If your organization is thinking about introducing a regular employee engagement survey, it will already understand the correlation between high engagement and business success.
But, the way in which your company measures its employee engagement can make all the difference. The quality of your results will depend heavily on the questions you ask, as well as how you ask them. Without a robust methodology, your results risk being unreliable and difficult to translate into meaningful action.
Below are the 45 core questions used in the Workday Peakon Employee Voice platform to measure employee engagement, followed by an explanation of why we use them.
Workday Peakon Employee Voice question library includes: 1 main engagement question, 3 engagement outcome questions, 14 driver questions and 27 sub-driver questions. All of these are to be answered with a score from 0-10. If they wish, respondents can use the comment boxes provided to elaborate on the score they have given.
Questions to Measure Engagement
Workday bases its questions on a well-established metric that has been adopted by businesses around the world: The Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS). It is an evolution of the Net Promoter Score® (NPS®), which was developed in 2003 to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. NPS works by asking the consumer a single question on a 0-10 scale: “How likely is it that you would recommend [this product/service] to a friend or colleague?”.
eNPS, however, shifts the focus to employee engagement. It prompts people to consider the many factors that influence engagement with one simple question:
How likely is it you would recommend [Company Name] as a place to work?
Additional questions that can be activated to measure the outcomes of engagement are:
The following 41 questions help companies to determine what is influencing their employee engagement.
These are based on the 14 fundamental psychological factors—like autonomy, reward and growth—that have been proven to affect human motivation in the workplace. The so-called 14 “drivers” of employee engagement were identified over time by behavioral psychologists and management theorists. Once again, all the statements are to be scored from 0-10, with an opportunity to comment.
1) Questions to measure ‘Accomplishment‘: These questions measure the degree to which employees feel like they are accomplishing things on a daily basis. Competence is one of three motivational needs, alongside relatedness and autonomy, defined in Ryan and Deci’s Self Determination Theory.
2) Questions to measure ‘Autonomy’: These concern an employee’s ability to get their work done in a way they see fit. Autonomy is core to many theories on motivation and engagement, including Organizational Theory (Follett), and Employee Engagement (Kahn).
3) Questions to measure ‘Environment‘: This section concerns whether employees believe their physical environment has a positive effect on their work and how it’s done. A British government study from 2005 described the profound link between office design and employee performance.
4) Questions to measure ‘Freedom of Opinions‘: These driver questions aim to reveal the extent to which employees feel they are able to express their opinions without fear of retribution. Freedom of Opinions stems from the need for psychological safety.
5) Questions to measure ‘Goal Setting‘: Without a way to understand our own performance, anxiety around how others perceive us erodes our capability for self-expression. These questions aim to establish how employees feel about the work they are given, and what is expected of them.
6) Questions to measure ‘Growth‘: These questions relate to employees’ perceived opportunity, in terms of personal and career development. Growth features in almost every theory on motivation and engagement, including Two Factor Theory (Herzberg), ERG Theory (Alderfer), and Employee Engagement (Kahn).
7) Questions to measure ‘Management Support‘: While all of Workday Peakon Employee Voice’s drivers can be heavily influenced by managers, management support focuses specifically on the quality of the relationship between individuals and their direct managers.
8) Questions to measure ‘Meaningful Work‘: These questions concern whether employees consider their work to be valuable—to themselves, the company, and potentially society at large. Meaningfulness was formally conceptualized in Kahn’s Employee Engagement Theory as the feeling that one’s work was worthwhile, useful, and valuable.
9) Questions to measure ‘Organizational Fit‘: Organizational Fit first came to prominence in the 1980s as part of Person Environment Fit Theory (French, Caplan, & Harrison). These questions measure the extent to which employees believe the culture and values of the organization match their own.
10) Questions to measure ‘Peer Relationships‘: These questions establish the tenth driver of engagement: The health of employees’ relationships with others in the organization.
11) Questions to measure ‘Recognition‘: This segment reveals how strongly employees think their work is valued by the organization. Recognition is a strong component of both Self Determination Theory (Ryan & Deci), and the Job Characteristics Model (Hackman & Oldham).
12) Questions to measure ‘Reward‘: These questions reveal how satisfied employees are with their total compensation. Equity theory states that employees are motivated when their inputs are matched by outcomes (pay, bonuses, benefits, recognition).
13) Questions to measure ‘Strategy‘: The penultimate driver of engagement is the degree to which employees understand and agree with an organization’s overall strategy.
14) Questions to measure ‘Workload‘: This final question examines whether employees feel the amount of work they’re responsible for is reasonable. Psychologists Leiter, Schaufeli, and Maslach (2001) cite engagement as the positive antithesis of employee burnout.
We used a robust, scientific framework to create the core questionnaire. Using it prevents individual bias from influencing an organization’s choice of questions. What’s more, by asking the same questions as hundreds of other organizations, companies are able to accurately benchmark their results against their peers.
But, sometimes businesses need to adopt a more targeted or bespoke approach. So, Workday Peakon Employee Voice has formulated a series of open-ended questions that organizations can send to select employees, such as those in the crucial onboarding process. For example:
Similarly, it has formulated open-ended questions for employees who are about to leave. These ‘Separation Questions’ help companies better understand their attrition rates going forwards. Example questions include:
The open-ended format works in instances like these, because the questions are being sent to a small, select number of employees. In these scenarios, a written response is of more use than a numerical one.
Workday Peakon Employee Voice enables companies to compile their own custom question sets too, specifically for investigating themes or one-off events that are unique to them. And while these don’t allow for benchmarking, they do provide potentially essential insights.