Workplace Wellbeing Questionnaire: Best Practices & Questions

by Srikant Chellappa Mar 24,2022

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Modern work life is stressful for employees. The more stressed your employees are, the lower their productivity will be. Ideally, you want your employees to have the best health and wellbeing. To help you achieve that, this article will offer you ten tips on building the best workplace wellbeing surveys. 

What is an employee wellbeing survey?

An employee wellness survey contains questions intended to establish an employee’s degree of satisfaction, happiness, and productivity. This information is used to evaluate employees’ importance to their workplace well-being. If employees express dissatisfaction with their workplace, employers must address their concerns. If your company fails to do that, you’ll suffer from declining employee productivity and a reduced employee retention rate. Poor employee health and wellbeing costs an estimated $530 billion every year in the U.S. You don’t want your company contributing to that figure, so treat your employees well by surveying their wellness. 

Also read: Creating A Performance Based Culture In Your Organization

Don’t let low employee engagement levels impact your business. Download our step-by-step guide to understand and implement employee engagement surveys and boost your workforce productivity.

Take a look here. “The Ultimate Guide To Employee Engagement Survey And Templates”.”

Employee wellness survey components

A workplace wellbeing questionnaire should be properly designed with relevant questions. Don’t string along an incoherent list of random questions. The proper way to design an employee well-being questionnaire is to address questions under the following categories: 

Social Do your employees have adequate socializing time and opportunities? 
Physical Do your employees get enough time to exercise and destress themselves, and is their general state of physical health improving or at least not deteriorating? 
Environmental Does your staff have appropriate access to natural sunlight, water, clean air, and vegetation? 
Intellectual  Does your company have a healthy and competitive work culture that provides employees with enough opportunities to challenge themselves intellectually? Are your employees also given the freedom to experiment and innovate? 
Emotional Do stressed employees have access to adequate emotional support? For example, does your company encourage or provide counseling?
Spiritual Is your workplace culture accepting and progressive? Are any employees discriminated against because of their religious or political beliefs? 
Occupational Are employees satisfied with their occupations and feel that they have sufficient work-life balance? Do they also feel they have a future with your company?
Also read: 7 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important

Employee wellness survey benefits

Creating wellbeing survey questionnaires for employees has numerous benefits. Primarily, it helps management figure out employees’ workplace problems and improve workplace culture. 

  • Finding work-life balance

Many employees need to find a work-life balance, especially if they’re still in school or have children and dependents. It’s not always easy to find a work-life balance, so companies need to help employees maintain it. Employee wellbeing questionnaires are one of the best ways for management to do that. The workplace wellbeing questionnaire will provide management with the data they need to improve employees’ lives. 

  • Identify gaps

Most modern companies have employee wellness and benefits programs. These programs provide vital employee wellbeing services, but sometimes your corporate bureaucracy may overlook gaps that develop. Employee wellbeing questionnaires are the best way to identify gaps in your benefits and employee services program. Through a workplace wellbeing questionnaire, your employees will inform you about what they feel your company is lacking. 

  • Provide competent health insurance plans

Virtually all organizations provide their employees with health insurance plans. Similar to employee wellness programs and other benefit programs in general, these plans may lack in some areas. Often, a corporate bureaucracy does not recognize what areas they’re lacking in or what employees’ preferences are. The best way to identify employee requirements and feelings is with an employee wellbeing questionnaire. 

  • Improve employee satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is important for organizations. Employee satisfaction ensures that employees are productive and won’t be likely to leave the organization. As an employer, you want to maximize employee satisfaction. The best way to do so is via conducting workplace wellbeing questionnaires. The employee wellbeing questionnaires will provide management with a better understanding of where each employee stands. 

Also read: 10 Best Employee Feedback Tools To Track Performance

Importance of Employee Health and Wellbeing

Poor employee health leads to lower engagement levels

Employee productivity and engagement are directly related to wellbeing and health. The employees with the highest wellbeing will almost always also be the most productive. As such, you want to maximize employee engagement. Even just by providing the perception that you care is enough to encourage employee engagement. One study found that employees are 38% more engaged when they feel their organization cares for their wellbeing. 

Most absenteeism is tied to employees’ health

Poor health is the primary cause of employee absenteeism. The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that personal illness and stress causes 47% of employee absenteeism. To put that in perspective, personal illness and stress cause double the absenteeism caused by other reasons like family issues or personal problems. SHRM also reported that a majority of these health problems were preventable. Caring for your employees’ health and well-being is the best way to reduce absenteeism. 

Poor employee health can decrease productivity

People can’t work as effectively when they’re ill. Even if an employee is well enough not to take a sick day, they likely won’t be well enough to work optimally. When employees are in pain, they can’t concentrate on their work as much or invest as much effort. By stopping preventable health problems, your employees will always perform better. 

Tackling Employee Burnout

Maintaining a work-life balance in 2022 is harder than ever before. Stress levels and workplace dissatisfaction are arguably higher now than ever before. In such a professional ecosystem, you need to prevent your employees from experiencing burnout and exertion. Taking the time to provide your staff with workplace wellbeing questionnaires is one of the best ways to prevent burnout before it happens. 

Also read: Employee Burnout: What You Need To Know About It

Best Practices for Employee Health Survey

Your organization will produce the most effective employee wellbeing survey questionnaires by following these practices. 

Ask compelling and diverse questions

Your questions should provide specific and actionable information. It’s not enough to know whether things are good or bad. You need exact information. You need to ask exact information like “What’s your exercise routine?” instead of general questions like “Do you exercise?”. Your managers will learn whether an employee is fitness-centric by asking the specific question. You might have to ask some open-ended questions, and that’s fine. But try to make a majority of your questions as specific as possible. 

Make your wellness surveys short and simple

The best workplace wellbeing surveys take no more than 10 minutes to fill. Long questionnaires waste employees’ time, and they will be less willing to answer all questions honestly. Quality matters more than quantity, so provide your employees with a set of short and simple sentences that cut to the heart of the matter. Your employee wellbeing questionnaire should be long enough to provide you with all the vital information, but not so long that it bores people. 

Utilize multiple channels to communicate your survey

Most employees in any organization are flooded with information and communications every day. Emails, text messages, and notifications flood their devices every day, so you don’t want your workplace wellbeing questionnaire being lost in that flood. The best way to ensure that every employee receives the survey is to send it to them via multiple channels. Email, text, and share the survey with employees on every communication channel at your disposal. If possible, provide your employees with extra time for completing the survey. 

Also read: 10 Ways To Improve Communication At Workplace

Offer incentives for participating in your survey

Some employees won’t want to complete the workplace wellbeing questionnaire. Most likely, it’ll be because they don’t have time or aren’t interested. It’s also possible that they may have had a bad experience with employee surveys in the past, which has led them to be reluctant to fill in your survey. The best way to respond to this problem is to provide your employees with incentives. You don’t need to give them something large. Even entry into a contest for an UberEATS gift card is enough. Most importantly, you need to convince your employees that filling the survey is important for improving their wellbeing. 

Things to avoid in Wellness Surveys

When designing your employee wellbeing questionnaire, take care to avoid the following mistakes.

Avoid vague questions 

The meaning of each question should be perfectly clear. There should be no source of ambiguity. 

Don’t ask for identification 

Workplace wellbeing surveys should be entirely confidential. Your employees shouldn’t feel threatened by having their answers traced back to them. 

Also read: What Is A Performance Management System?

Don’t make all questions compulsory

Some employees may not be willing to share certain information. You need to respect their privacy by permitting them to withhold answers to personal questions. 

Employee Wellbeing Survey Questions

Designing a staff wellbeing questionnaire is a tedious task. It requires a thorough understanding of the workplace environment, employees’ job roles, and their expectations from work.

The following wellbeing survey questions will be helpful in creating an impactful questionnaire.

Work-life balance survey questions

  • Do you feel you’re provided adequate breaks? (Yes/No)
  • Are you able to balance your work and personal lives? (Yes/No)
  • What flexible work arrangements would you like us to introduce? (anonymous comments)

Fitness, nutrition, and health survey questions

  • Would you join a fitness club if we started one in the organization? (Yes/No)
  • Do you experience upper back, lower back, neck, elbow, or wrist pain while working? (Yes/No)
  • Do you feel office kitchen facilities are sufficient for your dietary requirements? (Yes/No)

Workload and stress survey questions

  • Do you feel you’re provided adequate facilities when you’re stressed? (Yes/No)
  • Do you feel your manager understands when you take a mental health day off? (Yes/No)
  • Are you comfortable giving your manager suggestions about your workload? (Yes/No)
Also read: What is the right organizational structure for this era?

Extracting Insights From Employee Wellness Survey

Just sending out and collecting survey results isn’t enough. You also need to analyze the data.

  • Choose a good analytics tool and feed the survey data to it. Use the analytics software to develop visual representations of the data. You could create simple graphs or bar charts representing survey results. Visually representing the survey results is one of the most effective ways to recognize trends and patterns. 
  • Sometimes, you may need more specialized tools to conduct more comprehensive analyses. Try to find themes in your data to figure out how your employees feel overall. Breaking down responses is one of the best ways to achieve that. For example, suppose stress concerns repeatedly show up in employees’ responses. In that case, it indicates your organization likely has strong stress and workload management problem.
  • Also, make sure you examine your employees’ qualitative data as comprehensively as you do their quantitative data. Qualitative data can provide you with an important insight that numbers can’t represent. Once you’ve fully analyzed survey results, share the conclusions with your entire organization, especially your managers, and discuss how you’ll improve things organization-wide.
Also read: 6 Trends That Will Shape Hr Strategies In 2022

In conclusion, employee wellness questionnaires are an excellent way to gauge employee wellbeing and health. Both employee wellness and health are vital considerations for a progressive organization that wants to maximize employee productivity and prevent the problems associated with employee burnout.

Book a demo with us to know how Engagedly can help you create effective employee surveys!

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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