29 questions guaranteed to keep your employees engaged

Carol Foote
Published on 6th December 2017
3 min read

Ask yourself, ‘Are you a People Company – a company where people are your most valuable asset?’ Then ask yourself, ‘Do your employees think that you are a People Company?’

These are two very different questions, and the second is much more important than the first.

If you ask any CEO, or  HR or People leader, they would most probably say ‘yes’, and that they create great workforce experiences that show their employees how much they value them; but the real answer to that question is what their employees think.

Our research surveying over 500 HR and People leaders found that 55% of senior executives think their company is people orientated – with only 29% of employees agreeing.

The question is: how do you become a People Company, and keep workers engaged? 78% of employees said positive workforce experiences have a huge impact on productivity in a recent study we conducted; a number which jumps to 92% for younger generations.

Our research also found that, shockingly, just 12% of workers are regularly asked what makes a good employee experience.

So, here are 29 questions to help you understand exactly what drives your employees, and get you started in understanding what a great workforce experience looks like for each and every one of them.

Personal goals and career progression

The main reason that people change jobs is because they feel stuck in a rut and unchallenged. They can’t see themselves moving forward in your company. Here are some questions to ascertain what they understand of the company goals, and how they see themselves reaching them.

  1. What are your short and long-term goals within the company?
  2. How well do you understand the strategic goals of the business?
  3. Can you see a clear link between your work and the company’s goals and objectives?
  4. Do you feel like you have opportunities for growth and advancement?
  5. Do you feel you’ve had adequate training to fulfill your job duties? 

Job satisfaction

Employees who are not satisfied with their jobs are either going to leave or, even worse, stay and perform badly. It is important to understand how happy they are in their jobs and what it is that drives them to come to work every morning and to move forward with their work. Here are some questions to help.

  1. What are you good at doing?
  2. What do you enjoy?
  3. What feels most useful?
  4. What drives you?
  5. What motivated you in your career?
  6. Are you satisfied with your current responsibilities?
  7. How strongly do you feel valued at work?
  8. How frequently do you receive recognition from your manager?
  9. What recognition did you receive the last time you completed a big project?


Teamwork is vital to your employees’ performance. A team that gels can be extremely productive, efficient and organized. It is important to understand where teams are working well and bringing out the best in people and where they aren’t. This includes scrutinizing relationships laterally and hierarchically. Here are some questions to help you understand team dynamics.

  1. How do you relate to others?
  2. Are you getting the support that you need?
  3. How well does your team work together?
  4. Are you proud to be a member of your team?
  5. Does your team inspire you to do your best work?
  6. Does your team help you to complete your work?
  7. How does your manager motivate your team?
  8. How would you describe the level of support offered by your manager?
  9. How comfortable are you in giving feedback to your manager?

The leadership

The leadership set the tone for the whole company so it is important to know how employees perceive them. No matter how well intentioned the management are, if they are unable to communicate this to employees effectively with both their words and actions, then they are already on the back foot. Ask these questions to understand what your workers think about your leadership team.

  1. To what degree is the management team transparent?
  2. What do you think of the company culture?

Compensation and benefits

Although employees these days are seeking purpose and career progression, pay and benefits are still important. It would be wrong to generalize across all generations in the work place, but generally Generation Z and millennials will be less motivated by pensions and health insurance than Generation X who are building up their pension pots and looking for health insurance for their families. So it is important to understand where in their lives people are at and what they want from their work to ensure that this isn’t the factor that pushes them into another job. So go ahead and ask them straight.

  1. Are you satisfied with your compensation and benefits?

Life outside work

Ask your employees what they do in their spare time. Showing an interest in their lives outside of work indicates that you care about them as a person. It can also flush up issues employees might have in their personal lives that could affect their work. Talking through these issues with them and how the company can support them could ensure their work doesn’t suffer. So just ask them.

  1. What do you do outside of work?

Creating great workforce experiences

Our research found that a third of respondents saw their HR or People’s team role as creating positive experiences at work, so HR and People teams need to lead this cultural transformation in tailoring great workforce experiences for their people – whatever drives them. But first, they need to ask their workers about this.

  1. How can we create a great employee experience for you at work?
  2. What more can the People team do to improve your workforce experiences?

Most importantly, don’t forget to act on the answers.

Find out more about what your workforce really think. Download our research from 3,500 employees today.

Browse more topics from this article

Employee Engagement Workforce Experience
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