Happy employees are productive employees. That’s why it’s important to continually feel the emotional pulse of the workplace and make course corrections when and where necessary.
One way employers measure employee engagement is through surveys. Good employee engagement survey questions attempt to get to the heart of an employee’s views and feelings toward the company and company culture. Bad employee engagement survey questions are nothing more than flowery word salad that ultimately don’t uncover new information.
A second way employers help improve morale is through employee performance reviews.
Sometimes an employee needs help reaching his or her full potential. Many employees perform at the level they do because no one has bothered to show them a better way of doing things. This lack of feedback can contribute to employee burnout.
A good performance review will outline what an employee is doing well and how they can improve. Good performance reviews do for the employee what a good engagement survey does for the employer. They use phrases that specifically tell the employee what they’re doing well and what they can do better. A bad one, similar to a bad engagement survey, consists of vapid performance review phrases, also known as performance evaluation phrases, that leave the employee more confused than before.
If an employer can develop a good engagement survey, and performance review system, they can stay on top of issues and resolve them quickly in order to best maintain a happy, productive work environment. Here are some suggestions in order to do just that.
Employee Engagement Surveys
The idea behind employee engagement survey questions is to help an employer better understand the wants and needs of their employees.
It’s important the these surveys are sent out regularly in order to measure changes within the company. A one-and-done survey does nothing but waste the employer’s time as well as their employee’s time. It does nothing to show if changes in company policies and culture are making a difference. Whether weekly, monthly or quarterly, engagement surveys need to be used on a regular basis in order to see and analyze ongoing changes and trends in employee engagement.
Below are some examples of good and bad employee engagement survey questions to ask employees.
- Do you know how you’d like to progress and grow in the company?
- Would you tell a friend if a job position opened up here?
- From 1-10, with 10 being the best, how satisfied are you working here?
- Do you understand how your assignments help the company meet its goals?
- Do you have access to the necessary information to make important decisions related to your work?
- When a problem arises, is it clear who you can go to for help?
- Is your feedback taken seriously?
- Do you see yourself working here in one year?
These types of questions measure specific things. They’re looking for information gaps, overall job satisfaction and asking employees to identify if there are holes in the company’s management process. These question let employers know how much an employee wants to work at the company or if they’re thinking of leaving.
- Do you like your friends at work?
- On a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best, how great is your boss?
- Do you trust your boss?
- Do you have fun at work?
- Does your boss care about you as a person?
Questions like these do not get at the heart of the problem. They do not get a general feel for the employee’s attitude nor do they answer specific questions. An employee might not have fun while working but that’s not the same as enjoying the work. Nor does it specifically explain what it is the employee feels is lacking. These questions are just middle of the road “blah.”
Whereas engagement surveys are meant to help employees tell employers what they need, performance reviews or evaluations help employers tell employees what they need to keep doing or start changing. Most employers use performance review phrases in order to simplify the process. Performance evaluation phrases let employees succinctly tell an employee what he or she is doing right and what they’re doing wrong.
Here are some good performance evaluation phrases, as well as bad ones.
- Did/Did not achieve Goal X.
- Does/Does not satisfy the needs of clients and customers.
- Actively works to solve workplace problems.
- Does/Does not arrive to meetings in a timely fashion.
- Works with co-workers to accomplish goals.
These phrases address specific qualities an employer likes or doesn’t like in an employee, but more than that, these types of phrases specifically tell the employee what they are doing right or wrong. This specificity helps the employee know exactly what he or she must do to earn a similar or better review next time.
- Is/Isn’t a goal setter.
- Communicates with customers and clients often.
- Notices problems.
- Attends work meetings.
- Does/doesn’t work synergistically.
These types of review phrases are not only vague but they’re impossible to interpret. Is it a good or bad thing to notice problems? If the employee fixes them, or offers solutions to those in charge of fixing them, then it’s great for the employee to notice problems. It’s less desirable if they only point out what’s wrong at work without offering any solutions.
In order to best know how to fix employee engagement, one must know what questions to ask employees. Good questions to ask employees go beyond the superficial and try to really find out what employees need and want to be happy. They’re questions that help the employer get a bigger picture of how the company looks from the employee’s perspective.
Good performance reviews will help employees know exactly what they can do better in a clear and quantifiable way. The key to an effective and efficient review is well thought out performance review phrases that clearly describe what the employer wants the employee to keep doing as well as what the employee needs to change.
Much like how business strategies should be ever-evolving, so should employment engagement policies. Keeping tabs on how employees feel while at work is important for long-term productivity as well as turn-over.