What is an Employee Survey?

Often an essential component of organizational training and development, Employee surveys provide a picture of your organization's needs. These surveys can be used to solicit employee opinions on a variety of issues such as the company's success in communicating its mission to employees, or local issues such as quality of the working environment.

These surveys often contain a series of multiple choice items grouped along one or more dimensions of the organization.

The types of items included in these surveys may concern areas such as:

  1. Creativity
  2. Innovation
  3. Satisfaction
  4. Senior Management
  5. Interpersonal Relations
  6. Functional Expertise
  7. Compensation
  8. Benefits
  9. Customer Service
  10. Communication
  11. Obtaining Results
  12. Analytical Thinking
  13. Mentoring
  14. Strategic Planning
  15. Teamwork
  16. Adaptability
  17. Staff Development
  18. Leadership
This process helps the organization (Human Resources Department) understand how the employees perceive them.

This feedback:

The purpose of this document is to provide a guide to assist those who are conducting an employee survey.

Chapter Highlights

  1. Uses
  2. Benefits
  3. How it is conducted
  4. Requirements
  5. Benefits of using the Internet
  6. Demos
  7. Item Bank
  8. Web Resources
  9. Related Pages
Principle of Employee Surveys: Provides an understanding on how the employee perceives the organization and work groups.

Employee Survey: Uses

Uses for Employee Surveys include:

This process can also be a motivator of performance since it shows the employee that their opinions and views are considered important.


Provides a direct means of assessing employee opinions that would otherwise be unreported.

How Employee Surveys are conducted

Checklist of what to do when conducting an employee survey.
  1. Strongly agree | agree | (neither agree nor disagree) | disagree | strongly disagree.
  2. Excellent | good | fair | poor
  3. All of the time | most of the time | some of the time | hardly ever | never
  4. To a very great extent | to a great extent | to some extent | to a very little extent | to no extent at all
  5. Very satisfied | satisfied | (neither satisfied nor dissatisfied) | dissatisfied | very dissatisfied
  1. poor question wording or sequencing, as well as errors in layout
  2. problems caused by the length of the questionnaire or the respondents' inability or unwillingness to answer the questions
  3. additional questions or response categories that can be pre-coded on the questionnaire
  4. non-response problems
  5. any negative repercussions the survey may have on employees
  • Develop questionnaire A questionnaire used for Employee Opinion Surveys typically contains items that are rated on a 5 point scale. These items may be developed to measure different dimensions of the organization (e.g., communication, teamwork, leadership, initiative, management, compensation, ...). Questionnaires also typically include one or more open-ended questions to solicit written feedback.

    Questionnaires typically include from 50 to 100 items. When estimating the amount of time to complete the questionnaire you should estimate about 1 minute per questionnaire item.

    If using a printed questionnaire form, you should consider using forms that can be scanned into a computer.

    It should be noted that the design of a questionnaire is usually an iterative process -- questions are formulated, tested, reformulated, tested, and so on.

  • Questionnaire Review Examine and critique of an existing survey. The review is conducted to improve the quality of the survey, and to increase the likelihood the customer receives actionable information. Critiques are also performed to increase the probability of high response rates.
  • Instrument Pre-Test Conduct an instrument pre-test, which is an examination of the data collection instrument by potential respondents. It can be completed for paper-based, as well as electronic and phone based data capture. This may include a series of telephone interviews or focus groups designed to gather feedback on the content, clarity, readability, relevance, length, and comprehensiveness of the item set, as well as the overall experience of completing the instrument.

    Pre-testing can show:

  • Ensure confidentiality of participants Steps must be taken to ensure the confidentiality of the feedback results. For example, the feedback ratings from several employees should be combined (averaged) to mask the identity of an individual employee. Comments or written answers to questions may be summarized in the results to mask the identity of the author. The confidentiality helps ensure that the results are genuine.

  • Administer the questionnaire Distribute questionnaire forms (if using printed copies) with instructions. May want to prepare answers to common questions if other employees will be assisting in the administration. If possible, post the questions and answers to your website for easy access.

    Administer it to everyone? Or, just a sample?

    1. Advantages of it to everyone:
      All employees are given the opportunity to express their opinions

    2. Advantages of it only to a sample:
      Reduced time to collect and process the data
      Less data to collect
  • Needs Analysis Why is the survey being conducted?
    Meetings are held to determine the goals and objectives, as well as the content of the project. Whether
    implemented through individual interview or focus group this needs
    analysis will ensure that the critical information is gathered in the manner that best fits the customer need and will assist in determining the best method of collecting the data.

  • Focus Groups Structured meetings to gather qualitative
    information relevant to the survey development.

  • Survey Design Develop survey instrument by synthesizing
    the information gathered from needs analysis, focus groups and other
    documents available.

    Determine the rating scale to be used:

  • Analyze the data Basic data analysis would include averages of ratings. More complicated analyses may include item-analysis and/or factor-analysis. Types of analyses include: Performance Dimension Summary; Summary-Performance vs. Expected; Individual Item Ratings; Item Ratings-Performance vs. Expected (normed); Highest- or Lowest-Rated Items (shows individual's strengths and weaknesses); Group & Organizational Ranking, and Recommendations for Development.

    You may want to analyze the data by organizational division or department to assess group and organizational strengths and weaknesses. This can be used to support or promote training and organizational development.

  • Written Interpretive Reports Examine data through written interpretive reports, which summarize the results of your study.

  • Presentation of Survey Results The analysis of data in report format, or on a variety of other media, such as CD-ROM, diskette, or Internet.

  • Develop and Distribute Results Feedback results should be shared with the employees.

    You may want to provide individual review sessions or group workshops conducted by a facilitator to help individuals review and understand the results and develop appropriate goals and objectives.


    An Employee Opinion Survey process requires a coordinated effort to collect hundreds, or even thousands, of pieces of data. In addition, the validity of the results is enhanced by ensuring confidentiality of the participants.

    The survey administration may require time (to complete the questionnaires) and computer resources to analyze the data.

    Benefits of using Internet

    Fortunately, there are many software companies that offer tools to assist you in conducting this type of feedback process. Some links to these companies can be found at the HR-Software network.


    Request a customized free online demo from

    Item Selector

    If you are interested in developing an employee opinion survey, this would be a good place to get started. Click the link below to access our Item Selector program. This will display a form containing a list of items. Just select the items you want included on your questionnaire and follow the instructions on the form.

    Item Selector

    Item Bank

    Access an item bank containing over 1,600 items.

    Item Bank

    The Company
    Employees at the Company regularly share and exchange ideas
    At the Company my opinions count
    Communicating with Others
    I can speak freely to my supervisor on a variety of topics
    I am able to communicate freely with any employee
    Co-workers share information and new ideas throughout the company
    Co-Workers are willing to listen to my ideas
    My Supervisor
    My Supervisor keeps me informed about important issues
    My Supervisor is willing to listen to my ideas
    There is good communication between me and my supervisor
    My Supervisor listens to me
    My Supervisor works to improve communications in all directions
    I know what is expected of me at work
    I have enough information to do my job well
    My Manager
    Managers communicate frequently and honestly about issues affecting employees
    Managers keep me informed and up-to-date
    Meetings are usually chaired by competent and articulate individuals who can effectively communicate ideas and information
    My Manager is available to me when I have questions or need help
    Leadership at the Company communicates frequently with employees
    The company does an excellent job communicating changes or decisions that affect employees.
    Values, Goals, Objectives
    Goals, objectives, and strategies are clearly communicated.
    I am satisfied with my own communication and interpersonal skills.
    The company directors give staff a clear picture of the direction in which the Company is headed
    Between Departments
    There are no barriers to open and efficient communication
    Communication is good between departments.
    Decision Making
    I am involved in important decisions that affect me
    My Supervisor
    My Supervisor considers the opinions of others before making important decisions
    My Supervisor consults with others before making decisions
    Senior Management discusses issues and ideas with employees before making major changes
    I am comfortable using technology to assist in decision making
    Data Driven
    Effectiveness of processes and programs is based on facts and data gathered from reliable sources
    Problem Solving
    My Department
    My Department focuses on solving problems instead of finding fault
    My Department anticipates and resolves problems
    My Department works toward solving problems, not assigning blame
    Seeks the Root Cause
    Leaders identify problems, collect information from various sources, and synthesize that information into effective solutions
    We work together to solve problems
    Problems are solved at the root cause, not just at the symptom level
    We work to anticipate problems and develop appropriate solutions
    Job Content and Design
    I am clear on my job expectations and role
    I know what is expected of my in my job
    My Supervisor
    I know what My Supervisor expects of me
    My Supervisor adjusts my responsibilities to meet the needs of the organization more effectively
    My Supervisor knows my job and what I do for the Company
    My Department
    In My Department, the workload is evenly distributed
    My Job
    My Job makes effective use of my skills and abilities
    My job description accurately reflects what I do on a daily basis
    My Job is important to the Company
    Job Satisfaction
    The Company
    I enjoy working at the Company
    I am proud to tell others I work for the Company
    I feel satisfied at the Company
    I can see how I contribute to the Company bottom line
    I am made to feel that I am an important part of the Company
    Personal Satisfaction
    I receive personal satisfaction from doing a good job
    My job is rewarding
    I get a sense of personal accomplishment from my work
    I like my job
    I enjoy coming to work
    Friends and Co-Workers
    I have good working relationships with my co-workers
    My Department
    I feel good about working in My Department
    The Survey
    I feel that this Employee Opinion survey will help the Company measure satisfaction of employees
    The Company
    The Company always acts in an ethical manner
    My Supervisor
    My Supervisor demonstrates a high level of professionalism and integrity
    My Supervisor would never ask me to do anything unethical
    My Department
    Employees in My Department demonstrate professionalism through technical knowledge and skills
    My Department carries out its roles in a professional manner
    Customer Service
    Customers are treated with courtesy and respect
    The Company
    The Company is willing to accept change
    What I can do
    I am able to take on new tasks
    I can step in for co-workers when needed
    Managers encourage employees to adjust to changing situations through innovation and creativity
    Management is able to adjust rapidly to new situations
    My Department
    My Department is effective in adjusting to changes
    My Department is open to doing things a new way
    Business Focus
    The Company
    The Company continues to grow and expand its services
    The Company engages in various initiatives to focus on its business strategy
    The Leadership
    The Leadership understands the different business climates in which the Company operates
    My co-workers
    My Co-Workers understand their job roles and functions and how they contribute to the success of the company
    Setbacks are seen as challenges and opportunities to grow
    The Company
    The Company promotes teamwork
    We work as a team at the Company
    The Company implements procedures that help us work as a team
    The organizational culture at the Company enhances teamwork
    I feel I am part of the team
    I feel confident in my team members
    We work well together
    Resolving Conflicts
    Conflicts within the team are handled appropriately
    Employees work together to share ideas and resolve issues
    Team members are committed to the success of the Company
    Team members take pride in their work
    Our team is committed to successful completion of goals
    My Department
    My Department has a "team" spirit
    In my Department, we work as a team
    My Department works well together
    My Manager
    Leaders promote teamwork
    Leaders encourage others to work as a team
    Working Toward Goals and Objectives
    Team members are working toward a common goal
    Diversity and Individual Differences
    Other team members will help me if I need help
    Our team recognizes individual contributions
    I am involved in decisions that affect my work
    Information is freely shared among all team members
    The Company
    The Company leadership is able to achieve goals through effective planning and organization
    The Company leadership knows what they are doing
    The Company is effective in developing goals and integrating them into strategies for action
    Openess and Communication
    Leaders listen to and use feedback
    The Leadership seeks input from others
    Employee Engagement
    The Leadership promotes team morale and builds organizational commitment
    The Leadership makes me proud to be an employee of the Company
    Leaders promote teamwork
    Leaders encourage others to work as a team
    Problem Solving and Decision Making
    The Leadership is able to balance organizational, customer, and employee needs
    Leadership exercises good judgment in setting the structure for the organization
    Vision and Business Objectives
    The Leadership sets priorities and goals
    The Leadership sets the direction for the Company
    The Leadership is committed to fostering a shared vision
    The Leadership is focused on process improvement
    Flexibility and Change
    Leaders view mistakes as opportunities to learn
    The Leadership is willing to change to meet new objectives
    Managers establish responsibility and accountability among employees
    Managers are held accountable for achieving results
    Employee Empowerment
    The managers involve us in decisions affecting our work
    Managers empower employees to make effective decisions
    Creating a Positive Work Environment
    The management at the Company cares about employees
    Esprit de Corps
    Managers are able to motivate their staff
    Managers create a sense of teamwork and company spirit
    Managing Employees
    The management at the Company has a good understand of my work environment and processes
    Managers understand what motivates employees
    Managers encourage initiative
    Managers are effective in putting the right people in the right places
    Managers pay attention to workplace safety
    Ethics and Integrity
    Management does what is right and ethical
    Competent and Skilled
    Managers know what they are doing
    Managers are skilled and trained in the various systems to help employees when needed
    Managers continually monitor the workforce to ensure ongoing employee development and process improvement
    Management is able to adjust rapidly to new situations
    Models Values
    Management values are consistent with organizational values
    Managers have a clear understanding of the Company strategic objectives and vision
    The managers keep us informed about issues at the Company
    I feel managers value honest and candid feedback
    Managers help create a dialog with employees
    Level of Supervision
    I am given clear instructions and objectives.
    I do not feel micro-managed.
    My Supervisor
    I am treated fairly by My Supervisor.
    My Supervisor communicates the actions necessary for me to take to achieve organizational objectives
    I receive constructive feedback from My Supervisor
    I trust the feedback I receive from My Supervisor
    My Supervisor is willing to listen to my ideas
    My Supervisor keeps me informed about important issues
    Gives Feedback
    My Supervisor gives me constructive feedback
    My Supervisor is honest and fair in my performance review
    My Supervisor praises me for a job well done
    Interpersonal Skills
    My Supervisor is fair and honest
    My Supervisor demonstrates a high level of professionalism and integrity
    My Supervisor treats others with fairness
    My Supervisor is open to suggestions
    My Supervisor tries to learn new things
    Achieves Objectives
    My Supervisor is able to manage time effectively
    My Supervisor helps me to stay focused on the job
    My Supervisor has helped in my career development
    My Supervisor has a positive attitude when new changes are implemented
    Career Development
    There is opportunity for me to advance at the Company
    My Supervisor
    My Supervisor has given me good feedback on how I can advance my career at the Company
    My Supervisor has taken an interest in my career development
    Leaders are developed from within the Company
    Opportunities for Promotion
    I can advance at the Company
    Career Paths
    I have career opportunities available to me
    Training and Development
    The Company offers an excellent leadership development program
    I am continuously learning and trying to improve myself.
    Skills and Responsibilities
    I am more efficient in my job now compared to when I started
    I have been given more responsibilities since when I started
    Merit and Fairness
    There is equal opportunity for advancement at the Company
    Job promotions are awarded fairly and without bias
    Employee Development
    Opportunities for Development
    I have many opportunities to learn new things
    I am continuously learning and trying to improve myself
    The Company uses a systematic process for identifying employee development needs and implementing solutions
    Support for Development
    Employees are continually developed through training, education, and opportunities for promotion
    Employees are encouraged to seek professional development
    Employee Development is seen as a key to success rather than a cost to the Company
    My Supervisor coaches me to help me develop professionally
    Senior managers mentor junior employees
    Development of Managers
    Managers receive appropriate training to enhance their effectiveness
    Managers support training opportunities for employees
    Managers support professional development of employees
    Career and Succession Planning
    Future leaders are developed from within the Company
    Continuity of leadership is achieved through effective succession planning
    The Company
    The Company offers me the training I need to help me on my job
    The Company provides a variety of training opportunities for employees
    The Company invests in employees through training and development
    The Company supports efforts by employees to obtain training on new skills
    My Supervisor
    My Supervisor supports my efforts to seek relevant job training
    My manager assists me to identify my training and development needs
    My Skills
    I have the skills I need to do my job
    I am allowed to take initiative to assess my skills and seek appropriate training
    The training I receive reinforces customer focus
    Meets My Needs
    The training I receive is relevant to my job
    I have received good training to do my job
    The on-the-job training I received has prepared me for this job
    I would prefer classes to be offered during work
    I would prefer classes to be offered after work
    Training is offered at times convenient to me
    The Company
    The Company is pro-active in implementing changes to address challenges and opportunities
    Comfortable with Change
    I feel I have a positive attitude toward change and am looking forward to doing new things
    My Supervisor
    My Supervisor motivates others to follow new processes
    My Supervisor has a positive attitude when new changes are implemented
    My Supervisor remains calm during organizational changes
    My Department
    My Department tries to find new and better ways to do things
    My Department is effective in adjusting to changes
    Management is able to implement a vision and mission
    Managers are effective in addressing resistance to change
    The Leadership
    The Leadership involves employees when making significant changes
    The Leadership at the Company is effective in developing strategies to meet new business challenges and opportunities
    The Company
    The Company takes the initiative to lead by example
    My Empowerment
    I am allowed to take initiative to assess my skills and seek appropriate training
    I feel encouraged to come up with new and better ways of doing things
    My Supervisor
    My Supervisor encourages me to take initiative in my job
    Leadership at the Company encourages initiative and risk taking
    My Department
    My Department is able to develop unique solutions to problems and issues
    The Company
    The Company accepts and is open to change and ambiguity
    My Job
    I am willing to try new jobs within the Company
    I would be willing to work in a different location if needed
    Employees are willing to move to other positions within the Company
    My Supervisor
    My Supervisor is open to suggestions
    The Leadership is willing to change to meet new objectives
    The Leadership is flexible and learns rapidly about changing markets
    My Supervisor
    I am given clear instructions and objectives.
    I am treated fairly by my supervisor
    I receive mentoring and coaching from my superior
    Giving Feedback
    I am comfortable giving feedback to others
    Seeking Feedback
    I receive adequate feedback and guidance
    The Company
    The Company encourages employees to work to the best of their abilities
    The Company is able to maximize employee potential
    My Job
    My job enables me to make use of my skills and abilities
    I get a sense of personal accomplishment from my work
    I know how the Company measures its performance
    Teams are rewarded for high performance
    Effective use of Resources
    My Supervisor is able to manage time effectively
    My Department
    My Department is able to meet its deadlines
    My Department has specific performance measures
    I am held accountable for achieving specific results
    Non-performing employees are held accountable
    Annual Reviews
    Performance measures are evaluated on an annual basis
    Performance Appraisal/Management
    I understand how my performance is evaluated
    I understand the link between my performance and my pay
    My Review
    I receive regular performance reviews
    I trust the feedback I receive from my Supervisor
    My Supervisor
    My Supervisor is honest and fair in my performance review
    My Supervisor gives me constructive feedback
    My Supervisor helps me to understand how I am doing
    My Recent Assessment
    The evaluation process should be more often than once a year
    The Performance Appraisal system is effective in promoting quality work
    Fair and Unbiased
    Performance Appraisals are fair and unbiased
    The Company
    Safety is a primary concern at the Company
    The Company emphasizes workplace safety
    My Work
    I feel safe at my work area
    I know what to do in an emergency situation
    I know what to do in case of an emergency
    My Supervisor
    My Supervisor would not ask me to perform an unsafe procedure
    Managers pay attention to workplace safety
    Managers regularly meet with employees to discuss safety issues
    Is Safe
    Work stops immediately if a safety issue arises
    We are able to maintain a high level of production while maintaining safety
    The Company
    The Company maintains a competitive pay and benefits package
    The pay offered by the Company is very competitive
    The Company pay policy helps attract and retain high performing employees
    My Pay
    I am satisfied with the level of pay I receive
    My pay matches my job performance
    I feel I am adequately paid compared to my colleagues at other companies
    My pay is fair for my position
    I am paid fairly
    My Supervisor
    My Supervisor is always trying to make sure I am fairly compensated
    Benefits Offered
    I think the benefits offered by the Company meet my needs
    The Company offers a comprehensive benefits package
    The Company offers better benefits than other companies
    I recognize my benefits are part of an employee total compensation program
    The benefits offered provide security for me and my family
    The premiums for benefits are reasonable
    The benefits statement I received was clear and easy to understand.
    The Benefits department provides accurate and helpful information.
    The Company
    The Company values my work
    The Company offers rewards based on performance
    My Recognition
    I receive recognition when I do a good job
    I receive recognition when I perform above expectations
    I am rewarded for exceeding my goals
    Employees are recognized for good work performance
    My Supervisor
    My Supervisor praises me for a job well done
    Performance Incentives
    Performance incentives are clearly linked to standards and goals
    The performance incentives are meaningful
    Employee Relations
    Process and Procedure
    The grievance process used at the Company is fair and equitable
    The grievance process used at the Company is efficient and does not waste time or resources
    Support for Employees
    I can go to My Supervisor if I have a problem
    My Supervisor
    My Supervisor effectively resolves employee problems and labor issues
    My Supervisor is not afraid to take disciplinary action when needed
    Managers show fairness and respect in their interactions with employees
    Managers have a mutual trust and respect for employees
    Managers work to obtain win-win resolutions
    Conflicts are resolved in a positive and constructive manner
    Workplace issues are resolved fairly and quickly
    My questions are answered by the Human Resources department
    Employees may be disciplined if necessary
    The Company
    The organizational culture enhances employee commitment
    Personally Engaged
    I would recommend the Company as a great place to work
    I would recommend working at the Company to my friends
    Other Employees are Engaged
    Employees are held accountable for their work
    Employees are committed to improving quality of services
    All employees are committed to the success of the company
    Employees are committed to serving the Company
    My co-workers
    My co-workers are committed to the success of our department
    My Department
    My Department is committed to customer service
    Labor and Management are committed to working together
    Customer Service
    The Company
    The Company focuses on providing excellent customer service
    The corporate culture emphasizes customer service
    I receive the support I need to provide excellent customer service
    I am aware of what the customers want
    I receive good feedback from customers
    Customer Experience
    Customers are treated with courtesy and respect
    Service is responsive and meets the needs of customers
    We strive for customers to obtain a positive and memorable experience
    Managers are focused on improving customer service
    My Department
    My Department is committed to customer service
    Training is offered to improve customer relations
    The training I receive reinforces customer focus
    Corporate Culture
    The Company
    The Company is a good community neighbor
    The Company is a good steward of the environment and protects natural resources
    The Company measures success of culture change initiatives through the Employee Opinion survey
    The Company culture promotes employees to stay within the organization.
    The Company supports honest two-way communication between Managers and Employees
    I have a sense of security in my job
    The Company new employee orientation includes information about our culture
    Employees at the Company regularly share and exchange ideas
    Open and honest communication is an important part of the culture at the Company
    Employees Are
    Employees are valued as an asset to the Company
    Employees are free to express their concerns and complaints
    Employees are generally friendly and willing to help you if needed
    Employees work hard to accomplish goals and objectives
    Management at the Company is competent and ethical
    Managers foster an organizational culture that promotes learning and creativity
    Valuing Employees
    The Company respects my dignity and recognizes my contributions
    Others treat me with respect at work
    The Company fosters an environment where diverse individuals can work together effectively
    The organizational culture at the Company enhances teamwork
    Our culture encourages high performance and process improvement
    Work/Life Balance
    Our culture promotes a balance between work and family life
    Understanding Expectations
    I know what is expected of me
    I am clear on my job expectations and role
    My Work Experience
    I have a relaxed and positive outlook
    I participate in decisions that affect me
    I can change how I work if I want to
    I am able to meet the deadlines I have for my work
    Job Security
    I have a sense of security in my job
    I sometimes fear loosing my job
    I feel safe in my job
    Work Environment
    My work environment is pleasant and calm
    My work schedule is flexible enough to meet my needs
    Work/Life Balance
    I am able to balance my family and work life
    The Company
    The Company helps employees find an ideal balance between work and life responsibilities
    The Company is a family-friendly place to work
    The Company offers adequate telecommuting, scheduling flexibility, and childcare opportunities
    Autonomy and Flexibility
    I have enough time to do my work
    My work schedule is flexible enough to meet my needs
    I can adjust my work schedule if needed
    I am able to balance work and my personal life.
    I can take time off to handle personal commitments.
    My Supervisor
    My Supervisor would let me leave work early if I needed to.