We talk a lot about employee surveys, and true to form, there are many out there. Every day, there’s some company out there wanting to engage their employees, trying to know whether things are working smoothly or if something has to be changed.

But for all this talk over surveys and employee engagement, no one has actually talked about the elements needed to make a good employee survey. As we talked about last week, the difference between terrible and great employee engagement lies in data actually being used, but that’s not enough. Of course, you have to make sure that the way you get data is top-notch as well, and that’s where the survey comes in.

What makes a good employee survey? Three things:


  • A targeted direction. The best employee engagement surveys are the ones that ask questions on a couple of key issues that have to be evaluated. It shouldn’t be overly broad so that your survey won’t overwhelm your respondents, while it shouldn’t be so specific that it becomes difficult for them to actually provide a good response.


  • Clarity. When making an employee engagement survey, the right questions make all the difference, especially since you can get different responses just by changing the way you ask a question. Asking the right questions, and asking them the right way, will lead to the answers you’re looking for that will help build engagement.
  • Playfulness. Good employee engagement surveys are well-designed and easy on the eyes. Not only are they designed to engage respondents, they also take into account time; the best surveys shouldn’t take the whole day to answer.


When all these elements are combined, you’ll have a survey that is not only engaging, but also effective. Effective employee surveys are the gold standard for employee engagement, and so having one will go a long way towards truly understanding what’s going on at your company.