4 min read

How to write employee wellbeing survey questions

Chloe Hamman

Director of People Science, Culture Amp

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Measuring wellbeing in the workplace is possible, and it’s important. You can look at sources like absenteeism, sick days, productivity, retention as well as employee feedback to gauge the wellbeing of employees at your company. With the rise of in-house people analytics capabilities, companies can now take this analysis one step further with employee wellbeing surveys.

Most employee wellbeing surveys tend to only focus on two components: individual wellbeing levels and evaluating the benefits of various initiatives. But it’s more than that. We suggest measuring these five components to understand the factors that might be supporting or hindering wellbeing for your employees:

  1. Company
  2. Culture
  3. Manager
  4. Individual
  5. Programs

Asking a few questions in each category will get you an overview of wellbeing at your company. With feedback from your employees, you can take action where needed and ensure everyone’s wellbeing is supported. Let’s take a look at a few sample wellbeing questions that you can use.

Company: Is your organization dedicated to employee wellbeing?

For employee wellbeing to be most effective and sustainable, it should be a priority for your company and not simply championed by a wellbeing group. Most importantly, this means that the wellbeing of employees is considered when discretionary budget decisions are made around performance, work environment, and rewards.

These questions can help you to understand if employees believe that the company cares about their wellbeing or if it’s just lip service:

  • [My company] demonstrates a commitment to the wellbeing of employees
  • I believe employee wellbeing is a priority at my company

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Culture: Does your culture support employee wellbeing?

No matter how strong your wellbeing initiatives are and how many resources a company is willing to put towards it, your wellbeing efforts will fall flat if the culture doesn’t support it. Consider the scenario where a company provides an on-site gym and encourages employees to use their lunch breaks or finish work early to exercise, yet as a new employee who is excited to take advantage notices that none of the managers do this and important meetings happen during these suggested “exercise time”. The new employees would follow the managers lead and reinforce the behavior.

These questions can help you to understand if your employees feel the company culture supports their wellbeing:

  • We are genuinely supported if we choose to make use of flexible working arrangements
  • Our culture encourages a balance between work and family life

Manager: Do your managers care about wellbeing?

Managers caring about employee’s wellbeing shows up as one of the top 10 drivers in our most engaged tech companies. These are companies who are usually doing great on most things, but this question differentiates between the higher and less engaged in these high performing companies.

Ask this question to understand the relationship between managers and employees when it comes to wellbeing:

  • My manager genuinely cares about my wellbeing

Individual: How are employees doing in personal health and wellbeing?

This section is about understanding how people are doing. Oftentimes, this is the only thing measured, but you really need to understand the other aspects as well to have an impact on people’s wellbeing. Companies also have a moral imperative to act when asking questions about personal wellbeing, which is important to keep in mind when deciding to survey on this topic.

These are personal wellbeing questions you can ask:

  • When I am stressed I feel I have the support available to help
  • I tend to bounce back quickly after challenging times
  • I usually feel I am making progress at work

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Programs: Are our initiatives of value?

This is the piece that most companies get excited about. Wellbeing programs are tangible and actionable ways to demonstrate that your company cares about wellbeing. Collecting regular feedback about your wellbeing programs ensures that you are providing the most useful initiatives for your people. A great way to approach this from a data perspectives is to list your current offerings and simply ask employees which one they get the most value from.

For example, you can ask this question:

  • I get the most value from these wellbeing initiatives (list and ask to select up to 3)

You can also ask about future initiatives as well as whether employees believe they have the tools required to manage their stress and wellbeing. Lastly, it is a great idea to include core engagement questions in your wellbeing survey. This helps you understand if wellbeing is driving engagement. Check out our engagement survey questions for more detail on what to ask.

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