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How often do you think employees are actually open and honest when asked in a face-to-face situation if they have fun at work and if they’re truly engaged once they step through the doors?
If you did have to ask them openly in a team meeting, you could only imagine the thoughts running through their minds (especially on those tough Monday mornings).
What’s most likely to happen is that they won’t feel comfortable enough to answer. They could also be thinking about the quickest escape route not to answer and sit in what’s now an awkward meeting.
To get some honest insights and answers, it’s a good idea to conduct a fun employee survey. This allows your employees to let you know how they’re feeling without any pressure or repercussions.
It’s time for a more casual approach to employee engagement surveys
What are your first thoughts when you hear the word survey? Just another meaningless exercise where you get to waste a few more minutes of your time?
Well, imagine if they weren’t as uninteresting and boring as you traditionally know them to be. Flip the script and think about surveys as a way in which to build emotional connections with your employees because, after all, you do spend a lot of time at work.
You might know Bill as the serious number-cruncher in your team, but maybe there’s so much more to him than meets the eye.
Even microsurveys can be used as a versatile tool to learn more about those you spend most of your time with at work.
While it’s great to include some fun employee engagement survey questions, remember to include questions that will give you valuable insight into how your employees feel in the workplace.
This way, you can see where you might need to make changes or focus your efforts more to keep your employees engaged.
After all, research shows that companies with engaged employees are 21% more profitable!
Through this article, let's explore some fun questions to ask employees to get to know them better and drive better engagement.
Fun survey questions for employees and coworkers
Instead of having the same old mindset still stuck in thinking that surveys are just another time-waster or just another item that needs to be added to your work to-do list, let’s look for a moment at how they can be turned into a fun exercise with some fun survey questions for employees.
1. Start with funny icebreakers questions
To break the monotony and shift the stigma employees' perspectives could have had about surveys, start by taking the edge off with a few of these.
These can include a wide range of topics, just to get a feel of things, perhaps even throw in some completely random questions! Who knows, some employees might surprise you a bit.
Here is the list of icebreaker questions, which one can't forget to add.
1. Mention one of your favorite childhood memories
2. What’s the one thing you’re grateful for today?
3. Name one thing that keeps you up at night
4. That one song that’s the soundtrack to your life
5. Name a conspiracy theory that gets you going.
2. Let’s reminisce the college or school days ask questions about high school
With these types of questions, you get a better insight into where your employees come from, allowing you to uncover a bit more about them.
Some of them may have been great at art, very studious and others may have been complete rebels. In this way, you could see whether they’re still the same or whether they’ve changed since then.
6. Were you a sporty person or not?
7. Who’s that one teacher or professor you’ll always remember and why?
8. When you grew up, you hoped to become a …
9. Can you remember the first thing you did straight after graduation?
10. The most courageous or embarrassing moment you remember while at school?
These are only some examples of fun questions to ask employees to get to know them better. There can be many more.
3. Let’s talk travel & other hobbies
Most people love to travel. The open-mindedness that traveling brings along with it can be quickly noticed in how employees that have traveled to different places deal with certain tasks or issues at hand.
Ask questions about traveling
11. If you could hop on a plane right now, where would you be heading?
12. Can you remember the first place you ever traveled to?
13. Name the one country that has the greatest memory for you.
14. Which country would you love to live in, other than where you currently are?
15. Do you prefer city, country, or beach vacations?
The person you see at work might be who they are normally bringing another sandwich to the workplace. It helps to know what your coworkers get up to in their spare time because you might even discover that you share similar interests.
Ask questions about hobbies
Once you’ve gained a bit more knowledge about who they are or you could rope them into work activities linked to their hobbies, be surprised how well this could work.
16. What’s your favorite board game and what do you enjoy most about it?
17. Name one of your guilty pleasures
18. Complete the sentence: I am good at …
19. What’s your all-time favorite book?
20. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
4. Ask questions about future
Another way to improve employee engagement would be to better look into team members' views on life. Are they cynical or positive? This way, you can gauge how they see their career progression or whether they’re hoping to escape the job as soon as they can.
21. What motivates you?
22. If time travel existed, where would you be heading?
23. Ever thought about writing a book? What would you call it?
24. Which musician that has passed on would you like to have dinner with?
25. Name three things you would want to see about the future if you could
26. What are your long term goals for life?
27. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
5. All about business
As we said, it’s important to include some questions about the business that can give you some real, honest answers about how your employees feel about their work.
28. How do you like to start your day?
29. Who has influenced you the most when it comes to your work ethic?
30. What drives you to work hard?
31. What makes you feel drained at work?
32. Name three things you would want to improve at work.
33. What drove you down this career path?
34. What’s your biggest pet peeve at work?
35. If you could add one thing to the workspace, what would it be?
Take some inspiration from these companies
Yes, a few companies have hit the nail on the head when it comes to how they can use surveys efficiently and effectively to encourage engagement.
So, let’s take a look at how some of them do it.
Google has found a way to make their employee surveys something to look forward to. Instead of being mundane, compulsory tasks, they have turned them into an activity that motivates employees and inspires positive action.
Google’s gDNA initiative is actually a long-term study on what makes their employees happier and more successful. To make this worthwhile for their employees who take part, Google provides them with helpful feedback and resources that they can use to improve themselves.
How this works is that the surveys are not anonymous. So, each survey participant receives a score of how they perform compared with Google as a whole. With this score, HR will also give appropriate tools and links to guide the employees on the best way forward.
This inspires employees and motivates them to work harder to improve their scores in the next survey.
One employee said this about how Google’s gDNA survey upped their game:
“I was informed my ‘grit level’ was low. In response, I took some steps to train more diligently – not necessarily harder, just more consistently – in my athletic pursuits. This summer, with the benefit of that work, I was in a boat which won a gold medal at the regatta.”
Transport company Arriva runs a group-wide survey every two years. This allows them to measure employee engagement levels in a number of ways through various employee engagement and satisfaction surveys.
They work hard to make sure that their employees are engaged. In each location, they appoint a survey champion to dole out the benefits of employee participation. This helps to motivate the employees and make them want to participate.
Arriva creates a positive employee experience around their surveys and makes sure to dispel any myths about where the survey results end up. This transparency helps employees feel more comfortable providing honest feedback in the survey.
Apart from position and location, all surveys are anonymous so that employees know that they won’t face any repercussions for their survey answers.
When coming up with ideas for fun survey questions for work that encourage engagement, always be sure of your intended goal.
Ensure that you check in regularly through the process to ensure that it’s still in line with your desired outcome. It shouldn’t just be an HR-focused task.
Instead, open up brainstorming sessions to a variety of colleagues to get their input before sending out the survey.
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