You've heard it countless times before: "the customer is always right" or "the customer is king."

For a long time, customer satisfaction was the end all be all for many companies – oftentimes to the detriment of employee well-being. And while the customer experience should remain top of mind, the recent wave of global resignations has shown us that neglecting your employees, or not properly motivating them, can have serious repercussions for your business.

But you can't improve employee engagement if you don't measure it, and that's where employee engagement surveys come in. If you ask the right employee engagement interview questions, you can keep your finger on the pulse of your team more easily and efficiently.

These interview questions gauge key employee engagement metrics every manager needs to keep an eye on.

Why you should measure employee engagement

Engaged employees are the foundation of successful organizations, but despite the importance of fostering a motivated workforce, engagement numbers are shockingly low.

Just 21% of employees around the globe are engaged at work.

Gallup's 2022 State of the Global Workplace Report

Employees who feel connected to their work are more productive and more committed to their jobs, which can lead to lower rates of turnover and absenteeism. But how do you know when the time is right to check in with your employees?

When to ask employee engagement interview questions

When you're managing a large or distributed team, disconnection among employees may not always be obvious. But as a hiring manager or team lead, you should watch for the following subtle signs of disengagement:

  • Difficulty meeting deadlines
  • Lack of enthusiasm for projects they used to enjoy
  • Withdrawal from team conversations
  • Rise in absenteeism

If you notice any of these signs of disengagement, it might be time to schedule a one-on-one meeting or stay interview to identify areas of improvement or challenges within your team.

The importance of holding stay interviews

It's well-documented that sending pulse surveys with tools like Officevibe can be a great indicator of employee engagement. But if you're seeing employee performance take a dip, you should consider holding a stay interview to supplement any employee engagement questions you may have already asked your direct report to avoid potential turnover.

A stay interview allows you to see how your employees feel in real-time. These meetings can take on a conversational tone or can be more formal in nature. Your employees all have different personalities and preferred management styles, so keep that in mind before starting your chat.

Is your employee retention making you nervous? Ask these six stay interview questions to keep your people around for the long haul.

Employee engagement interview question examples

Disengagement in the workplace can stem from many places including personal issues, misalignment with the company's goals, lack of communication, and confusion around responsibilities in their current position. Let's explore a few examples of questions you can ask to gauge employee engagement.

📋Check out this free survey template for another way to help you assess employee engagement on your team.

Interview questions about professional development

People want to see a clear vision for their futures beyond their current positions and which steps will help them get there. For employees to feel engaged with their work, they also need to feel like their current job is fostering a sense of growth, both personally and professionally. Including growth-related questions like these on your employee engagement survey can help you focus on cultivating your employees' development:

  • On a scale from 1-10, how confident do you feel that your current role is fostering your professional growth?
  • What is one thing you need from your manager to move closer to your personal goals?
  • Do you feel like you have a clear growth path in place to reach your professional goals?

Questions about relationships with co-workers

Relationships among colleagues can make or break employee engagement. When people feel like they have good relationships with other employees, they're going to feel more engaged with their work and more motivated to collaborate with the team.

On the flip side, if they have challenges connecting with their peers, it could lead to lower levels of engagement, so your engagement survey questions should cover peer relationships.

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how supported do you feel by other employees on your team?
  • Are communications among peers honest and transparent?
  • If you could change one thing about the team you're currently on, what would it be and why?

Manager-employee relationship questions

Relationships with co-workers play a major role in employee engagement, and that includes their relationship with their manager. Sometimes you'll act as a coach, mentor, or enabler for your team members, so you want them to feel comfortable coming to you and supported when they do. Your stay interview or one-on-one meeting is a great opportunity to ask questions about employee-hiring manager relationships.

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how supported do you feel by your manager?
  • Do you feel like your manager cares about your well-being?
  • What's one thing your manager could start or stop doing that would help you do your job better?

Engagement interview questions about feedback

Feedback is directly correlated with growth. When employees receive feedback, it helps them understand what they're doing well, what they need to work on, and how they can reach their full potential. Not only that, employees need to have space to share their own feedback, too. So making sure you initiate a continuous feedback loop on your team is a critical part of engagement.

Get the ball rolling for chats on feedback with questions like:

  • Are you satisfied with how often you get feedback from your manager?
  • Does the feedback you receive at work help you grow and develop?
  • If you have feedback for your manager, do you feel comfortable sharing it?

Not sure how to start collecting feedback? We've got you covered with this comprehensive employee feedback guide.

Questions about company alignment

A part of feeling engaged at work is understanding the bigger picture that your role contributes to. People want to know that their work has a purpose and feel connected to the company's greater goals. Start by asking some of these common interview questions to get a sense of your team's alignment with the company.

  • Do you understand how your role contributes to the company's mission?
  • Are you confident that your organization is able to reach its objectives?
  • Are the values of the company aligned with your personal values?

Interview questions about happiness and satisfaction

Happiness is closely tied to engagement. How can someone feel connected with their job if they're consistently stressed out, sad, or even angry at work? According to recent Officevibe data, 47% of people say they regularly feel overwhelmed at work, so understanding employees' levels of happiness in the office helps you spot any potential issues that may contribute to negative emotions.

Or, it can help you understand what makes people show up smiling every day. So ask some engagement questions about workplace happiness.

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you in your day-to-day at work?
  • Do you feel like you have a healthy work-life balance?
  • What's one thing your manager, team, or leadership can do to make you happier at work?

Questions about organizational culture and workplace environment

People are influenced by their environment so your company culture and workplace environment have a direct impact on employee engagement. Whether your employees are in-office, completely remote, or a distributed team, you want to understand what blocks and enables their success.

  • Do you have all the resources you need to do your job effectively?
  • How does your team's behavior reflect your values day to day?
  • What's the one thing you like the most about your organization's culture, and what's the one thing you like the least? Why?

Learn how you can create a more positive team culture by making peer recognition a pillar at your company.

How to measure employee engagement with interview questions

Asking questions will help you get a read on how engaged your employees are, but you have to deliver those questions in a thoughtful and structured way. Make sure you're getting the most out of your employee engagement survey by following some of these best practices.

1. Be consistent with your questions

Asking similar questions allows you to compare answers over time and measure how engagement is increasing or decreasing. This is important because you want to track trends of engagement and see how different sentiments fluctuate as things change and progress on your team. If you ask a whole new set of questions each time, you'll have a harder time noticing patterns of behavior.

2. Keep historical data

Organizing employee responses and keeping track of engagement survey data helps you review engagement at different times and make more sense of your results. You might spot trends that are seasonal, or if a big change happens that your team has been through before, you can see if they're reacting in a similar way. This will help you apply your learnings on an ongoing basis and make positive changes accordingly.

3. Think about question structure

Structure your questions in a way that will get you the clearest data. Because not all questions are built to give you the same information, some are better formatted as multiple choice, sliding scale, or open-ended to provide deeper feedback. So be intentional with what question types you're using, and why. And don't forget to word questions clearly, and keep each question to cover a single point.

Improve employee engagement with your survey results

Asking questions will only take you so far in your quest to boost team engagement. Once you've had your conversations, it's time to get to work on crafting ways to create a more motivating work environment.

Start by identifying trends and patterns in your results. From there, choose the top issues that should be addressed most urgently and create action plans to help you solve them.

If you need to ask your direct report more pointed questions, schedule a follow-up meeting to learn more about their concerns and how you can help them. As their team lead, you'll act as an engagement manager to help build a better workplace.

Use the right tools to better understand your team

Show your employees that you care about their well-being and want to see them grow within the company by having honest conversations with them. When you ask the right questions, you get the most accurate, actionable responses so you can make the most meaningful impact on their overall employee experience.

A dedicated employee engagement solution like Officevibe offers your people a safe space to give honest feedback, can help you understand your team's needs, and provide you with real-time insight.

Sign up for Officevibe today and find out what your team really needs.