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Macorva is more than just a feedback platform. We are a tool for change, helping businesses enhance their performance, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction.
MacorvaOctober 3, 20236 min read

10 Direct Questions That Will Help You Understand and Improve Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is often hailed as a critical component of a business’s success. It’s frequently defined as the emotional commitment employees have to the organization and its goals. However, it’s more than just a buzzword or a nice-to-have attribute; it’s a powerful driving force behind productivity, retention, innovation, and overall business performance.

When employees are truly engaged, they’re not just satisfied with their jobs or happy at work. They’re emotionally invested in the company’s mission and objectives, striving to contribute their best efforts to drive the organization’s success. They become advocates for the company, infusing their roles with passion and dedication. This level of engagement is a potent catalyst for business growth.

However, enhancing employee engagement isn’t a straightforward process. It requires a deep understanding of your employees’ emotional investment in your company, which can be challenging to gauge as emotions are subjective and experiences can vary significantly from person to person. That’s where the power of asking the right questions comes into play.

Knowing the right questions to include in your employee surveys is critically important. It’s not just about asking questions for the sake of it, but about carefully thinking through what the responses will look like and ensuring that the questions will yield actionable insights. The goal is to delve into your employees’ experiences and perceptions, to uncover their level of emotional commitment to your company.
Each question should be designed with a clear purpose in mind, aiming to reveal valuable insights that can inform your employee engagement strategies. For example, understanding how employees perceive the company’s mission and values can help you identify any disconnects or opportunities for enhancing communication. Similarly, gauging their perception of managerial support or team dynamics can shine a light on areas that may need improvement.
Here are 10 direct, employee empowerment questions that will help you understand and improve employee engagement, along with some context and examples to explain why these questions are crucial:

1. Do you understand the company’s mission and values?

Understanding and connecting with the company’s mission and values is a fundamental aspect of employee engagement. Research has found that when employees feel a strong alignment with company goals and values, they’re more likely to be engaged. By asking employees if they understand your company’s mission and values, you gain insights into how deeply they connect with them. For instance, if an employee can clearly articulate the company’s mission and how their role contributes to it, it’s a good sign they feel engaged. On the other hand, if employees struggle to understand or connect with the company’s mission, it could indicate a disconnect that’s impacting their engagement.

2. What does it take to be successful here?

This question can give you a glimpse into how employees perceive success within the company. If they mention things like teamwork, accountability, and alignment with company goals, it’s a good indicator that they understand what is valued in the organization. Conversely, if they express uncertainty or suggest that success is based on favoritism or politics, it may indicate an engagement issue. Understanding their perceptions of success can help you clarify expectations and ensure that success is defined and recognized in a way that aligns with the company’s values and objectives.

3. Has the company set you up to succeed?

Learning and development opportunities are powerful catalysts for success and engagement at work. Research has found that when employees have opportunities for learning and development, they’re more likely to be engaged. This question helps you gauge whether employees feel they’re being given the resources and opportunities to grow and succeed. If they feel the company is investing in their development, it can significantly enhance their sense of engagement. Conversely, if they feel overlooked or stagnant in their roles, they may become disengaged.

4. Are you happy working here?

While engagement isn’t the same as happiness, the two are closely linked. Asking employees if they’re happy can provide valuable insights into their overall job satisfaction. A follow-up question of, “Why or why not?” can help you uncover specific aspects of work life that are driving engagement (or disengagement). It’s essential to remember that happiness can come from many sources, from enjoying the day-to-day tasks to feeling recognized for their efforts, to having strong relationships with co-workers. Uncovering these happiness drivers can help you bolster engagement strategies.

5. Do you have the resources to do your job well?

Having the necessary job resources, whether they’re physical tools, software, or access to information, is crucial for employees to do their jobs effectively. If employees feel they lack these resources, it can lead to frustration and disengagement. This question can help you identify any resource gaps that may be hindering productivity and engagement. Addressing these issues promptly not only improves efficiency but also shows employees that you value their input and are committed to their success.

6. Does your work align with the company’s goals and objectives?

People need to see the bigger picture and understand how their work contributes to the company’s overall success. If they don’t, it could explain why they feel disengaged. This question can help you determine whether employees see the connection between their work and the company’s goals. If they do, it’s likely to boost their sense of purpose and engagement. If they don’t, it presents an opportunity for you to clarify this connection and help them see the value of their contributions.

7. Does your manager recognize your efforts and contributions?

Managerial recognition plays a significant role in employee engagement. Research shows that when managers provide recognition and demonstrate their interest in employee growth, engagement is higher. Simple acts of recognition, such as a word of thanks or recognition in a team meeting, can have a significant impact on an employee’s sense of value and engagement. This question can help you gauge whether managers are effectively recognizing their team members and offering the support they need to thrive.

8. Does your manager support your goals?

Beyond day-to-day tasks and performance goals, employees also have personal career aspirations. They need to feel that their managers are invested in their professional growth and career aspirations. If managers actively support their team members’ goals, it can foster a sense of loyalty and engagement. This question can help you understand whether employees feel supported in their career aspirations and what steps managers can take to further nurture this support.

9. Do you enjoy working with your current team?

Positive relationships with coworkers can significantly improve engagement. According to Gallup research, having strong relationships with coworkers directly affects how engaged an employee is at work. This question can help you assess the health of team dynamics and identify areas for improvement.

10. Are your teammates accountable to one another?

Accountability within a team is crucial for its success. If employees feel that their teammates are reliable and committed, it can foster a sense of trust and camaraderie, which can boost engagement. This question can help you understand how employees perceive the level of accountability within their teams.
While every employee’s experience in the workplace is unique, asking direct, empowering questions can help you better understand those experiences. Armed with this knowledge, you can take targeted actions to address areas of concern and improve employee engagement.
Coming up with the right questions for your employee surveys can be challenging, but platforms like Macorva can help. Macorva offers over 150 I/O psychologist pre-defined engagement questions to help you gain a deep understanding of your employees’ engagement levels. Furthermore, Macorva’s Radiant AI can create custom engagement questions automatically, providing you with the tools you need to measure and enhance employee engagement effectively. Whether it’s understanding the company mission and values, learning and development opportunities, employee happiness, or manager support, Macorva’s platform can help you uncover the truth about your employees’ experiences and engagement. By leveraging these tools, you can drive meaningful improvements in engagement, leading to greater productivity, retention, and overall business success.


Editors note: this blog was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 


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