8 Survey Questions That Get the Most Insightful Employee Feedback

Surveys are often met with groans, but asking well-thought-out questions lets your employees speak candidly. You'll learn about your team and maybe even get the next big idea for your company.

A. What Could the Company Be Doing Better?


It's important to leave space for an open-ended text question. Your employees' responses may surprise you in terms of what is important to them and what they think is going well and not so well within the company. If enough people mention the same pain points that management didn't even think of, these issues should be tracked for improvement.

- Diana Goodwin, AquaMobile Swim School

A. Are You Happy?


This is roughly the first question sent out by a tool we use to poll our team members called TINYpulse. It, among other things, helps us gauge and track our team's happiness levels. This can be a hard thing to do across an organization, and TINYpulse makes it much easier. Using the anonymously provided answers to the weekly questions, I can get to work on making people happier.

- Adam Steele, The Magistrate

A. How Would You Save the Company?


Ask your employees: "If we had one month left of payroll left in the bank, what is one thing you would do for our company to make it profitable and survive?" This will help them think outside the box on what's working and what people care about the business from an outside perspective.

A. Do You Feel Like Making Mistakes Is Encouraged?


In a lot of companies, there's so much control over the employees that employees don't stretch. When this happens, two issues occur: first, employees become bored, unmotivated and undervalued. What's more, your company doesn't reach its potential. Ask employees if they feel empowered to be wrong, and correct it if not.

- Kofi Kankam, Admit.me

A. Would You Recommend This Company to a Friend?


Employee engagement is the extent to which your employees are personally involved in the success of your business. It's the thing that inspires someone to run through walls for you. Most leaders agree that employee engagement is important, but very few realize that engagement levels at your company can actually be measured by asking this one simple question. Use it to gauge your company's culture.

- Sean Kelly, SnackNation

A. What Would Improve Your Job?


Keep the questions broad and open-ended. Get a feel for where their heads are without using potentially leading questions. For example, "What would improve your job?" This approach may uncover things you wouldn't think of on your own. Finding out, say, that the ability to work from home is important during an exit interview doesn't do much good.

- Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors

A. What Are Your Concerns?


Ask your employees if they have any concerns, and give them an open-ended, anonymous space to answer. It lets employees know that they're actually being heard, and it gives you a transparent look at what's actually going on at your company.

- Nick Bayer, Saxbys Coffee

A. What Are Your Values in the Company?


Business leaders are responsible for the culture of their organization. While cultural values are espoused by leaders, the true values of the organization are found in the experiences of team members. A mismatch between the values of the leaders and team members is a sign of a future problem.

- Eric Mathews, Start Co.

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.