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How do you ask the right questions in an Employee Satisfaction Survey?

Updated: Jul 1

2023 was the year in which recruitment and selection took center stage. Now, we are seeing major challenges in retaining employees. In this context, gaining insights into employee satisfaction and well-being is crucial. An effective employee satisfaction survey is a valuable tool for gathering insights into the experiences and needs of employees, provided it is conducted properly

Designing such a survey requires precision, especially in the formulation of questions. This blog highlights the essential aspects of drafting questions for an employee satisfaction survey, focusing on open-ended questions, closed-ended questions, and the balance between the two.

The Importance of Scientifically Valid Questions in Employee Satisfaction Surveys

Drafting an employee satisfaction survey is a precise science. The quality and reliability of the collected data strongly depend on how the questions are formulated. Questions that are not scientifically validated can lead to skewed results that may mislead an organization in its decision-making processes. This underscores the importance of scientifically valid questions for obtaining objective and reliable input.

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What Makes a Question Scientifically Valid?

Scientific validity in survey questions ensures that the questions are free from bias, measure what they are intended to measure, and consistently yield reproducible results. This is achieved by:

  • Neutrality: Questions must be formulated neutrally without suggestive content that could influence the response.

  • Measurability: Each question should be designed to measure a specific aspect, yielding quantifiable and qualitative data that can be statistically analyzed.

  • Relevance and Specificity: The question must directly relate to the themes being investigated, clear, and unambiguous.

The Challenge of Formulating Valid Questions Yourself

Formulating scientifically valid questions requires deep knowledge of research methodologies and experience with statistical analysis. Many organizations underestimate the complexity of this task, resulting in data that does not accurately reflect true employee satisfaction. Developing such questions goes beyond simple formulation; it requires an understanding of psychometric principles and experience in avoiding common pitfalls such as leading, ambiguous, or overloaded questions.

Strategies for Formulating Questions

  • Clarity and Precision: Questions must be clear and unambiguous to avoid confusion and ensure accurate responses.

  • Relevance: Each question must directly relate to aspects of the work environment or the organization's policy.

  • Anonymity and Trust: It is crucial that employees feel safe in providing honest responses. Assure them of the anonymity and confidentiality of their responses.

Key Points in Drafting Employee Satisfaction Survey Questions

  1. Open-Ended Questions in Employee Satisfaction Surveys: Open-ended questions are indispensable because they give employees the freedom to speak openly about their experiences and perceptions. This type of question not only helps gain deep insights but also fosters the feeling that employees are truly being listened to. An example of an effective open-ended question is: "What would you change if you were in charge of your department?"

  2. Closed-Ended Questions for Quantifiable Data: Closed-ended questions are useful for collecting quantitative data that are easy to analyze. These questions can range from yes/no questions to Likert scale questions, where employees can rate their satisfaction on a scale. For example: "On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with your current role?"

  3. Balance Between Open and Closed Questions: A balanced mix of open and closed questions ensures that the survey yields both quantitative and qualitative data. This allows leaders to obtain a broad spectrum of insights, from specific percentages to in-depth opinions and suggestions.

Benefits of a Well-Designed Employee Satisfaction Survey

A well-executed employee satisfaction survey offers numerous benefits:

  • Improved Engagement: By involving employees in the feedback collection process, they feel more valued and recognized.

  • Targeted Improvements: Insights from the survey enable managers to take targeted actions to improve the work environment.

  • Increased Retention: A positive work environment that aligns with the needs of employees reduces staff turnover.

Solution by Deepler

For organizations concerned about the validity of their questionnaire, Deepler offers a solution. Deepler has already developed a series of scientifically validated questions for employee satisfaction surveys on its platform. These questions have been extensively tested to ensure they generate reliable, objective, and measurable data. By using Deepler's platform, organizations can outsource this complex and time-consuming task, assured of the scientific integrity of their research process.


The validity of the questions in an employee satisfaction survey is crucial for obtaining valuable and action-oriented insights. Errors in this foundation can lead to decisions that are not only ineffective but also counterproductive. Deepler provides a solution by having scientifically validated questions ready on a user-friendly platform, thus eliminating the risks of unskilled question development and allowing organizations to focus on what truly matters: improving employee satisfaction.

Curious about the possibilities? Check out our solutions.


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