The importance of keeping your employees emotionally engaged in your organization is a constant theme in our Thought Leadership blogs and more recently in our highly popular wall chart, 35 Ways to Influence Corporate Culture and Increase the Bottom Line.
At C.A. Short Company, we have found ourselves often referencing Gallup’s report, “State of the American Workplace,” as it relates to the need for active employee engagement. As part of our recent informative blog series, we’ve regularly pointed to results from Gallup’s Q12 measurements from employee surveys and how they can allow for such effective solutions to be drawn up.
What exactly is the Q12?
An ongoing employee survey that measures employee engagement, the Q12 consists of 12 actionable workplace elements that offer proven links to performance outcomes. Gallup actually spent years conducting thousands of interviews across most industries in multiple countries. It was in the late 90s that questioning was finalized and since then, it’s been administered to more than 25 million employees in 195 countries, as well as in 70 different languages. With such lofty goals and intense research behind it, we believe it would be worthwhile to explain the meaning behind each element, in order to better understand how these outcomes are derived and put into action.
What Are the Gallup Poll Survey Questions?
The 12 questions from the Gallup Q12 Employee Engagement Survey are a quick and easy way to find out how engaged your employees are at work. Employees indicate their feelings and opinions on a scale from 1 to 5, helping you to gather insight into employee motivation and productivity.
Below we highlight each of the Gallup survey questions, while providing insight into their underlying importance and references to employee engagement.
Q1: I know what is expected of me at work
This question addresses one’s ability to understand their place within an organization’s team. Do employees know how their role is defined? Are they aware of their responsibilities on any given day?
Q2: I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right
Without the proper tools at their disposal, employees cannot do their job to the highest degree possible. This question is meant to address discrepancies between what employees have and what they need in order to achieve workplace excellence.
Q3: At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day
Do employees feel that they are regulated to a set of tasks that don’t effectively utilize their unique set of skills? This question uncovers if employees are in the appropriate position and if the company understands how to maximize the efforts of their employees by building on their strengths.
Q4: In the last 7 days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work
Simply put: does anyone notice an employee’s effort? This question focuses on your company’s ability to pinpoint and highlight outstanding individual contributions.
Q5: My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person
Sadly, some organizations see their workforce as nothing but labor. This question aims to uncover how emotionally engaged the leaders in your organization already are.
Q6: There is someone at work who encourages my development
Is there an encouraging presence within your team or does everyone go about their own business on any given day? Without effective leadership or an encouraging atmosphere, engagement cannot thrive because it is not conducive to such conditions.
Q7: At work, my opinion seems to count
Do leaders take employee thoughts and opinions into consideration? This question looks at whether everyone is headed in the same direction or just along for the ride when it comes to brand goals.
Q8: The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important
How well do employees feel they relate to the goals of your organization? If employees aren’t in full agreement with where the company wants to go and the role they play in helping you get there, engagement is doomed to fail because there’s nothing to strive for in the long-term.
Q9: My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work
Those around you play an active role in your belief of the company itself. If employees feel coworkers are not as committed as they are, they may feel they are making up for the lack of effort from fellow team members, which can in turn hurt company culture. You should aim to ensure that your team is working in unison and can complete their tasks at the highest levels possible.
Q10: I have a best friend at work
Relationships are important and act as an encouraging sign that a team is working as one. If everyone in the organization operates on a different wavelength, it will ultimately hinder the team’s ability to operate as a whole.
Q11: In the last 6 months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress
Metrics and statistics are important, especially as they relate to job performance. If employees are doing something wrong, yet no one tells them it’s wrong, they're doomed to continue repeating the same mistakes. By checking in with and encouraging personal growth, team members can maintain more realistic workplace goals.
Q12: This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow
Is there a program in place that encourages personal growth and allows for opportunity to further skills and abilities? This question is designed to uncover your organization’s current engagement levels, as they relate to continued training and education.
How Do I Utilize the Gallup Survey to Build Employee Engagement?
As you can see, each of the 12 points associated with the Q12 have been meticulously crafted to maximize the survey’s results. Every individual question also represents a point within the four stages of hierarchy that an employee goes through on their path to engagement—from primary needs and individual contributions to the desire to make improvements and apply new ideas.
By focusing on the emotional impact of one’s workplace environment, there’s more opportunity to uncover and correct any roadblocks that may arise. This is why we truly believe the Q12 is a powerful factor, as we continue to look at employee engagement and its importance in the workplace.
C.A. Short Company Employee Engagement Surveys
When your employees are engaged at work, they are more fulfilled and motivated - leading to higher productivity.
An engaged workforce also results in a more productive and profitable organization.
C.A. Short's employee engagement solutions help you determine the health of your business, while finding areas for improvement.
Download our employee engagement survey solution one-sheet to learn more:
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on March 21, 2016 and has been recently updated.