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Surveys & Engagement

The 10 key benefits of employee engagement surveys

Leapsome Team
The 10 key benefits of employee engagement surveys
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Did you know that only 23% of employees worldwide felt engaged in their workplace in 2023, according to Gallup research? And that number drops to just 13% when considering European workers.* 

The same Gallup report pointed to US employees faring better, with 31% saying they’re engaged at work. However, it’s worth noting this number has been declining year-on-year since 2020.

In the same survey, many people said that they:

  • Are living for the weekend
  • Are watching the clock tick while at work
  • See work as just a paycheck

So it’s clear that employee engagement is an enormous problem for individuals and the companies they work for. When people don’t find their work meaningful, it can lead to issues with everything from productivity to employee retention and personal stress — which was at an all-time high in 2022, with 44% of employees worldwide experiencing regular workplace stress. 

The good news is that you can use an employee engagement survey to understand employees’ challenges and make your organization a workplace where everyone feels heard and valued — improving productivity, performance, and happiness.

To help you comprehend what employee engagement surveys are and how they can help you, we’re about to cover:

  • What an employee engagement survey is
  • Why employee surveys are important
  • The top 10 benefits of using employee engagement surveys

*Gallup, 2023

🚀 Want to run powerful employee engagement surveys? 

Leapsome’s Surveys module is easy to set up and provides powerful insights to uncover hidden engagement drivers. 

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What is an employee engagement survey?

Employee engagement surveys are questionnaires that help companies measure how engaged, motivated, and satisfied their people feel. They include carefully-designed engagement survey questions that explore employee sentiment towards their work and the organization. 

While engagement surveys used to be conducted with paper questionnaires or in person, online employee engagement surveys via tools like Leapsome have become the new norm to facilitate convenience, anonymity, and analytics. 

Leadership uses employee engagement surveys to gain insights into everything from key engagement drivers and factors hindering engagement to how positive their company’s overall employee experience is. It’s good practice to complement your engagement surveys with other questionnaires. For example, employee pulse surveys will help you quickly gauge attitudes and morale, and employee wellness surveys will help you identify stress triggers and proactively determine what support you can offer your teams.

Photo of employees engaging with each other at work

Engaged employees are more productive and collaborative

Organizations should focus on the following areas when building engagement surveys:

  • Job satisfaction
  • Company loyalty & intention to stay 
  • Key engagement drivers
  • Challenges faced by employees
  • Motivation to perform
  • Commitment to company goals, objectives & OKRs
  • Sense of belonging & connection with colleagues

Looking for guidance on how to run an employee engagement survey effectively? We’ve got you covered! 

Get started with our employee engagement survey questions template and remote work survey template. For a more comprehensive solution, Leapsome’s Surveys module makes it simple for businesses to set up surveys, collect meaningful employee feedback, explore hidden insights with sentiment analysis, and dig deeper into useful metrics.

Why are employee surveys important?

Employee surveys give you a deeper understanding of your workforce. They serve as a vital bridge that connects HR and management perceptions with employees’ actual feelings and experiences.

Our Workforce Trends Report showed that there’s a crucial gap in how engaged HR leaders think their employees are, and how engaged they really are. HR teams estimate that over half their workforce is completely engaged at work — but this is challenged by the fact that less than a third of employees report the same.

Why is this mismatch happening? One reason may be that only one-third of HR professionals track essential turnover, attrition, and engagement metrics. And of those who do track engagement, less than one in three report making use of dedicated surveys for this purpose.

Surveys let you gather and use data to get a fuller sense of workplace dynamics and employee sentiments. By drawing on survey insights, managers and HR teams can take targeted steps to improve the work environment, leading to enhanced productivity and job satisfaction.

Here are some examples of how surveys can help:

  • Creating a feedback loop — For instance, you might use an employee survey to uncover dissatisfaction around internal communications. The survey might reveal that many of your people feel uninformed about company decisions. The next step would be addressing this with concrete plans for more transparent communication channels, improving employee trust and morale.
  • Identifying training needs — Let’s say your business discovers through surveys that your employees feel overwhelmed and underprepared around new software or advancing technology. You could respond by implementing a comprehensive digital skills training program, enhancing both employee confidence and productivity.
  • Workplace wellness insights — Using employee surveys can also identify trends like high stress levels among staff. That might be a sign to introduce wellness programs and flexible work schedules to lower absenteeism and burnout.

Employee surveys are important opportunities to listen to employees’ genuine concerns and to take actionable steps for improvement. By doing so, companies not only enhance employee engagement but also foster a culture of mutual respect, open communication, and continuous growth. 

Screenshot of Leapsome Survey module showing a range of employee engagement survey questions and metrics
Leapsome’s tools make it easy to build out customized, targeted surveys — and see patterns in the results

Are employee surveys effective?

Employee surveys can have a major effect on your workplace dynamics and employee engagement and satisfaction levels. However, they’re only as effective as your ability to use them to identify and address issues. 

If you run too many surveys or fail to make changes based on survey feedback, you may cause employee fatigue or even make your team skeptical about why you’re doing them. 

To make your surveys effective, keep them concise, don’t go overboard, and share what you’ve learned — and what you plan to do as a result — with your employees.

Katie Bray, COO at Flying Cat, advises restricting surveys to once every six months or even once per year, and making your questions targeted so you can get usable, quantitative data: 

“I think a survey with a specific goal is good so you can get some kind of measurable data easily, not only to analyze results in the moment but also to compare previous periods. That’s hard to do if you’re only asking open-ended questions‚ though you should also give an opportunity to gather qualitative feedback by adding a question like ‘anything else to add?’”

Afterwards, Katie recommends sharing a high-level overview either in a company meeting or with your department, depending on team size. Give a short presentation on the results, what they mean, and what you plan to do about it — ”and don’t forget to thank everyone for helpful feedback.”

In her experience, Katie’s found that “thoughtful use of surveys, combined with making informed decisions with the data, helps with retaining and engaging your team.”

10 benefits of employee engagement surveys

Employee surveys can help companies better understand their staff and make meaningful changes to processes, allowing them to build a work environment where employees feel fulfilled.

More specifically, measuring employee engagement with surveys can result in:

  1. Increased employee satisfaction
  2. Happier employees
  3. Higher employee well-being
  4. Improved employee retention
  5. More trust and empathy
  6. Employees that feel aligned around your company’s mission
  7. A community where everyone feels heard & valued
  8. A sense of employee loyalty
  9. Better performance
  10. Improved employee safety

1. Increased employee satisfaction

Employees feel 31% more productive when they’re satisfied at work.

On the other hand, dissatisfied employees often have decreased productivity and performance. They may also lack the motivation to invest in their professional development and gain new skills, work less effectively with colleagues, and deliver poor customer service.

Lack of satisfaction can also result in a poor retention rate, as most dissatisfied employees actively look for new opportunities outside their organization. Some of the most common causes of employee dissatisfaction include:

  • Being paid below the average market rate 
  • Limited opportunities for career growth
  • Issues with management or colleagues
  • Lack of appreciation or recognition
  • Poor work-life balance

It’s difficult to increase employee satisfaction rates if you don’t know why people are feeling dissatisfied. But employee engagement surveys are a fantastic way to understand how many employees are unhappy in their positions and the factors driving that dissatisfaction — allowing you to bring change to your workplace.

2. Happier employees

Did you know that happy employees are 13% more productive than unhappy ones? They’re also usually more engaged and help maintain a positive workplace for all.

Photo of happy employees communicating with each other and being productive at work

Happy employees feel great and have a fantastic effect on their workplace

Sending out employee surveys can be a great way to understand how happy team members feel at work. For example, eNPS surveys measure employee satisfaction by asking individuals if they’d recommend their organization as a great place to work to their friends, family, and community — on a scale of 0 to 10.

Here’s how to use employee responses to calculate your eNPS score:

  • Promoters (9–10): Employees who give you a 9 or a 10 are highly satisfied working for your organization and would recommend it to others.
  • Passives (7–8): These employees are more or less satisfied with you as an employer but likely have some grievances and would easily jump ship if another opportunity came along.
  • Detractors (0–6): Employees who score your organization between 0 to 6 aren’t satisfied in their positions, will likely leave their jobs, and might spread negative testimonials about your business.

Once you’ve collected and organized your survey results, subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters to figure out your eNPS score. It’s not necessary to include passives in your calculation. Generally speaking, the higher the score, the better.

For example, if 50% of your employees are promoters and 10% are detractors, your eNPS score is 40.

💡 If you want to figure out your business’s eNPS score and streamline the way you keep track of team satisfaction and company culture, send out employee engagement surveys with Leapsome

You’ll be able to save time with our ready-to-use template and automate the whole process while gathering in-depth employee engagement insights.

3. Higher employee well-being

When employees are expected to regularly work long hours or don’t receive professional development support, their mental and physical well-being can suffer along with their motivation and engagement. 

It can also be difficult for professionals to find a way out of a cycle of bad health and job frustration, as unhappiness can make it harder for people to feel motivated to exercise and eat healthily.

Investing in employee enablement and well-being should be a top priority for businesses that care about their staff and understand people’s role in company success.

Here are just a couple of ways engagement surveys can help boost employee well-being:

  • Ask direct questions: Without getting too personal, you can ask employees if they feel they have time to take good care of themselves or pursue hobbies outside the workplace, which is a good well-being indicator.
  • Read between the lines: Engagement surveys can sometimes reveal employee well-being issues implicitly. Suppose an employee was previously highly engaged at work but shows signs of extreme disengagement in their survey responses and seems distant or detached at work; this could be a sign their mental health and general well-being are suffering.

You can also schedule a 1:1 meeting with employees to investigate whether they need additional well-being support with our 1:1 meeting template.

4. Improved employee retention

More than 47 million US workers quit their jobs in 2021 — and many more are doing so every single month. But despite recession fears and layoffs in 2022, the job market is still red hot.

Gone are the days when employees stuck with the same company for 10–15 years. With plenty of opportunities out there (including remote options with more flexibility), employees are likely to look for work at other companies if they feel disengaged.

Losing talented employees is a huge problem for companies, and the impact isn’t only on organization culture and morale. According to Gallup, the cost of replacing an employee can range anywhere from half to two times the staff member’s annual salary. Some of the associated costs include: 

  • Recruitment
  • Training
  • Onboarding
  • Lost productivity
  • Institutional knowledge

Since low engagement can make employees look for professional opportunities elsewhere, surveys can be handy to uncover why employees are disengaged and decide what your company can do to fix those issues and retain great talent.

For instance, you might ask a team member: “Are you satisfied with your current compensation?” or “Do you see yourself working with us in a year? Why?”

If you get many negative responses to these questions, that’s not a good sign for retention. You may want to bring up topics like compensation and career planning in your performance reviews to dig deeper into how employees feel, rethink your compensation plan, and invest in professional development opportunities.

💡 Use Leapsome’s turnover/retention prediction analysis feature to understand employee turnover data, address problem areas, and take preventative steps to retain top talent. 

Best of all, the algorithm improves and evolves with time. This means that, as you gather more engagement data, insights continuously become more relevant and laser-focused.

If you work for a remote or global company, you can also consider integrating remote work survey questions to gather insights that’ll be more specific to your professional context.

5. More trust & empathy 

It’s one thing to say that you care about employees, but another to show you do. Making remarks like “Reach out to me if you face any problems!” or “We’re always here to help!” won’t mean anything if your employees’ queries and concerns are left unanswered and unresolved.

Unfortunately, 86% of employees believe that their employers don’t listen to people fairly or equally, and 63% feel that their views and opinions have been ignored at some point. Regardless of the issues your people are facing, and who they’re reaching out to, it’s important to genuinely hear them out and make sure they know you care.

While some employees feel comfortable confiding in their managers about personal or professional issues face-to-face, many might hesitate. This means people often don’t express their problems at work and become disengaged over time.

Anonymous employee surveys do a great job of making employees feel heard and gathering genuine feedback from all team members — even those who are more timid. 

But to build a trusting relationship with your people, you’ll have to do more than listen: You’ll need to take action and refine your company’s systems and processes based on the feedback you get from employee engagement surveys.

6. Employees that feel aligned around your company’s mission

A strong company mission can play a major role in motivating employees. And by getting all your people on board with your big-picture company values and plans, you’ll increase the chance of them feeling fulfilled, confident, and invested in your organization’s growth.

After all, your company’s mission shouldn’t just be something that lives on your website; It should bring your entire team together and give them guidance and direction in their day-to-day work.

Photo of a happy, diverse team working together

Employees aligned around a company’s mission drive a positive work culture

Engagement surveys are a great way to understand if your employees feel connected with your company’s mission. If many people express that they don’t understand or feel aligned with it, then maybe your vision isn’t being communicated clearly. A larger issue could also be at play, like an unhealthy work environment.

7. A community where everyone feels heard & valued

It’s difficult to be engaged in your workplace if you feel like leadership and HR don’t care about what you have to say. Especially with the popularity of remote, global, and hybrid teams, it’s crucial to be intentional about team communication and ensure employees feel valued and heard.

Imagine a software development team repeatedly reported a tech stack issue to their manager, but the manager didn’t try to solve it. After a few months, the issue got out of control and caused inconveniences and frustrations within other company departments, creating conflict. The software development team likely felt disappointed and even angry that their manager didn’t listen to them before the issue escalated and impacted other departments.

The truth is, managers are often busy and have lots of responsibilities. Certain pieces of information might slip their minds, even if they’re having 1:1 meetings with all of their reports — which we recommend as a best practice for managers. They might even forget to pass on relevant information to their HR team every once in a while.

Employee engagement surveys are a great way for leadership teams to gather data from a large number of employees, even when they’ve got packed schedules. And when you use a tool like Leapsome to implement those surveys, it’s easy for different team leads to access the information they need and take action to improve internal processes.

Best of all, seeing upper management changing and optimizing processes based on employee feedback goes a long way in making staff members feel heard, valued, and appreciated.

8. A sense of employee loyalty

Engaged employees who feel a sense of belonging within the organization are less likely to take a new job elsewhere. 

The fact is that most people don’t want to leave their jobs. Starting a new role is often stressful, inconvenient, and anxiety-inducing; people often do it because they’re missing something in their current workplace. 

When staff members have invested time and effort into their jobs and feel they have a future with their company, they might want to stick around for the long haul.

By conducting employee surveys in the workplace and gathering feedback, you’ll show staff members your company cares about their experiences and values their perspectives. And when people see that you’re making a genuine effort and want them to stay, they’ll develop a sense of loyalty towards the company — and even become company advocates.

9. Better performance

Employee engagement and high performance go hand in hand: Employee engagement creates a great environment for optimal performance, and high performance also makes team members feel more engaged. 

Data shows that engaged employees show up more reliably and downright do more work, exemplified by as much as 23% more p and 81% less absenteeism.

Photo of two construction workers looking at documentation together

Engaged employees work more productively

Employee engagement surveys can help you boost staff performance. They provide a safe space other than 1:1s where team members can express what’s holding them back from performing at their best — for example, they may not have the equipment they need or could be experiencing interpersonal issues in the office. 

Most importantly, remember that just sending out employee engagement surveys isn’t enough. To make a big impact on staff performance, you’ll need to analyze the data you gather and take meaningful action to improve work conditions and encourage team members to do their best.

10. Improved employee safety

If your employees are disengaged and unhappy, they may feel physically and mentally exhausted — which increases the chances of workplace accidents. In fact, disengaged workplaces are subject to 64% more safety incidents. 

While businesses across all industries should prioritize safety, workplace incidents are highly likely in industries like construction, agriculture, health services, fishing, and forestry.

Employee surveys collect information that can help make workplaces much safer. For example, team members might feel more comfortable letting leadership know they’re being overworked in a survey rather than in person in front of their colleagues or even to their managers.

If the company has specific safety concerns, it can also integrate related questions into its periodic employee surveys. Open communication leads to fewer safety incidents and a more engaged workplace — and employee engagement surveys are a crucial way to foster it.

Do surveys improve employee engagement?

Screenshot of Leapsome Surveys showing analytics data for employee engagement survey responses across teams and locations with benchmarks
Spot trends in survey data across different teams, locations, and question types with Leapsome

Conducting employee engagement surveys shows you care about your people’s workplace experience and helps uncover valuable insights. But improving engagement doesn’t end with surveys; you must turn survey results into action.

Leapsome’s employee engagement surveys simplify the setup process and help you put results into action with state-of-the-art analytics, data-backed insights, and an easy-to-understand dashboard. Leapsome AI can even help you summarize feedback and decide on next steps by quickly showing trends in survey responses, running sentiment analysis, and generating actionable recommendations for relevant initiatives.

🚀 Want to uncover hidden drivers of employee engagement?

Leapsome’s Surveys module helps businesses take the pulse of their company culture with its easy-to-set-up engagement surveys and powerful insights.

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Written By

Leapsome Team

Written by the team at Leapsome — the all-in-one people enablement platform for driving employee engagement, performance, and learning.
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