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Employee wellness is the driving force behind a company’s productivity, efficiency, and overall success. It’s important to give employees everything that they need so that they can thrive, but it can be difficult to know exactly what employees need in general and even harder to understand what each employee needs individually. 

Of course, the easiest way to obtain that information is from the employees themselves. Surveys are one of the best ways of doing so. 

Why surveys?

Surveys can give managers and people in the HR department priceless insight into what’s going on with employees. That insight can lead to changes that will improve engagement, productivity, and interpersonal connection. 

This method of data collection is straightforward, takes little time to complete, and can be anonymous.

Employees can talk about any issues that they might be facing; physical health woes like a sore back because the office chairs need to be replaced, or mental health issues like stress and burnout. 

Employees that are suffering in silence and feel like they’re being ignored are more likely to be disengaged, uninterested in the work they’re doing, doing poor quality work, making mistakes, missing work, or even quitting. 

Anonymous employee wellness surveys allow employees to vent, be honest, and open up about any issues that they are facing. 

Can employee satisfaction and wellness really be measured?

Employee wellness can be measured to some extent, but of course as people not everything about employees can be quantified or qualified. Surveys are a great tool, but they have their limits. 

An excellent measure of employee wellness will be well-rounded, sensitive, safe, and have a mixture of qualitative and quantitative questions. 

It should focus on factors such as:

  • business management
  • Stress
  • team-wellbeing
  • team relationships and dynamics
  • external stress
  • how easy or difficult employees think it is to find information that they need
  • quality of HR support
  • mental wellbeing and more. 

Tips for creating the best employee wellness survey possible

1. Keep surveys short and concise

No one likes filling out surveys that take hours. The most that a survey should take is half an hour, and even then an incentive might be needed to complete it. Employees have a lot to do, and a survey isn’t going to be their top priority. 

Additionally, long, winding surveys will bore employees to tears. They may abandon the survey, leave important questions unanswered, and even give untruthful, incomplete, and/or nonsensical answers just because they want it to be over and done with. 

2. Include both open and close-ended questions

Close-ended questions give quantifiable data such as “55% of employees surveyed think pink is an excellent color for the lobby” and open-ended questions will give personal insights and information such as “some employees enjoyed surveys and wanted more because they enjoy filling out information”. 

3. Offer employees incentives

Rewards can be as simple or extravagant as wanted. A coupon for a free coffee, a prize draw, or even a voucher for a store. Letting employees know that there’s a reward if they complete the survey will entice them to complete it as best that they can.

Some of the best questions to include in an employee wellness survey

1. General health and wellness

  • Do you have any known medical conditions?
  • If you answered yes, do you have the means to access adequate treatment and care for these conditions?
  • How important do you think employee wellness is, from 1-10?
  • How many days of the week do you exercise?
  • What is your preference for fitness activities?
  • Are you able to have a nutritious and well-balanced meal during your lunch break at work?
  • Do you have healthy snacks at work?
  • Do you postpone or forego medical procedures due to some insufficiency in your insurance coverage?
  • How much do you sleep at night, in hours?
  • What kind of wellness-promoting initiatives would you like to see at work/do you think would be most beneficial at work?

2. Work-life balance

  • On a scale of 1-10, how much do you agree with this statement: “I have an optimal work-life balance in my current job position”. 
  • On a scale of 1-10, how difficult is it for you to balance your workload alongside your personal responsibilities?
  • How often do you do work-related tasks outside work hours?
  • How well do your supervisors accommodate you (to the best of their abilities) when you need time off for personal reasons? (Extremely well, well, fine, not so well, poorly)
  • Do you have a long enough lunch break?
  • Do you have enough time to pursue what you wish to in your personal life?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how well do you think your organization supports you in achieving a good work-life balance?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how important do you feel flexible hours and time off are?
  • Do you agree with this statement: “the pressure from my personal life is affecting my work life”, (strongly agree, agree, partially agree, disagree, strongly disagree, unsure). 

3. Corporate culture, workload, and stress

  • Do you feel that you have a reasonable workload? Please feel free to elaborate. 
  • Do you feel that you can speak openly about workloads and expectations with your manager? Please feel free to elaborate. 
  • On a scale of 1-10, how high would you rate your coworkers’ friendliness and support?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how high would you say your work-related stress is?
  • Have you experienced burnout? Please feel free to elaborate. 
  • Have you considered quitting your job in the past 6 months?
  • Is there someone in the organization that you feel free to speak to about stress and other factors that can impact how you perform at work?
  • Do you have access to resources for your stress, anxiety, depression, and any other mental health issues that you face or may face?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you at work?
  • Would you say that our company is a positive place to work?
  • What programs or initiatives do you think the workplace can introduce that might reduce stress?

Next steps

It’s important to take the responses of employees into serious consideration. If there is a real problem, it must be dealt with: things need to change around the office if a significant number of employees all report the same problem or all face the same issues. 

Similarly, if an employee is struggling for personal reasons, there may be something that the organization can do in some capacity to help them, whether this is allowing more time off or facilitating more honest conversations with managers and HR representatives. 

Surveys only provide leaders with information. It’s up to them to decide what to do with it.