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Surveys & Engagement

30+ employee satisfaction survey questions for effective team insights

Leapsome Team
30+ employee satisfaction survey questions for effective team insights
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With only 22% of global professionals saying that they’re satisfied with their jobs, now is the ideal time for employers to include employee satisfaction survey questions in their regular questionnaires. (1) 

Unfortunately, only about 11% of organizations run regular surveys to track metrics like engagement and turnover. (2) Those who do may not fully understand what satisfaction is and what drives it, rendering their surveys ineffective and their results unhelpful. They don’t realize that job satisfaction is distinct from engagement — it’s about what employees “get” from their work, like compensation, benefits, flexible work hours, and a sense of belonging. 

To understand why team members feel satisfied or dissatisfied with their workplace, you need to: 

  • Be strategic and intentional about how you conduct surveys
  • Ask questions specific to the factors that drive satisfaction 
  • Take action based on your findings

To provide you with a more concrete approach for revamping your own employee satisfaction surveys, we talked to three experienced people managers and leaders who helped us explore what factors truly affect satisfaction. We also researched and compiled a list of meaningful employee satisfaction survey questions and best practices you can implement to help you get honest, actionable feedback.

⚾ Discover what satisfaction drivers hit home for your employees

Use Leapsome Surveys to segment results based on what your company does well and where it needs to improve — then share data easily via PowerPoint.

Learn more‍
  1. Arbinger Institute, 2024
  2. Leapsome Workforce Trends Report, 2023

How satisfaction surveys can benefit your organization

A screenshot of the Leapsome Surveys analytics dashboard.
Use Leapsome Surveys to track trends across different segments and survey rounds

Employee satisfaction survey questions are valuable because they uncover team members' level of contentment with their positions and the workplace in general. This information is vital for HR teams to collect, as job satisfaction strongly impacts how employees function at work. In a 2016 academic study, economics professor Danica Bakotić proposed that job satisfaction determines organizational performance, not the other way around. 

Dissatisfaction can also be a strong predictor of burnout, according to a 2008 academic study published by the Croatian Medical Journal, illustrating just how critical surveys are to improving the employee experience.

Moreover, satisfaction surveys “help measure the success and outcomes of the initiatives we put in place,” says HR professional Milica Radojević. However, she also emphasizes that “employee satisfaction is a lagging indicator,” which means it measures what’s already happened. 

Therefore, remember that outcomes won’t present themselves fully in surveys right away. Generally, the human resources initiatives we implement won’t show results in the next survey we run. Maybe not even in the one after,” says Milica. “A meaningful change in satisfaction scores takes time. Think of implementing a long-term leadership development program — it’ll take time before the business starts to see benefits and a return from this investment.”

Even though you won’t see the impact your strategies have immediately, staff satisfaction survey questions are crucial to determining the success of your initiatives. “If what we’re doing is designed to address employees’ specific problems and needs, it’ll most definitely have an impact on the scores,” says Radojević.

”Employee satisfaction surveys help me as a people leader to understand how our team is feeling about their work, their leaders, and the company as a whole. This information is invaluable for us to drive decisions to make our team environment more positive, effective, and productive (which, ultimately, is what everyone wants).

It’s really common for companies to experience peaks and troughs in their performance, engagement, etc., but having a routine of surveying can help us stay on top of real-time sentiment and adapt our leadership and business communication to make sure employees feel listened to, increase their ownership, and feel empowered.”

Lea Schmidt, Head of People and Talent at NeoTaste

Employee satisfaction: Contributing factors & how it relates to engagement

An infographic illustrating eight factors that influence employee satisfaction
To avoid missing any crucial data, consider a wide range of factors when drafting questions for employee satisfaction surveys

When assessing satisfaction, organizations need to think about what employees want from their jobs. These might include:

  • Monetary benefits, like your compensation and benefits package, bonuses, incentives, merit increases, stipends, stock options, and retirement plans.
  • Non-monetary benefits, like paid time off (PTO), childcare options, flexible working hours, and volunteer opportunities.
  • A healthy company culture that prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion and creates an environment where employees can thrive.
  • Growth and development opportunities, which allow individuals to grow personally and professionally, even if they leave the organization.
  • Appreciation and recognition that’s specific and focused on helping team members improve and enjoy their work experience.

In addition, it’s important to remember that employee satisfaction and engagement are separate concepts, even if they share many of the same contributing factors.

Employee engagement is about how connected individuals feel to their work. On the other hand, employee satisfaction is about how closely aligned someone’s job and organization are with their personal career goals and preferred work environment. Consider the following example to understand the difference between satisfaction and engagement better.

Perhaps you like your team, you think the salary is good, and you’re happy with the career progression you’re being offered in your role. In that case, you’re satisfied with your job but not necessarily engaged with it. Being engaged is more about feeling connected with your work and feeling closely aligned with the wider company purpose.

Still, there’s an overlap between the concepts, which is why engagement and satisfaction metrics are often similar. Indeed, the same factors that impact engagement also influence satisfaction. These are elements like:

  • Work-life balance, which is the idea that the personal and professional aspects of people’s lives can peacefully intersect and coexist, especially as the rise of remote work blurs these boundaries.

  • A sense of belonging. As Radojević points out: “It’s easy to leave a job, but we tend to be loyal to our communities. Especially when times are tough, we often stick with the group of people we can identify and associate with. Meaningful connections, knowing we can be our authentic selves — that’s what makes work more enjoyable.” Indeed, Gallup found that having close work friendships can boost employee satisfaction by 50% and make individuals 7x more likely to fully engage in their work.
  • Respect and autonomy, which allow employees to feel confident in their ability to work independently.
A screenshot of a community poll on Leapsome’s People Over Perks Slack community.
When we polled HR and people ops professionals in our People Over Perks Slack community about factors that influence job satisfaction,
respondents agreed that work-life balance and compensation were two of the most important elements

6 signs you need to survey employee satisfaction

While you should run satisfaction surveys regularly — “at least bi-annually,” says Radojević — there are times when it’s best to conduct them on an ad hoc basis. “There are certain milestones that are important to consider — measuring satisfaction of new employees after two to three months on the job or measuring the satisfaction of a team that has a new manager after a few months. If you wait for a recurrent survey in these cases, it can be too late to catch issues early on.”

Along with surveying employees at key milestones, it may be time to do so when:

  • You experience a dramatic increase in turnover in a short time period. If, for example, turnover goes from 17% to 22% in six months, you want to immediately identify the issues and make changes.
  • Productivity and performance levels decrease. For example, you may notice your average assessment scores going down across several different teams.
  • Managers start to receive more feedback about stress levels, burnout, and challenging team dynamics.
  • You notice an increase in instances of anonymous yet unfavorable reports from employees.
  • Your company goes through a drastic change, such as a reduction in force (RIF), a merger, or an acquisition.

30 employee satisfaction survey questions

A screenshot of survey results on Leapsome’s Surveys dashboard.
Leapsome’s Surveys module shows which questions are your impact drivers, so you know what areas to prioritize moving forward

Every well-designed survey should include a mix of closed-ended prompts and open-ended questions. Why? This structure means you can combine quickly measurable quantitative data with nuanced qualitative insights to enrich results. 

For example, you may see a quantitative result such as “self-reported stress levels increased by 15% this quarter compared to last quarter,” but this would be hard to change without some qualitative context, like “many employees have reported that the new team structure isn’t working and it’s leading to friction and inefficiency.” 

For closed-ended questions, ask team members to rate their answers on a Likert scale, and make sure to ask a wide range of questions. You may want to refer to the examples we included below as guidance.

Company culture questions

These queries are essential because company culture impacts the entire employee experience, affecting how managers and direct reports interact and communicate and how the organization handles challenges and transitions. Culture-related questions can also give you insight into your staff’s sense of belonging. Prompts and open-ended questions can include:

Closed-ended prompts
  • I feel connected to my coworkers.
  • I feel that my coworkers and leadership embody company values.
  • I feel included in team decisions.
  • I feel 1:1s with my manager are useful and productive.
  • I feel leadership is always open to feedback.
Open-ended questions
  • In your opinion, how well does the company handle obstacles and changes?
  • What can the company do to be more transparent when relaying news and important information?
  • What one aspect of working here do you like most? What do you like least?

Rewards & recognition questions

A photo of a professional leading a meeting with several other employees.

Asking about
rewards and recognition can provide insight into whether employees feel their workplace is fair

Monetary and non-monetary rewards are among the primary drivers of employee satisfaction. In our 2023 State of People Enablement Report, 76% of employees agreed that compensation and benefits were a primary reason they were looking for another job. 

However, that doesn’t mean rewards should overshadow recognition's role in motivating professionals and creating and maintaining a positive work environment. “Praising people isn’t only a nice thing to do,” says Eva Maria Veitmaa, senior product owner at Betsson Group, “but also a powerful way to boost morale and motivation, foster better work relationships and trust, encourage engagement and job satisfaction, reward effort and positive behaviors, and create a culture of continuous feedback.” 

Here are some examples of employee satisfaction survey questions aimed at rewards and recognition:

Closed-ended prompts
  • I find my compensation and benefits package competitive.
  • I feel I’m compensated fairly for my professional efforts.
  • I feel like leadership appreciates my role and contributions.
  • As far as my mental and physical health is concerned, my benefits package meets my needs.
Open-ended questions
  • What other benefits or incentives do you need or feel you’d enjoy?
  • What one aspect of your job makes you feel the most valued? The least valued?
  • What improvements or changes would you make to foster more employee appreciation?

Growth & development questions

Employee development is yet another tangible benefit that team members seek “in exchange” for their professional efforts. People want to upskill and gain valuable experience during their tenure with your company. They also seek clearly defined roadmaps for advancement opportunities. See our sample employee survey questions below:

Closed-ended prompts

  • I feel I’m growing professionally in my role.
  • I feel my professional path with this company is clear.
  • I find the mentorship I’m getting from my manager and other leaders useful.
  • I know how to access the growth and development resources this company offers.

Open-ended questions

  • What specific training or development opportunities would you like us to offer?
  • Which training or resources have you appreciated the most and would like to receive more of?
  • Can you provide examples of instances where you felt supported and encouraged to learn and grow in your role?

Employee experience survey questions

Employee experience (EX) refers to a team member’s perception of and relationship with an organization throughout their entire journey, from initial recruitment to departure. It encompasses all aspects of their working life, including how they feel about the company’s mission, their interactions with colleagues, superiors, and the organization's culture, as well as the physical work environment, tools, and technologies provided.

Although it seems like many companies are looking to deprioritize EX as part of their budget saving measures, it’s still as important as ever: Team members reporting a substandard EX are 4.9 times more likely to leave their company within six months. 

Here are a few employee experience survey questions to help you define initiatives that can bolster satisfaction and prevent turnover:

Closed-ended prompts
  • I feel I have enough time to take care of my personal commitments outside of work.
  • I find my workload manageable.
  • I feel my skills and talents are utilized effectively in my current role.
  • I feel valued by my immediate supervisor.
  • My manager and leadership team support me during times when I need to prioritize my personal life over work.
Open-ended questions
  • What, if any, aspects of your job do you find most rewarding or motivating?
  • In what ways do you feel your role aligns with the company’s overall mission and goals? 
  • Do you often face any specific work-life balance challenges? If so, how does your manager support you with them?
💡 Want to know how satisfied and engaged your remote employees are? Download our free template, which includes 45 questions guaranteed to deliver actionable insights for dispersed teams.

How to plan your employee satisfaction survey

A screenshot showing how Leapsome Surveys uses AI to summarize survey results.
Leapsome Surveys harnesses AI so you can summarize survey results and quickly determine which recurring themes to focus on when action planning

Now you’ve outlined your survey goals and questions, it’s time to determine how you’ll coordinate and manage its delivery. You should:

  • Create a team of cross-functional stakeholders to approve your questions — This will both give you access to diverse perspectives and ensure your questions are relevant to all departments.
  • Determine how frequently you’ll deliver your satisfaction surveys — “Surveys that are too frequent and too long will see a drop in participation over time, even if there’s a lot of enthusiasm in the beginning,” says Radojević. “It’s important to strike the right balance between frequency and length. That’s why I recommend short and regular pulse surveys for the entire organization, paired up with longer, context-specific surveys for a representable sample of employees to dig deeper on certain topics.”
  • Send out reminders — Use email, chat, and company-wide meetings to politely nudge team members to answer your employee satisfaction survey questions. Although it shouldn’t be mandatory, having as many participants as possible is ideal.
  • Make a plan to analyze the results — Use employee engagement software like Leapsome to identify trends and uncover which impact drivers you need to focus on, such as growth and development or rewards and recognition.
  • Decide how you’ll follow up Whether in an all-hands meeting or a company memo, you should share your results as soon as you’ve summarized and compiled the data and insights. Include anonymous quotes from open-ended answers to show that you’ve listened to and understood the feedback.
🪂 Don’t leave survey responses up in the air

Leapsome Surveys is AI-powered, making it simple to take action with result summaries and auto-generated action plan suggestions based on employee answers.

👉 Book a demo 

How to ensure you get honest, actionable feedback

You’re not just looking for a participation score above 70% — you also need results that can inform future initiatives and increase satisfaction. To achieve those outcomes, implement these best practices:

  • Keep surveys anonymous Make sure answers can't be tracked back to the respondent. In Leapsome, it is possible to set up anonymous surveys and to even integrate scores for teams with less than three employees into the scores of the whole department to prevent identifying any specific individuals.
  • Keep it simple — As Lea Schmidt puts it, you should “spend time really thinking about the questions. Ensure the survey is simple and quick to complete because survey fatigue is a real thing.”
  • Explain why you’re conducting the satisfaction survey — If you’re running a survey because you’re concerned about your current engagement or turnover rates, let employees know to build trust and foster transparency. 
  • Share what you plan to do with your results — “Proactively communicate the actions you’re taking as a business based on the feedback you get,” says Schmidt. “Your employees want to see the impact their contributions have, and this will motivate them to keep on answering surveys. It’s a two-way street.” 
  • Emphasize the importance of answering open-ended questions — If possible, provide an example of useful feedback from a previous survey and explain how that contributed to a current change or update. This helps you develop trust in the process.

Create employee surveys that make a genuine difference with Leapsome

A screenshot illustrating how Leapsome Surveys automatically generates action plans based on results.
Leapsome Surveys makes inaction a thing of the past with auto-generated action plans

When retention rates and engagement scores are low, satisfaction surveys can shed light on what employees feel they’re missing. They help you understand whether you need to update your compensation and benefits packages or invest more time and resources into training and development. They can also uncover any deep-rooted cultural issues.

However, alongside straightforward satisfaction surveys, you need a trustworthy platform that can automate survey cycles, analyze and interpret data, and help specify the exact measures you need to take to improve satisfaction scores.

Leapsome’s here to help. Our AI-supported Surveys module empowers users to make sense of survey results, summarize key themes quickly, segment responses based on key drivers, and generate automatic action plan suggestions. Our sentiment analysis feature identifies trends in open-ended answers, and our easy-to-read visualizations show how survey scores change over time. 

Best of all, our Surveys tool integrates with our Instant Feedback and Meetings modules, making it easier for teams to collaborate on the questions and initiatives that drive long-term satisfaction. 

As a comprehensive people enablement platform, Leapsome empowers people-first organizations to leverage employee feedback, foster workplace happiness, and keep everyone moving toward the bigger picture.

📦 Easily unpack your satisfaction results

Leapsome Surveys leverages powerful AI and analytics so you can summarize key themes quickly and sift through survey results faster with straightforward heat maps and bubble charts.

👉 Book a demo

Verfasst von

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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