What Are Good Focus Group Questions On Employee Engagement?

From asking the employee to name their available benefits offered to inquirng about what would make them dance to work tomorrow, here are 13 answers to the question, “What are some good questions to ask the focus to get an idea of employee engagement at the company?”

  • Name the Benefits Available to You as An Employee?
  • Why Do You Stay?
  • What Are the Top Three Reasons People Here Are Engaged?
  • What Have You Accomplished That has Made a Lasting Impact?
  • Describe a Time When You Felt Particularly Invested in Your Work?
  • Do You Feel Like Your Colleagues and Managers Value Your Feedback?
  • Do You Understand and Believe in The Company’s Plan for Long-Term Success?
  • Do You Have the Tools to Maximize Your Potential?
  • What Would You Change About This Organization?
  • How Often Do You Lose Track of Time When Working?
  • How Often do You Meet Individually With Your Manager?
  • Would You Tell Your Friend to Work Here?
  • What Would Make You Dance to Work Tomorrow?

Name the Benefits Available to You as An Employee?

Benefits remain a tangible indicator of both corporate culture and employee engagement. An engaged employee is not only productive and present at work (often difficult KPI’s to manage accurately), but is also acutely aware of the resources available to them to do their job well. This includes their benefits package.

Colleen KavanaghAn engaged employee should be able to name
at least in a general sense, most of the benefits offered currently by their employer. A disengaged employee will have either ignored internal communications on the benefits package, or been so hyper-focused on personal needs (benefits that they personally planned to utilize) that any other offerings did not register.

Colleen Kavanagh, CEO, SoulBeing

Why Do You Stay?

Engagement is very individual. People can hate a job but still stay for a variety of reasons, and many of those reasons make no sense to other folks. Asking them all why they have stayed primes them mentally to be focused on staying, as opposed to asking what would it take for them to leave the company.

You’ll get a real sense of what employees value. Some stay for benefits, some stay because they lack confidence, some stay because they like it, some stay just to be out of the house, some stay because they are just used to the ‘devil they know’. Having an appropriate sense of their focus and values helps you to share the culture going forward.

If you find they stay out of fear, your company can change that. If they stay because they like it, don’t change those things then! You absolutely have to hear it from them, so don’t be afraid to ask, ‘Why do you stay?’

Leslie EgizianoLeslie Egiziano
Human Resources Business Partner, Paychex

What Are the Top Three Reasons People Here Are Engaged?

Simple, open-ended questions are the most powerful. This question is open-ended and it invites thinking before answering. Collect the responses from each person in your focus group. Then rank the answers based on the number of times each appears. Discuss the ranking in further detail with the focus group for additional insight.

Cathy LiskaCathy Liska
CEO, Center for Coaching Certification

What Have You Accomplished That has Made a Lasting Impact?

A great question to ask employees in order to gauge their engagement and enthusiasm at work is, “What have you accomplished since you joined that has made a lasting impact on the business?”

Not only does this provide insight into each employee’s individual accomplishments, but it also provides an opportunity for them to reflect on their achievements. It gives them a sense of purpose by allowing them to feel connected with the larger organization’s goals and it encourages employees to align themselves with those higher-level objectives, ultimately resulting in increased employee engagement.

To truly capture how engaged your employees are, be sure to follow up with questions such as “How do you think we can further improve your success?” or “What motivates you most about your job?” This will ensure that not only do they feel appreciated but incredibly heard and valued as well-values essential for building both morale and loyalty within teams.

Alysha M. CampbellAlysha M. Campbell
Founder and CEO, CultureShift HR

Describe a Time When You Felt Particularly Invested in Your Work?

As an anthropologist, I believe that the best way to understand the experiences and perspectives of your employees is to ask them directly.

In a focus group about employee engagement, a great question would be: “Can you describe a time in the past month when you felt particularly engaged or invested in your work? What made it meaningful for you?” This open-ended question allows each participant to share their unique experiences, which can provide valuable insights into the factors contributing to employee engagement at your company.

Additionally, this question is specific enough to focus the discussion on engagement but not so specific that it limits the range of responses you may receive. By understanding what makes work meaningful for your employees, you can identify opportunities to increase engagement and foster a more positive work environment.

Matt ArtzMatt Artz
Business Anthropologist, Matt Artz

Do You Feel Like Your Colleagues and Managers Value Your Feedback?

It’s hard to stay engaged with your work if you feel like your coworkers and managers don’t value (or sometimes even see and acknowledge) your contributions. Asking employees whether they feel seen and valued in the workplace can not only gauge the overall level of engagement, but also help you identify areas to target for improvement.

Some good specific questions to target this include:

  • Do you feel your work and workplace contributions make an impact on the company as a whole?
  • Do you feel like your colleagues and managers value your feedback and input?
  • Do you feel you’re compensated properly for the work you produce?
  • Do you think management and company leadership acknowledge and see the work you contribute to the organization?

A mix of questions like these can yield a lot of insights in an engagement focus group.

Matt ErhardMatt Erhard
Managing Partner, Summit Search Group

Do You Understand and Believe in The Company’s Plan for Long-Term Success?

A good question to gauge employee engagement is: “Do you understand and believe in the company’s plan for long-term success?” An honest answer to this question will indicate how well the company has communicated and demonstrated the ability to listen and respond to changes while staying true to its core mission and purpose.

If people don’t align fully with what the company is about, they are most likely not engaged at the highest level. On the other hand, if employees can passionately articulate where the company is headed and why they believe that is the right strategy, they are empowered as engaged advocates of the work and community they are part of.

Bridget BurnhamBridget Burnham
President, BurnBright Communications

Do You Have the Tools to Maximize Your Potential?

Do you believe that you have the tools needed to maximize your potential here? This will give us insight into whether employees feel empowered and motivated to reach their goals in the workplace. Asking this question allows us to identify any gaps in resources that might be preventing our team from achieving their full potential, and how we can better invest in our employees’ success. By getting a clear idea of what our employees need, we can ensure that our work fosters engagement and a sense of purpose.

Yusuf ShurbajiYusuf Shurbaji
Co-founder and Managing Partner, Prismfly

What Would You Change About This Organization?

My favorite question to ask in engagement discussions is: “If you could change one thing about this organization, what would it be?” This is a great question to assess employee engagement, as the answers not only reveal details of any issues that your team may have, they also give a clear indication as to how confident and secure your team feels.

If you have created a trusting work environment in which team members feel that their opinions are valued and listened to, they are much more likely to give you an honest answer to this question. Engaged employees are also more likely to want to make your company a great place to work, so they will happily suggest ideas for improvements that can benefit your business. Conversely, disengaged individuals are more likely to have mentally checked out and are therefore unlikely to risk raising an issue or drawing attention to themselves. Instead, they will more likely avoid the question or provide a vague response.

Natasha MaddockNatasha Maddock
Co-founder, Events Made Simple

How Often Do You Lose Track of Time When Working?

In the field of positive psychology, a “flow state” occurs when people are fully energized, engaged, and immersed in an activity. When people are in a state of flow, nothing else around them matters as their attention is fully placed on the activity at hand. This is commonly known as being “in the zone,” and we can all relate to this feeling of total immersion and involvement.

When people are in a flow state, the external environment ceases to matter and time loses all meaning. Those in a state of flow tend to overshoot their working hours without even realizing, as the thought of clock-watching would represent an undesirable interruption of their workflow. By asking employees how often they lose track of time, you are really asking if they are entering the flow state or simply clocking their hours and dreaming of being elsewhere.

Ben SchwenckeBen Schwencke
Business Psychologist, Test Partnership

How Often do You Meet Individually With Your Manager?

How often do you meet individually with your direct manager? The rapport that is built between management and employees is critical to employee happiness and engagement. This is only achieved by spending time together, getting to know one another, what motivates them, what their goals are, and by creating a safe space to share feedback and ideas. Employees who feel heard and are part of decision-making, coupled with authentic relationships with their manager, are the happiest and will be the most engaged.

Robin LukasonRobin Lukason
Executive Business Coach, Robin Lukason

Would You Tell Your Friend to Work Here?

Many companies rely on employee referrals to supplement their recruitment efforts. Employees who do not enjoy their work environment typically can be convinced to make a referral only with some external incentives. If there is no referral bonus or monetary prize, would you tell your friend to work here?

Anna TaylorAnna Taylor
Director of Global Recruiting, Semperis

What Would Make You Dance to Work Tomorrow?

This question goes beyond merely exploring employees’ satisfaction from completing their tasks. It seeks to explore what drives them to achieve those goals and uncover what motivates employees to come to work each day, including their connection with the organization’s mission and values, a sense of purpose in their role, or just enjoying their colleagues’ company.

Employers need to understand these deeper motivations because it gives them insight into how engaged and satisfied their staff are with their jobs and how strongly committed they are to achieving goals for their employer. Engaged staff are more likely to go above and beyond in pursuing excellence within an organization and taking ownership of projects that they believe will benefit the company.

Through this question, we can assess whether employees are empowered by their roles or if there is a sense of futility in coming to work each day – something that can be detected through verbal responses and body language.

Bradley PallisterBradley Pallister
Associate Director, Innovolo Group

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