How to create an employee engagement survey

How to ensure that your employees care about their work.

Employee engagement should be important to every company because it refers to how enthusiastic employees are about their work and workplace. Engaged employees tend to be more productive and happier on the job. That means greater output, reduced absenteeism, and less employee turnover for you.

But only 35% of U.S. employees feel engaged—and that number drops to 15% of employees worldwide.

How can you make sure that your workers care about what they're doing and aren't just putting in the hours? Creating an employee engagement survey is a great place to start.

What is an employee engagement survey?

An employee engagement survey measures how connected a company's employees are to their work, their team, and the business as a whole. Employers generally conduct these surveys by asking employees to fill out questionnaires.

Employees can provide responses either digitally or as hard copies. Many companies give workers a chance to submit their answers anonymously, which can encourage more honest feedback.

Want fresh stats on employees' expectations for the workplace? Find 'em in Oyster's Employee Expectations Report.

Based on the responses provided, businesses can get a snapshot of how their teams feel about important topics. HR managers and other leaders can use this information to address any hurdles that are getting in the way of employee engagement.

How does employee engagement differ for remote workers?

Employee engagement can be an especially sticky issue for remote teams. As a manager, it's harder to tell if someone isn't engaged when you can't see them regularly. You also can't rely on cues like body language to determine engagement.

Additionally, people who don't have regular contact with their managers or colleagues may find it easier to "check out" mentally.

The good news: If you have an engagement problem in your remote team, there are solutions. Improving remote worker engagement requires balancing practical steps, like regular check-ins, with fun activities, like hosting virtual happy hours. Before you start implementing these measures, try to get a sense of just how interested your remote teams are in their work.

What you can ask remote workers to gauge how they feel

A well-structured survey can help you gather feedback about how engaged your remote teams are on the job. You can then implement the changes needed to boost engagement and improve employee performance.

The sample employee engagement survey below lists questions about remote work that you may want to consider. The questions are divided into categories that relate to specific aspects of working from home, so you can identify challenges based on the responses.

Remote work environment

  • Do you have the equipment and tools you need to complete your tasks?
  • Do you have a space at home where you can work without distractions?

Remote communication

  • Are the work-from-home policies clear?
  • Are your daily tasks and objectives clear?
  • Is there enough communication between team members and leaders?
  •  What communication tools do you prefer?

Support for remote workers

  • Are you able to reach your team leader when you need them?
  • Do you get sufficient feedback from your team leader?
  • Are you happy with the development and learning opportunities you have?

Productivity of remote workers

  • Are you happy with your productivity levels working from home?
  • Do you struggle to focus or concentrate when working from home?
  • Is there anything that gets in the way of you completing your work?

Emotional connectedness of remote workers

  • Do you feel included in team decisions?
  • Do you feel connected to your team members?
  • Do you feel like your team leader trusts you?

Health and well-being of remote workers

  • Are you satisfied with your work-life balance?
  • Are you able to disconnect from work at the end of the day?
  • Do you take regular breaks throughout the workday?


  • What is your biggest challenge working from home?
  • Is there any extra support you could use to make working from home easier?

To better quantify employee responses, try rephrasing some of these survey questions for remote employees using a scale of 1 to 10. For example: "On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with your work-life balance?"

In other cases, open-ended questions make more sense. A question like, "What is your biggest challenge working from home?" requires a more personal response.

By including a mix of categories and question types, you'll get both qualitative and quantitative data that can give you a detailed overview of how your remote teams feel about their work.

What is the state of employee engagement?

The COVID-19 pandemic has irrevocably changed the way we work. Oyster's Employee Expectations Report examines how workers' wants and needs have evolved in the past few years.

The outcome? More employees are asking for the flexibility to work wherever they want—and they want support from their companies to ensure they thrive in this new arrangement.

When it comes to managing your employees' expectations, an employee engagement survey is a critical tool. Now that you know how to create an employee engagement survey, you can use it to understand your workers better, allowing you to approach them with greater compassion.

Leading a remote team isn't always easy. You want to make sure your employees are engaged and satisfied on the job. In addition, there are practical aspects to consider, like coordinating benefits and pay for workers in different locations.

Oyster's global employment platform makes it easy to address the administrative aspects of managing remote employees, like pay and benefits. This frees up your time to focus on your team's other needs

About Oyster

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, engage, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.

Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world—with reliable, compliant payroll, and great local benefits and perks.

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