Employee Survey Questionnaires – New Book from Performance Programs CEO Provides Top 30 Questions and Norms

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Book examines what employers ask on employee satisfaction surveys, and what employees say, and offers ready-to-use surveys. Authors outline top 30 employee survey questionnaire items and norms.

The questions that organizations ask on employee surveys may be different from the questions that employees wish they would ask. That’s the conclusion reached by the authors of a new book, Employee Opinion Questionnaires: 20 Ready-to-Use Surveys That Work, after reviewing six years of survey data for more than 60,000 employees.

“We tallied the ten most frequently asked questions and then tallied the ten questions that got the most negative responses over seven years,” says Dr. Paul Connolly, an industrial psychologist who has provided employee surveys for 20 years. “None of the ‘most negative’ questions were on the list of ‘most frequently asked'. For that matter, neither were the ten most positive.”

Since 1999, Connolly’s firm, Performance Programs, Inc., has been tracking employee responses to 85 key employee questionnaire items. These 85 items have been administered to as many as 60,000 people on 140 survey administrations. The book is a culmination of that effort, exploring the most positive, negative and most frequently asked survey questions. Besides presenting norms for all 30 of these questions, it also features 20 pre-designed employee opinion questionnaires.

“Our tracking results represent the issues organizations have most often wanted to investigate during the nearly twenty years we've offered employee surveys,” says Connolly. “The organizations are from commercial industries, such as telecommunications and consumer goods, and non-commercial industries such as government, schools, and nonprofits. About 20 percent of the response data is from multinational locations of U.S. corporations.”

The ten most frequently asked employee survey questions consist of the following:

"Considering everything, I am satisfied working for this organization at the present time."

"I see myself working for this organization three years from now."

"I am clear about what I need to do and how my job performance will be evaluated."

"My manager sets clear goals and objectives."

"I receive the training I need to do my job."

"I have the resources I need to do my job."

"My manager takes a supportive role in my professional growth and development."

"Employees are encouraged to offer their opinions and ideas."

"People are encouraged to try new ways of doing things."

"There is a strong feeling of team spirit and cooperation in this organization."

Says Connolly, “If the purpose of an employee survey is to diagnose organizational challenges, we also need to look at the items that are consistently challenging to all organizations.” He finds some important topics are not addressed in the most frequently asked questions. “Noticeably missing from the list are communications, management, and compensation. For instance, communications is represented three times on the list of the ten least favorable items in our database.”

The ten employee survey questions receiving the most negative responses include:

"Overall, information in this organization is communicated well."

"This organization listens to the ideas/opinions that employees contribute."

"I am kept up-to-date on any organizational changes in policy or practice."

"This organization pays well compared to other organizations."

"I am satisfied with the benefits package this organization offers."

"I feel secure about my continued employment at this organization."

"I believe my career aspirations can be achieved at this organization."

"I feel recognized for the contribution I make to this organization."

"I get the cooperation I need from those outside my department."

"Management is supportive of its employees."

“This simple discovery is a potent reminder of how an employee survey should be written,” concludes Dr. Connolly. “Organizations must always be willing to listen for the most sensitive issues and ask questions that will help them constructively address the problems. We have to be willing to ask the questions they wish we would ask. The survey instrument, to be credible, has to have something in it for both the employer and employee.”

For more information about the top 30 employee survey questions, get a copy of Connolly’s new book, Employee Opinion Questionnaires: 20 Ready-to-Use Surveys That Work (Pfeiffer, 2005).

To order the book, visit the following link:

http://www.pfeiffer.com/WileyCDA/PfeifferTitle/productCd-0787973491.html

For more information on Paul Connolly, visit his blog at http://www.surveyfeedback.blogspot.com.

For more information on Performance Programs' human resource surveys, tests, and assessments, visit http://www.performanceprograms.com.

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This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.

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Kathleen G. Connolly