Employee Motivation Questionnaire: 17 Best Questions to Ask

Learn how engaged your employees are with these 17 questions.

How well are your employees performing—and are they motivated to do better? Many companies use employee motivation questionnaires to find out whether their employees are happy and engaged at work.

While employee motivation questionnaires can be as simple or complex as you like, these best questions below will ensure that you get an overall sense of employee engagement.

Why use an employee motivation survey?

We’ve all heard about burnout—the point at which someone feels the work they’re doing is no longer worth the time and effort they put into it. Burnout can strike even the best employees, leaving them unmotivated and exhausted, while their colleagues and coworkers scramble to pick up the slack. Finding out what’s causing burnout can help you figure out how to motivate your employees and provide value in their employment.

There are both internal and external factors at work in employee motivation. Your survey should cover both of these issues. The main goals for an employee motivation survey are to measure your workers’ interest in their work, find out what might be affecting their performance, and figure out how you can use that feedback to get closer to your end goals.

Happy employees are more likely to do great work—so make sure you do a little self-reflection of your own, based on the answers to your survey.

Best employee motivation questions to ask

These questions will help you get a better sense of how your employees are feeling about their jobs, and which internal and external factors are most important to their success.

Internal motivation

Internal motivation is how an employee feels about doing their job, simply because they are employed. These questions particularly reveal how satisfied they are, and whether they may be looking elsewhere for fulfillment:

  • What do you do in the workplace? How does your job match up to your job description? This question helps employers understand whether an employee’s job description is the same as the work that they’re actually doing. Watch out for employees whose job duties are very different from their actual role.
  • How many years have you been working in this industry? Knowing how long an employee has worked in a specific industry can answer a few key questions, including whether they’re tired of the work, whether they need more support, or whether it’s time to promote your employee.
  • Are you happy with the work you’re doing? The answers to this question will illuminate whether the worker feels pleased about their general job duties, and the results they’re getting. If they’re not happy with their work, you should follow up with them and find out why.
  • How excited are you to go to work? The answers to this question should be taken with a grain of salt. Many people do not relish their work on an everyday level, but there are always things the company can do to make their experience better. Look for the outliers. Who loves going to work, and why? Who hates it? There may be a discernible pattern that can make the overall experience better for the workforce at large.
  • What’s your biggest challenge with motivation in the workplace? If your employee answers honestly, you can get some great insight into what needs to be improved—especially for your top performers.
  • What would motivate you to be more productive? Knowing what’s most important to an employee’s experience, be it a higher salary, different coworkers, or more support, can help you determine whether an employee is happy and secure in their position. It also provides insight into what would help ensure your workforce looks forward to coming in each day.
  • What do you think of the company’s values and mission? Sometimes, the stated values and mission of a company doesn’t match up with the actual work performed. This question will let you know whether the work experience is reflecting the business’s goals.
  • What is your prime motivator at work right now? Understanding the stresses and benefits to working at your company will help you make appropriate choices to improve the experience.

External motivation

These external motivation questions will let you know whether your employee is getting appropriate outside feedback, and how you can change:

  • Do you feel appreciated by your colleagues? Everyone wants to feel like they’re doing a good job. If a worker is feeling unappreciated, they’re less likely to feel motivated to do a good job.
  • Does your current role allow for growth and new skill development? No one wants to stagnate, even if their role is easy and comfortable. Find out whether your workers feel like they’re growing in their role.
  • What kind of incentives would motivate you? While “a bigger paycheck” might be the main answer to this question, you can get a sense of how much your workforce values their position from this question. More vacation time, sick leave, and other incentives could be a cost-effective way to keep motivation high.
  • How do you feel about the current incentives? Similarly, this question will let you know whether the current offerings are enough to retain your best performers.
  • Are your views and opinions considered when making team decisions? Everyone wants to feel valued, especially when decisions affect multiple people. Find out whether your employees feel like they’re making valuable contributions.
  • Are you happy with your manager’s leadership style? Sometimes, people are less skilled at managing others than they are at performing specific tasks. Knowing whether a manager’s leadership style works for their team will help you understand where changes may need to happen.
  • Have you been promoted within the last six months? Are you seeking a promotion? Finally, make sure that there’s room for growth. Your employees should feel like there’s a ladder to climb, rather than being stuck in one position forever.

Discover employee motivation with Voiceform

An employee motivation questionnaire can be incredibly helpful—and revealing. When you want to generate honest answers, use Voiceform. Our multimedia data collection tools ensure that your respondents feel comfortable talking about their experiences, as well as providing valuable feedback to others. 

Sign up for free with Voiceform to use our Employee Engagement template to get feedback from employees about how they feel and how you can help them thrive. Pre-loaded questions include “Do you feel energized about coming to work?” and “Is our company aligned to your goals and values?” Employees can answer with ease with voice responses, multiple choice selection, and free-form writing. 

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