizational goals.
Why is employee engagement important?
Employee engagement is important because if there’s a lack of it, you will see low levels of productivity, efficiency and job satisfaction from your employees. Without measuring employee engagement, there’s no way to make informed decisions that can improve people’s experiences at work and no way to work on the overall company culture.
In order to measure this employee engagement, you need to provide a way for employees to give you some feedback so that you can improve company performance and employee experience. Measuring employee engagement also means that what motivates employees the most and what pushes individuals to go above and beyond in effort will become evident.
Engaged employees are always good for the business because they tend to work harder and make a stronger commitment to the collective wellbeing of the organization when they feel happy, motivated and involved. Individuals who are engaged feel like part of the team, and as a result, work as a team to help steer your business in the direction of success.
50 Employee engagement questions for managers
1 Questions to monitor employee engagement
We already know that employees work more productively when they’re engaged, which is why it’s so important to monitor current engagement amongst employees. Asking about engagement is crucial because it explores how employees feel connected to their job, rather than just how well they seem to be performing their job responsibilities.
Monitoring employee engagement means understanding if employees feel recognized for the work that they do and uncovering if individuals feel as if they have a reasonable workload.
Uncover if your direct reports feel proud about the work they’re doing and have a sense of pride working for your company.
A great test of employee engagement and overall job satisfaction is understanding if individuals would refer family or friends to work for the same company. In monitoring employee engagement, you become aware of the changes, whether improvements or roadblocks that your employees are facing so you can better support and equip them with tools, resources, guidance and advice.
Here are 10 questions you can use to monitor employee engagement:
- Do you feel that your work is appreciated?
- What motivates you to come to work each day?
- What is your favorite part of your job?
- Is there anything about your job that you really don’t like?
- After [X] years at [company], how do you feel overall?
- What are the things you’ve done at this company that you’re the proudest about?
- What’s one new thing you’d like to work on or do differently?
- What are you working on that you don’t want to work on?
- On a scale of 1–10, how happy are you at work?
- What’s something I could do to get you to a 10?
2 Questions to establish a connection with employees
It’s super important to establish a connection with your employees so that you can build a stronger relationship, establish trust and master clear communication. The best way to establish a connection with individuals on your team is to show a genuine interest in your employees and also prove a genuine interest in their career goals.
If employees know that you care about their hopes and aspirations and are there to support their personal and professional development, they’re certainly going to feel more invested in the work that they do, as it is propelling them forwards in their career.
Schedule regular one-on-one meetings to build a stronger relationship with your direct reports. Download our definitive guide to one-on-one meetings to learn more!
It’s important that you make sure that your employees feel heard and valued, that they enjoy working with their team and that they trust you, their colleagues and any other individuals they’re collaborating with. When there’s a mutual respect and trust between you and your employee, this stronger relationship will yield stronger business results.
Here are 10 questions you can ask to build a connection with your direct reports:
- How’s life outside of work?
- How’s your work/life balance lately?
- What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
- What did you get up to this weekend?
- Do you celebrate [holiday]?
- How are things with your family?
- What are some of your personal goals this year?
- What is one belief that you’ve had your whole life that you think has helped you become who you are today?
- As a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up?
- If you were to give your younger self some advice, what would it be?
3 Questions to improve employee engagement
There’s always room to learn and to grow and the same goes for ways that you can improve employee engagement amongst your team.
It’s important for you as a manager to ask your employees what you can do to make your team members feel more invested in their working life. Day to day responsibilities can become overwhelming and perhaps there’s something that can be done to alleviate some stress from the more challenging responsibilities, so that employees can be more productive and efficient.
Improving employee engagement is all about listening to your team and understanding what they need in order to be successful and happy at work. Make sure that you’re making note of different ways to improve your various employees’ levels of engagement so that you can compile and consolidate the most common answers and take the steps necessary to implement change.
Here are some questions you can ask to understand what can be changed in order to improve employee engagement:
- Are there any projects you’d really like to work on?
- Would you like more or less direction/feedback from me?
- Are there any aspects of our team culture you wish you could change?
- If you were in my shoes, what would you change with the team?
- What’s something I should consider changing or start doing, as your manager?
4 Questions about career goals and aspirations
When employees feel as if they have a means to grow with the company that they’re working with, they feel more invested in the company’s future. It’s absolutely necessary to ask your employees questions about career goals and aspirations if you want them to feel engaged, motivated and interested in their work.
While autonomy is important, we all want to feel supported when we take on new challenges. Asking questions about career aspirations is going to give you some insight as to what kind of training and development initiatives will be best suited to steer your employees in the direction, towards their professional goals. It’s also going to give you ideas of how you can add or diversify every day responsibilities so that your employees are gaining the competencies they need to advance or make a lateral shift in their role.
Here are 10 questions to help your employees think about their professional goals:
- What do you love doing the most in your work?
- Do you feel that you’re advancing in your career?
- What are some things you can do to work towards that goal?
- What are three long term professional goals that you have?
- Have any of your goals changed since the last time we talked about this?
- Are there any professional development events or workshops you’d like to attend?
- If you were to take a course in something, what would it be?
- What are some habits you’d like to develop?
- What have you learned/improved recently?
- What additional training or education would you like?
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The world’s best managers encourage ongoing learning, professional development, and real-time feedback. Help your team achieve their goals by offering them a dedicated space to set priorities and visualize their progress.
5 Questions to encourage the development of new ideas
As time goes by, many of us tend to get stuck in routines, specific methodologies and approaches in business. Your employees are an asset to you in several different ways- one being that each person brings a different perspective and skill set to the table. It’s an intelligent engagement strategy to ask your team questions that encourage the development of new ideas because they can help you and the business innovate and improve existing processes that might be out of date.
There’s a huge value in bringing new ideas to the table, especially when it means that the result of these innovations produces an increase in productivity and efficiency. Here are some questions that will help you achieve that:
- Are there any new ideas you’d like to discuss with me/the team?
- What do you need to develop that idea further so that it’s ready to discuss with the broader team? How can I help?
- What do you think is the best course of action for [X]?
- What’s the worst-case scenario you’re worried about?
- What could be your first step?
6 Questions about employee productivity and priorities
As a manager, you’re already a master at prioritizing tasks. Where it might come easily to you, it’s important to ask your employees how they feel about their productivity and how they identify and rank their priorities.
All of us manage our responsibilities differently and so this is a great learning opportunity to see how your employees manage their workload to see if perhaps you can learn something from their approach, or to see if you can make recommendations to help them feel more productive and on top of their most important tasks.
In asking questions about productivity, you’re showing a genuine interest in the ability of each team member to complete what is required of them and categorize their responsibilities in the most appropriate manner. This is going to make people feel supported. When you invest in your employees, they invest in the company.
- What are your top priorities right now?
- Do you have any blockers? What can I do to help?
- What percentage of your time do you spend in meetings vs. doing deep work?
- What would you like to spend more time on?
- What would you like to spend less time on?
- How do you plan out your week?
- How do you know that you’ve had a productive day?
- How could I help you be more productive?
- Are there any software, tools or resources that you think you could benefit from?
- How could I help you be more productive?
Improving employee engagement doesn’t mean complicated employee engagement strategies. Sometimes, it’s as simple as asking the right questions to yield valuable responses.
Engaging employees is all about showing them that you’re there to support them in their personal and professional development so that they can feel proud of their active contributions to large organizational goals. You need to feel engaged with your employees and understand if they’re feeling invested in the work that they’re doing. If they’re not feeling engaged, you need to work on employee engagement initiatives that are going to make your employees feel more motivated and committed to the organization.
Begin with questions that monitor employee engagement and then ask some questions that establish a connection with your employees. Next, inquire about how you can improve employee engagement and uncover more about your team members career goals and aspirations. Ask questions that encourage the development of new ideas and prompt questions to understand more about employee productivity and priorities.
To create a positive impact on your team, ask these 6 types of employee engagement questions and refer back to this guideline any time you may need some assistance!