Talking about mental health and wellness at work has become more normalized in recent years. In fact, an employee survey in 2021 found 65% of people discussed mental health in their workplace at some point during that year (1). Organizations are also prioritizing staff well-being by equipping managers with stress management training, offering more mental health days, and providing resources for therapy.
Even so, workplace dissatisfaction is high — 82% of people plan to leave their jobs this year, and three out of four cite work-life balance as one of the main reasons (2).
When it comes to understanding what impacts staff well-being, organizations still have room to grow. But wellness surveys can help when devising strategies and policies that better fulfill employee needs. That’s why in this article, we will cover the following:
- Define wellness surveys and explain why they’re beneficial
- Explain some best practices for conducting wellness surveys
- Share 45 wellness survey question examples
1. Mind Share Partners, 2021
2. Leapsome State of People Enablement Report, 2023
🔋 Discover what energizes your people
Leapsome’s Surveys module lets you customize your questions and determine what factors drive engagement and satisfaction.
👉 Learn more
What is an employee wellness survey?
An employee wellness survey is a questionnaire that employers use to monitor their team members’ well-being. It includes a series of closed and open-ended questions about topics like:
- Work-life balance
- Stress levels
- Mental health
- Physical health
- Personal needs and interests
Unlike engagement surveys, wellness surveys give managers and people ops professionals a better sense of how staff is doing physically and mentally. They also make it easier for leadership to address wellness-related issues and find effective ways to support their people.
Why conduct employee wellness surveys?
Wellness surveys produce more specific data than employee engagement surveys. Engagement surveys, while beneficial, typically only tell you how a person feels about their position and organization.
On the other hand, wellness surveys ask respondents to speak honestly about the ways in which their work environment impacts their physical and mental health and vice versa.
Since only four out of ten professionals say they feel their employer cares about their well-being, taking action on wellness survey results shows your people they matter to your organization. This type of survey also helps businesses to:
- Improve work-life balance — In our 2023 State of People Enablement Report, 74% of employees cited work-life balance as one of the reasons they wanted to leave their jobs this year. A wellness survey can help you identify what barriers to work-life balance exist in team members’ work environments or personal lives. For example, if people express concern about a lack of affordable, accessible childcare options in your survey, find creative ways to expand your benefits to better fulfill their needs.
- Boost employee satisfaction — In 2022, only 33% of global professionals reported they were satisfied with their overall well-being, while 44% said they felt stressed at work. People may not always be anxious about work, but they likely experience stress at work. Wellness survey results can help you develop effective ways to facilitate more mental and physical comfort in your workplace, such as more paid time off, flexible hours, or access to therapy sessions.
- Increase psychological safety — When individuals feel psychologically safe at work, they’re more likely to express themselves openly, take risks, and make mistakes without fear of retribution. Answers to open-ended questions like, “What would make you feel safer at work?” can give you a clear picture of what you need to do to make your organization more supportive.
Best practices for effective wellness surveys
Wellness surveys let you hone in on underlying issues or help you find ways to make a good work experience great. But completing your survey should be a straightforward, transparent process. Here’s how to accomplish that.
Include closed & open-ended questions
You may be tempted to limit your survey to closed-ended questions because they’re shorter to answer, which increases the likelihood of people completing your questionnaire. They also make it easier to gather data quickly, as you won’t have to read through long-form responses to glean meaningful insights.
However, using a mixture of closed and open-ended questions is essential. When you ask open-ended questions, respondents may share perspectives you didn’t expect and couldn’t have anticipated when crafting your survey. Additionally, team members may have suggestions for solving work-related issues and wouldn’t be able to expand on their ideas with closed questions.
Keep it short
In general, employee surveys shouldn’t take longer than half an hour to complete, and wellness surveys should only last about 20 minutes. That’s because people may not be motivated to complete a survey if they think it’ll be time-consuming.
Moreover, keeping your survey brief is best because it may be challenging or even emotionally draining for some respondents to talk about their well-being, no matter how well-intended your questions are.
💡 Worry you’re conducting surveys too often?
Employee pulse surveys only include one or two questions and take no more than a few minutes to complete, allowing you to gauge team member sentiment without sending several long surveys in a short time.
You don’t want to overload staff with too many surveys throughout the year. But did you know survey fatigue is less about the number of surveys you send out and more about inaction? If you use surveys for data collection alone and don’t do anything with the results, team members may feel disappointed and like they’re speaking into a void.
An effective way to incentivize participation in your wellness survey is by sharing your tentative action plan before anyone answers your questions. For instance, let team members know you’ll use the data to inform your upcoming wellness initiatives — and provide concrete examples — or make changes to your employee benefits packages.
Make it anonymous
Wellness surveys ask people to reveal aspects of their private lives, so an anonymous format is best. That’s why Leapsome Surveys are always anonymous by default. Anonymity also helps boost response rates and makes participants more comfortable sharing their experiences candidly. But how do you assure employees your survey is truly anonymous?
- Don’t use custom variables: That means not asking individuals to divulge information about their age, gender identity, or other potentially self-identifying questions.
- Word open-ended questions carefully: Don’t ask people to get so specific with their answers that you might be able to figure out who they are. Instead, use open-ended questions that prompt the respondent to offer longer-form perspectives and suggestions.
- Disable tracking settings: Make sure your survey tool won’t automatically collect any demographic or personal information about employees when they fill out wellness surveys.
“I think one key element [about] surveys is: How much do employees trust the organization? Do they know it’s really anonymous and won’t be [held] against them?”
— VJ Posadas, Head of Business Development at Naluri
45 employee wellness survey question examples
The goal is to make your wellness survey as effective and comprehensive as possible. With that in mind, we’ve organized our example questions into categories for workload and stress, work-life balance, and needs and interests, so you can address several factors that play a role in employee wellness.
When structuring your survey, ask respondents to rate their answers to closed questions on a Likert scale. For example, answers can vary from strongly disagree to strongly agree. For open-ended questions, leave space for employees to write out their responses.
Workload & stress
These questions allow you to assess how your team members’ workload and stress levels may contribute to their satisfaction and well-being inside and outside of work.
- My workload feels manageable.
- I’m often stressed at work.
- Burnout is common for me.
- I feel pressure to change my work-life balance to fit in at work.
- I currently have enough time to spend with my family and friends.
- Coming to work is enjoyable.
- I feel comfortable asking for help or support with my work.
- My manager has no problem adjusting my workload when asked.
- I often have to work after hours or overtime.
- It’s normal for me to discuss mental health at work.
- What, if any, changes have you noticed in your work experience or personal life as a result of your stress levels?
- Are there any tasks or projects you find particularly stressful?
- What changes could we implement to make your workload more manageable?
- What factors contribute to your stress at work most?
- What can managers do to better support their direct reports with their workloads?
Use these questions to determine how you can empower employees to establish and maintain healthier work-life boundaries.
- I have the time and resources to talk to a mental health professional.
- I find work satisfying.
- This organization cares about employee well-being.
- My workload makes it easy to balance my work and personal life.
- I find it easy to balance my caregiving and workplace duties.
- I sometimes find work emotionally draining.
- I’m happy with my flexible working arrangement.
- I get plenty of managerial support while working from home.
- I feel connected with my teammates.
- There’s no problem talking to anyone at this organization about workplace issues.
- How would you adjust your flexible work arrangement?
- Have you ever discussed the importance of work-life balance with your manager? What were the results of the conversation?
- What changes should we make to your schedule or workload for better balance?
- When was the last time you felt your work and life were well-balanced? What made that possible?
- What, if any, aspects of the company culture are currently impacting your work-life balance?
Needs & interests
These questions make it easier to identify what helps employees thrive personally and professionally. You can also use them to investigate what goals and interests team members have in common.
- My work environment is comfortable.
- I have time to exercise as often as I want to during the workweek.
- I have an easy time maintaining healthy eating habits during work hours.
- I rarely have to skip meals because of my workload.
- I sometimes experience physical discomfort due to the nature of my work.
- Work never causes me to lose sleep.
- I feel comfortable asking for a mental health day when I need it.
- I work in a safe area.
- Work doesn’t prevent me from pursuing my interests and social activities.
- Work affords me time to volunteer and give back to my community.
- What wellness activities or initiatives would you participate in if they were available?
- What physical accommodations could we provide to make work more comfortable for you?
- What can we do to create a more inclusive and positive environment?
- What benefits or perks do you appreciate most?
- How can we support your personal goals and interests?
Next steps to action your survey
Employees will be more inclined to answer your wellness questionnaire if you show them you turn your surveys into action. But you need a strategy to leverage results effectively:
1. Interpret quantitative and qualitative data — If you’ve phrased your closed-ended questions carefully, they should give you valuable insights into employee sentiment. A tool like Leapsome Surveys will turn your results into a heatmap for easier visualization, and our Impact Drivers can help you pinpoint which questions need higher scores if you want to improve well-being and engagement. Plus, to analyze open-ended responses, you can use Leapsome’s Natural Language Processing service to organize and score comments based on their common sentiments.
2. Arrange a focus group — With data in hand, assemble a focus group of cross-departmental employees to translate survey answers into everyday workplace scenarios. For example, if you receive unfavorable scores from the Likert question, “I feel connected to my teammates,” a focus group can clarify those results by detailing specific moments when they experienced disconnection.
“After a wellness survey, you still need a focus group discussion to get more in-depth examples and situations of why [the results] came up.”
“There should be additional validation, whether it’s having a focus group or interviewing senior leaders just to ensure the results have concrete examples on the floor or in the office space.”
— VJ Posadas, Head of Business Development at Naluri
3. Collaborate on an action plan — After a wellness survey, you should know where to improve and understand the barriers to higher scores. As a result, you may decide it’s time to update your policies or start a wellness program. On the other hand, you may only have issues in a couple of areas, such as a need for more flexible hours or paid time off.
4. Share updates with employees — It’s best to share your results and action plan with team members in at least two channels. For instance, you could communicate updates to everyone via email, a company-wide newsletter, or an all-hands meeting to reach as many people as possible.
📦 Unpack your survey results easily
Leapsome Surveys are always anonymous. Plus, they turn qualitative and quantitative data into easy-to-read graphics and analytics.
👉 Learn more
Conduct & track employee surveys with Leapsome
Employee wellness surveys invite people to speak candidly about their mental and physical well-being, and because of that, they’re powerful tools. As long as they’re willing to take meaningful action, organizations can use the insights they glean to positively impact their team members’ work and personal lives. The key is to make sure you’re gathering and interpreting data effectively.
With Leapsome Surveys, you have all the tools you need to design, interpret, and take action on wellness questionnaires. Our surveys are anonymous by default, so you don’t have to worry about turning off data-gathering settings. Users can also use our expert-verified survey templates or customize their own. Our platform even lets you create conditional survey questions only certain individuals are prompted to answer, like those who gave a low score on a Likert scale question.
Best of all, Leapsome will generate action plan suggestions based on your results, so you can get started implementing feedback and making your workplace more meaningful and comfortable right away.
💪 Dig deep into survey results for more impactful insights
Leapsome Surveys turn qualitative and quantitative data into digestible graphics so you can take easier and more effective action.
👉 Book a demo