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Employee wellness and wellbeing survey
MacorvaFebruary 23, 20218 min read

5 Factors to Include in Your Employee Wellness Survey

Workplace wellness programs have become popular due to increased awareness of links between stress, mental and physical health, and overall well-being. Employer wellness programs can manifest in many forms, from exercise programs to nutrition classes, stress counseling, and more. However, for businesses just getting started on their employee wellness journeys, it can be difficult to know which initiatives will yield the highest returns.

An employee wellness survey can help you identify the right direction for your wellness program. Employee feedback software solutions like Macorva include turnkey wellness survey templates, or you can build your own survey as a starting point. If you are designing your own employee wellness survey, here are 5 essential factors to include:

1. The big one: STRESS

Stress negatively affects every system in the human body. High levels of stress have been linked to cardiovascular problems, decreased immune function, lower mobility, chronic pain, and mental illness. Stress is a critical factor to include in your wellness survey because its effects are both severe and pervasive, particularly in context with other lifestyle factors. In the United States:

These adverse effects also contribute to employee exhaustion and burnout. In fact, nearly two thirds of American employees are ready to quit their jobs due to stress. As a result, when designing your wellness program, you may expect an even greater return from stress management initiatives than from classic lifestyle-oriented programs oriented at tobacco use and exercise. Here are some questions to help you measure employee stress levels and overall emotional well-being:

  • I am able to manage work-related stress.
  • I feel emotionally stable at work.
  • I experience normal levels of stress at work. 
  • I am comfortable with my work/life balance. 

1-5 scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. 

Measuring employee stress levels can help you understand what stress management and emotional well-being initiatives are most worthwhile, including:

  • Mental health benefits
  • On-premise or on-demand counseling services
  • Stress management workshops
  • Meditation classes

Employee wellness: work environment

2. Work environment

Employee mental and physical well-being is heavily influenced by the work environment. If an employee’s workspace is not comfortable or conducive to working effectively, the employee is likely to experience higher levels of mental and physical stress.

Work environment is especially important to include in your employee wellness survey if you have a strong percentage of employees working remote or from home: a June 2020 survey found that over half of employees working from home were experiencing higher levels of stress due to the transition to remote work. 

Mental influences

If employees find it difficult to focus on their work because of a distracting or chaotic work environment, they will undoubtedly experience greater levels of stress. These influences can include:

  • Incessant notifications from emails or instant messages
  • Noise from sharing a family office with a working spouse or child doing remote schoolwork. A survey from Nulab found that a staggering 72% of remote workers do not work from a dedicated office space
  • A burdensome meeting schedule that detracts from productivity

Physical influences

If employees experience physical barriers or obstacles that make it harder for them to get work done, both their physical and mental well-being will suffer. These influences can include:

  • An uncomfortable office chair that makes long workdays physically painful
  • Inability to bring work equipment to their home office. This is an issue for over half of remote workers. 

Some questions you can include in your employee wellness survey to assess work environment include:

  • I have the tools and resources needed to do my job well. 
  • I can get my work done without being distracted. 
  • My work environment is physically comfortable. 

1-5 scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. 

Understanding how employees feel about their work environment helps you identify and address work-related influences on employees’ mental and physical well-being. If you find that employees are struggling with their work environments, you can address common physical and mental influences with:

  • Ergonomic investments such as standing desks
  • Meeting-free Fridays 
  • Quiet rooms 
  • Regular support check-ins with remote employees

Employee wellness: physical health and wellbeing

3. Physical wellness

Physical wellness comes together from a variety of lifestyle factors including: exercise and activity level, nutrition, sleep, and the presence of potentially harmful habits like nicotine use. Physical wellness has long been the focus of most employee wellness programs due to its direct link on long-term health. According to Fidelity, the most popular wellness initiatives currently in place are:

  • Smoking cessation: included in 91% of programs
  • Physical activity: included in 86% of programs
  • Weight management: included in79% of programs

Physical wellness is a top priority for employees, as well. According to Pew Research Centre, 70% of American adults keep an eye on health indicators by tracking weight, exercise, sleep patterns, blood pressure, etc. Some questions to ask to measure employees’ physical wellness include:

  • I feel good about my overall physical health.
  • I have healthy eating habits. 
  • I exercise at least a few times each week. 
  • I would participate in employer-led programs to pursue a healthier lifestyle.

1-5 scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. 

If you find that physical wellness is an area of concern for your employees, there are many tried and true ways to incorporate health and lifestyle-oriented initiatives into your employee wellness program, such as:

  • Nutrition courses and counseling services
  • Activity challenges
  • On-site clinics for annual physicals
  • Reimbursements for expenses that go toward cultivating a healthier lifestyle; e.g., gym memberships, nicotine patches, WeightWatchers subscriptions 

Employee wellness: social wellbeing

4. Social well-being

Another critical factor to include in your employee wellness survey is social well-being. A thorough understanding of employees’ physical and mental well-being is essential when building your wellness program, and one of the strongest influences on employees’ mental well-being at work is their social well-being. 

Human beings crave community and a sense of belonging. When employees feel isolated or lonely at work, they are far less likely to report a strong mental well-being. Whereas, when employees feel connected to and supported by their peers, they experience less stress and report higher levels of job satisfaction. Some questions you can include in your employee wellness survey to measure social well-being include:

  • I have a best friend at work. 
  • I have someone I can talk to at work when I need support. 
  • I get along well with my teammates. 

1-5 scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. 

If your survey identifies employees’ social well-being as an area of concern, you may consider implementing initiatives to encourage employees to build connections with others at work in your employee wellness program. These can include:

  • Offsite team-building activities; e.g., trivia nights, sporting events
  • Employer-sponsored sports leagues; e.g., soccer, softball, eSports
  • New hire mentorship programs

Employee wellness: job satisfaction

5. Job satisfaction

While job satisfaction surveys are often considered separate initiatives from employee wellness surveys, understanding employee satisfaction at work is fundamental to building a successful employee wellness program. Poor job satisfaction is strongly associated with burnout, self-esteem, depression, and anxiety among employees. Whereas, employees who are happy and fulfilled at work experience less work-related mental and emotional stress, which promotes a stronger overall well-being. You don’t need an in-depth job satisfaction survey to understand its overall effect on employee wellness. Here are a few general questions you can include to measure overall job satisfaction in your survey:

  • The obvious one: I am satisfied with my job. 
  • My job is enjoyable. 
  • I enjoy working with my teammates.

1-5 scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. 

If you find that overall job satisfaction is an area for concern in your initial employee wellness survey, you may need to follow up with a more in-depth job satisfaction survey that assesses various aspects of work including work impact, career path, task variety, etc. Some other initiatives you can consider to improve job satisfaction in parallel with your employee wellness program include:

  • Defining and communicating your company’s culture, mission, and values
  • Employee recognition programs
  • Leadership training for people managers who, according to Gallup research, account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement levels. 

Putting it all together

Building an employee wellness program can be a daunting task. Employees are more interested than ever in mental health, wellness, and most importantly, in what employers are doing to support employees in these areas. Getting the lay of the land first with an employee wellness survey can put you on the path to success with your wellness program by identifying the areas where employees need the most support. 

Designing a survey doesn’t have to be all on your shoulders: Macorva provides a library of survey questions and templates written by I/O psychologists with over 100 years of experience. If you’d like to see how our platform can help you meet your employee wellness goals, contact our team to learn more

Employee wellness and well-being webcast

Macorva CEO Carley Childress

Join Macorva CEO Carley Childress for an informative overview of market trends and best practices for employee wellness and well-being programs. This webcast will cover:

  • developing trends driving the employee wellness market
  • key findings on the links between stress, mental health, and overall wellness
  • best practices on using employee feedback to guide program development
  • determining the return on investment (ROI) of wellness and well-being programs


About us

Macorva was founded in 2018 by product developers Nathan and Carley Childress, who saw an opportunity to improve business outcomes by bridging the gap between feedback and action left by conventional survey tools. Macorva closes this gap with frictionless feedback experiences and empowers action at every level to improve business performance, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction.



Macorva is dedicated to helping you not only gather unfiltered data, but make sense of it. Our industry-leading team of software developers never stops refining Macorva to pick up on subtleties that can help you build a better business.