When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute
Simon Sinek

What is an Online Employee Survey Tool?

Definition: An online employee survey tool is used to collect feedback in the workplace. The surveys can measure both employee satisfaction and engagement and will provide the data needed to improve the employee experience.

An online employee survey tool makes it convenient to collect responses electronically via an anonymous survey link or anonymous email collector. A successful employee survey will help reduce turnover, improve productivity, and generate ideas on how to improve the business.

Types of Employee Surveys

When researching how to conduct an employee survey, you'll come across two main types: employee engagement and employee satisfaction. Both of these survey types measure different things. An employee might be satisfied with compensation but not be motivated enough to give 110% to help the company grow.

Employee Satisfaction Surveys

This is the most common type of employee survey. Satisfaction usually relates to compensation, benefits, schedule, and work relationships. Here are some sample questions to include on your survey related to satisfaction:

  • How satisfied are you with your compensation package?
  • How satisfied are you with the current PTO package?
  • Do you feel like you can count on your peers for help?

Employee Engagement Surveys

This is the commitment employees have to your organization, its overall goals, and their specific job. Better engagement means increased productivity, deceased turnover, and helps foster positive customer interactions. Companies that have highly motived employees are more likely to perform well financially . Here are some sample questions related to employee engagement:

  • Do you believe in the company’s' marketing strategy?
  • Does company leadership put us in a position to be successful?
  • Do you feel your feedback and ideas are valued?
  • Do you have the tools needed to do your job?
  • Does our company offer opportunities for you to grow professionally?

We recommend doing adding questions related to both satisfaction and engagement on your employee surveys. Satisfaction should focus on tangible items like compensation and relationships and engagement should focus on core issues related to motivation.

When to Send Employee Surveys

Employee surveys are usually completed at least once a year. Most employers choose to do a year end survey as part of the yearend review. We recommend doing a larger employee survey twice a year, and then in all other months use a short pulse survey.

Larger Employee Surveys

These are the surveys that ask questions about satisfaction and engagement. Because of the length these should only be sent out once or twice a year. Ideally these surveys should be sent out mid-year and end of year. The midyear survey will give you an extra datapoint on things to improve on before year end.

Pulse Surveys

This type of employee survey is supposed to be quick and convenient. A pulse survey should be no more than 5 questions. An Ideal Pulse survey include a Net Promoter Score and an opened end text input asking the reason for their answer. If your organization has multiple locations or departments, include a question asking for those. These questions can be used to help segment your results.

On the SurveyKing platform you have the ability to create automated pulse surveys. Once you create your survey, upload a list of employees, and then choose what months to you want to send your survey. If you want to send your longer engagement surveys in June and December, you would just mark "No" for those months in your pulse survey settings.

Preparing for Employee Surveys

Once your organizations chooses an online employee survey platform, craft your strategy and convey that to employees. If you just want to just do an annual employee survey, send out a short email letting your employees know when you'll be sending out the survey. If you wanted to include pulse surveys, let the employees know a quick 2-minute survey will be sent out monthly.

Tell your employees how the feedback will be used. Convey that responses will be taken seriously. Mentioning that results will be shown at monthly meetings is a great way to build trust. According to a Verizon study 29% of employees think employee surveys are pointless. If you can communicate these surveys will be taken seriously, responses rates will increase.

Employee Survey Design

Before designing your survey, make sure your goals are clearly defined. If you want to measure both employee satisfaction and engagement, make sure to include questions on both.

Keep your survey as short as possible. Even for the large annual employee survey, make sure it's not more than 10 questions. Shorter surveys will lead to higher completion rates. If you need to collect feedback for different project initiatives, develop separate surveys for those. Once your draft your survey, read though it again and remove any questions that aren’t 100% truly needed; "nice to have" questions will just lead to survey fatigue.

Pulse surveys should always include a Net Promoter Score question. This question gives you one simple number ranging from -100 to 100 and can be benchmarked and tracked over time. By default, an NPS question is included in the employee pulse survey module.

Avoid leading survey questions that lead to biased answers. For example instead of writing "How great is our benefits package?", write the questions as "How would you rate our benefit package?"

Here are some quick tips when designing an online employee survey

  • Use anonymous survey links to encourage honest feedback
  • To make surveys shorter use survey logic to only show questions to certain groups of employees.
  • Use 5-point opinion scales to make the survey quick and user-friendly
  • Always include an open-ended text questions asking employees on ideas for improving the company

Be aware of research tools that can collect better data. The following question types go beyond stand multiple choice questions and can add more value to your employee survey data:


Find out what is LEAST and MOST important to your employee. MaxDiff could be used to form a consensus on new tools (software or machinery) needed to complete a project.


A multilayered approach to defining needs. Conjoint is perfect to build optimal benefits packages. The output from the statistical model will give you a ranking of the benefit items that are valued.

Analyzing Results

There are two important points when you analyze you employee survey data. Benchmarking and communicating the results with employees.


Your first employee survey should be the basis of all your benchmarks. Using that as reference point you can show formulate targets and how to improve your scores. For example if the employee Net Promoter Score is 20, you might want to increase that to 30 for the next annual employee survey. If you have multiple departments or locations, you can segment your results and draft benchmarks for each of those locations.

Communicate the Results to Employees

Whether it's during a monthly virtual meeting or over an email, make sure to communicate the survey results to employees. If the feedback and score aren’t' great be honest and communicate to employees and that management will address issues. Proper communication will strengthen trust and boost completion rates of future surveys.

Additional Considerations

An online employee survey can also be used for exit interviews as well as benefits surveys. If your company is debating on moving office locations, a MaxDiff survey would be ideal to help narrow down a list of new spots. Once your organization chooses an online survey tool, collecting feedback from employees on a whole host of issues will lead to better decisions, and a more unified team.

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We have you covered on anything from customer surveys, employee surveys, to market research. Get started and create your first survey for free.