Blog Series on Survey Design: Part Five - Survey Questionnaire Design and Sample Questions

In Part Four of this mini-blog series, we discussed survey size, categories, and types of questions. In Part Five, we delve into survey questionnaire design and provide sample questions.

Survey Questionnaire Design

Before getting started, we recommend having the survey questionnaire approved by the organization. To gather more nuanced feedback, consider administering multiple distinct surveys customized for different employee categories. For smaller firms or those on a tight budget, focusing only on top-level employees may be more suitable.

Comprehensive questionnaires typically include around 50-60 rating questions (e.g., 5-point rating scale) and a few short-answer questions for employee opinions and perspectives. This can be scaled down if necessary.

Below are example questions for each group (use this as a template and modify or personalize to make it your own):

Data Collection for Leadership

Leadership might answer the following questions:

  • What does the organization believe?
  • What is the business vision and purpose?
  • How is (role or department) performance judged?
  • How do we achieve our goals?
  • Why are we here (at this organization)?
  • Why do people stay with the company?
  • Why do people want to work for the company?
  • What is unique about the organization?
  • What (specifically) makes the organization a great place to work?
  • What do we want people who work here to feel about this place?
  • What are the top 3-5 things about (this specific location) that should attract people?
  • In your own words, what is the top value proposition for a new employee?
  • What type of skills does the organization need most to deliver on the vision and purpose?
  • What resources does the organization offer to develop skills and talents of new employees?

Data Collection for Managers

Managers might answer the following questions:

  • Who succeeds at the organization?
  • Consider your top few stars. What common backgrounds, behaviors, experience, and traits do they possess?
  • What personality/behavioral characteristics are essential to succeed in the organization?
  • Who is your target audience of talent? Where are they located?
  • What is your ideal candidate's current employer or occupation?
  • How many years of professional experience does he/she have?
  • In which industry and roles has he/she worked?
  • Is he/she most likely working for one of your competitors? If so, which ones?

Data Collection for Employees

Managers should select a number of employees (best-fits) who might answer the following questions:

  • What are the most important values you appreciate at the organization?
  • What originally attracted you to join the organization?
  • Why did you apply to the company?
  • What keeps you engaged and committed to working at the organization?
  • What was the tipping point that convinced you to join the organization?
  • What do you like about the culture at the organization?
  • Can you please define the culture in your own words?
  • What 3-5 things do you like most about the company?
  • How would you define the management style?
  • What's your academic/work background?

Optional questions:

  • If you were a candidate today, can you think of any reasons you might be turned off (at first glance)?
  • What are some of the things you like to do outside of work? (outside interests/hobbies)
  • Which social networks do you prefer?
  • Where do you go to “hang out” or read and/or interact online?
  • Where would you go to find a job or research a potential employer?

(Note: Alternatively, consider pulling survey questions from the SurveyMonkey Library located at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/employee-satisfaction-surveys/)

A Word about Survey Technology

In today's digital age, there are numerous survey platforms and services available to help you administer employee surveys. Some popular options include SurveyMonkey, Qualtrics, and SurveyGizmo. However, it's essential to choose a survey technology that aligns with your organization's needs and infrastructure.

Ideally, the survey should be administered using the organization's technology, hosted on the organization's server environment, or made accessible via the cloud through admin access to organization-enabled solutions. This ensures data security and seamless integration with your existing systems.

(Note: It's crucial to maintain employees' privacy and anonymity by not associating real employee names with any survey data, survey results, or survey insights.)


Take your talent acquisition and recruitment efforts from routine to remarkable with TalentSum 360. For more information on how TalentSum 360 can unlock the full potential of your talent function, get in touch with our team today.

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