Employee Surveys: Definitions, Types, Forms, Examples, Advantages and Tips

Employee Surveys



The employee survey is a powerful tool for understanding your own organisation.

The employee survey is a powerful tool for understanding your own organisation.

  • Employee survey: Definition
  • Types of employee surveys
  • Advantages of employee surveys
  • Software for employee surveys
  • Example of an employee survey

Employee survey: Definition

An employee survey is defined as a survey that collects opinions and feedback from employees. It questions the mood and morale, the degree of commitment and also the performance of the employees. In general, employee surveys are used by members of an organisation’s human resources and management team and are usually kept anonymous to motivate the workforce to share their good and bad experiences without hesitation. The employee survey is an integral part of employee feedback to provide an overview of factors such as work culture, leadership behaviour of superiors, motivating and demotivating elements in the workplace and satisfaction of employees.

Employee surveys were originally introduced in the 1920s as surveys of employee attitudes. After more than 20 years of implementation, between 1944 and 1947, an economic increase of more than 200% was observed in the 3500 companies that conducted employee surveys in the United States of America. Today, 50-75% of companies are determined to use employee surveys regularly and implement changes proposed by employees.

Types of employee surveys with examples

There are 5 main types of employee surveys that can help entrepreneurs to significantly improve their relationship with employees.

Employee Satisfaction Survey

This type of employee survey, also known as employee morale survey, enables opinions to be collected so that management and the HR department can use those to create a positive environment for employees. The following five main components should always be included here:

  • Human Resources Assessment
  • Satisfaction with salary and other benefits
  • General job satisfaction
  • Reasons for staying or leaving the workplace
  • Assessment of corporate policy

This type of employee survey is usually very extensive and often consists of more than 60 questions. The feedback received from the employees is summarized and analysed by the responsible people in order to adjust the organizational processes accordingly. The employee satisfaction survey is best used to get an accurate picture of what motivates employees to stay with the company, to be loyal to the company and to achieve maximum performance potential.

Employee Engagement Survey

This type of employee engagement survey is conducted when an organization intends to investigate factors that contribute to employee performance. The following parameters are measured using an engagement survey:

  • Employee skills
  • Happiness with the tasks and the company
  • Relationship to direct and indirect superiors
  • Cross-departmental relationship management
  • Uncovering of development potential

Organisational Culture Survey

This type of employee survey is usually used in situations such as mergers and acquisitions or structural changes within an organization. These are tools that help to understand how much employees understand and support the culture of the organisation. The following parameters can be measured with the help of employee surveys on corporate culture:

  • The mission of the organisation and how it is understood by the employees
  • In the event of a merger, differences in the working culture of the employees of the two companies involved
  • Contribution to the team unit
  • Loyalty to superiors and the company
  • Acceptance of change

This type of employee survey is generally used to understand how strongly an employee is involved in the culture and growth of the organisation.

Employee Survey on Business Processes

Employees are critical to a company’s success. Most employees who interact directly with customers or are involved in the research and development process of a product have ideas and suggestions that can help the company grow and define business processes. Of course, not every suggestion can be implemented, but asking employees for their opinion also has the great advantage of motivating them to keep coming up with ideas and suggestions. A few reasons why you should conduct a survey on your business processes:

  • You will receive “first-hand” feedback, i.e. from people who are directly involved in the business processes, in practical operations.
  • Employees feel valued because they are involved in the business decision-making process.
  • Topics that have a direct impact on the business can be highlighted as employees work closely with questions about customers and products / services.

360° Feedback Survey

Feedback from the employees of the organisation is important. In some cases, however, feedback from other sources such as superiors, management, customers, etc. can be obtained by means of a 360° feedback survey. The key feature of this employee survey is not just to ask employees about their opinion of managers. Rather, managers should also conduct a self-analysis. In practice, however, 360-degree surveys do not only refer to managers. We have observed that employees themselves are increasingly the subject of 360-degree surveys, albeit in a modified form.

A 360-degree survey offers several perspectives on an employee’s performance, on the basis of which decisions can be made about training, changes in workload and other factors that can further improve an employee’s performance. Sympathetic and constructive critical feedback is the first step of any improvement. It gives the organisation, the managers and ultimately the employees the opportunity to work on existing structural or personal “shortcomings” and to improve them continuously.

360-degree feedback surveys are crucial for understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each employee. By receiving feedback from a variety of sources, management can make valuable decisions on the development of the workforce and thus the entire company.

Employee Experience Survey

An Employee Experience Survey consists of questions that help an organisation to measure an employee’s overall experience, which provides information about what exactly employees experience, feel and learn over the entire period of employment. This type of employee survey must include the right mix of open and closed questions to capture both quantitative and qualitative feedback from the workforce. The experience of employees can be captured at various “touch points” throughout the entire employment period, e.g. when entering the company (onboarding), during training and development, during projects and also when leaving the company.

Advantages of employee surveys

Employee surveys give an organisation the opportunity to focus on aspects such as work culture, attracting new employees, retaining current employees and their satisfaction.

  • Based on the results of an employee survey, efforts can be made to improve employee productivity and satisfaction.
  • The management of an organisation can respond to the different aspects of the work experience that employees are confronted with on a daily basis.
  • Standardized employee surveys “streamline” communication with employees, especially in very large companies where regular feedback meetings cannot be held.
  • Employee surveys are usually carried out anonymously, which means that answers due to social desirability do not occur and thus a truly objective opinion can be formed.
  • The performance of the employees assessed by the team members and managers can be continuously evaluated.
  • Receive input on what could be done differently to improve the business and uncover problems that could cause long-term losses for the company.

Use the latest and innovative survey technologies from QuestionPro for your employee survey

It is not uncommon for companies to forego conducting regular employee surveys because of a lack of time and personnel resources. And yes, an employee survey can certainly produce a lot of trouble – if the processes behind it are not largely automated by means of technological support! And this is very easily possible today.

With its Employee Experience Management Module, QuestionPro offers an innovative and technologically sophisticated survey and analysis application for the implementation and automation of employee surveys, which saves you a lot of time, costs and valuable personnel resources. We would be happy to show you in a personal 1:1 live online demo, the possibilities available to your company in the automation of processes around the topic of employee surveys. Simply contact us using the contact form. We look forward to the dialogue with you!