How to Interpret the Gallup Q12 Questions

Portrait of a positive manager with his team sitting at the table

The Gallup Q12 questionnaire can provide you with valuable insights into your employees overall satisfaction which can play a part in productivity, retention, and profitability. Gallup's employee engagement work is based on more than 30 years of in-depth behavioral economic research involving more than 17 million employees. The survey is centered around core business elements, providing employers with a benchmark for increasing employee engagement levels and reaching company goals. Today we will discuss how to administer the Gallup Q12 Survey, while providing insight into analyzing a few responses. 

Administering and Interpreting Gallup Q12 Questions for Employees

When administering the survey, managers and supervisors should never try to interpret Gallup's Q12 survey question items for their employees. The survey is an individual measure, meaning interpretations can and may be different than their coworkers. When asked for interpretations managers should instruct employees to “Answer the question based on what you think it means." Managers who explain what they think an item means may lead employees to a different type of response than they would have given on their own. This can provide inaccurate information and lead to inaccurate results. 

 

Gallup Q12 Survey Questions

Below is a list of the Gallup Q12 survey questions, as mentioned above each should be interpreted individually to allow employees to form their own opinions and provide key behavioral data. For more information on how each of these questions could be interpreted, visit our blog Getting In-depth with the Gallup Q12 Employee Surveys

  1. Do you know what is expected of you at work? 
  2. Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work right? 
  3. At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? 
  4. In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work? 
  5. Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person? 
  6. Is there someone at work who encourages your development? 
  7. At work, do your opinions seem to count? 
  8. Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important? 
  9. Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work? 
  10. Do you have a best friend at work? 
  11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress? 
  12. In the last year, have you had opportunities to learn and grow?

 

Analyzing Employee Responses

After administering the Gallup Q12 survey you will receive a variety of reports to help you interpret results and determine a plan for moving forward. The reports often include the following data: 

  1. GrandMean: Highlights your company’s overall engagement. The GrandMean score is an average of the averages for the scores you receive for the individual Q12 items. The GrandMean uses the same five-point scale as the individual Q12 items.
  2. Sample: The total number of employees who took the survey or the total number of employees who responded to each question. 
  3. Gallup Database Percentile Rank: Compares your GrandMean and Individual item results with Gallup’s database of organizations that have administered the Q12 survey. This is often color coded as well to help you visualize how your organization stands compared to others. 

Using Q12 Data Compared to Satisfaction Scores

Data from reports can be very useful for determining overall engagement, however comparing this to your satisfaction scores can help you recognize any underlying issues in your organization. The two Q12 items most consistently related to satisfaction with one's company are mission/purpose (Q08) and opinions count (Q07). 

If your organization has a high satisfaction, but a low GrandMean score, individuals are likely connected to the company and aligned with your goals and mission, however their needs are not being met. These employees will likely stay with the company longer due to loyalty or happiness, but will search for other opportunities if this trend continues. 

Vice versa, if a workgroup has a high GrandMean score but low satisfaction with the company, it has people who feel disconnected from the company’s purpose, but individuals who are connected and developing within their local environment. While the individuals in this group may have negative past experiences, they have the potential to become satisfied with the right management, coworkers, or training initiatives. Engagement can lead to satisfaction with a company, however satisfaction alone can not lead to engagement. Through specific management behaviors your team can begin to foster positive experiences and build employee satisfaction. 

 

Get Started Building Employee Engagement

By administering an employee engagement survey, you can better understand employee needs and what your company may be lacking. By building an engaged and satisfied workforce, you can lower absenteeism, boost productivity, and achieve higher quality work.

For a limited time, C.A. Short Company is offering our People Are Everything™ survey, loosely based on the Gallup Q12, for free! We can help you administer the survey and analyze the results in order to improve your engagement levels and elevate your workforce. Sign up today to get started!

Employee Engagement Survey | C.A. Short Company

Topics: Gallup Q12, Culture of Engagement

R Scott Russell, CRP, CEP | Director - Engagement Strategies

About the Author
R Scott Russell, CRP, CEP | Director - Engagement Strategies

R Scott Russell is a video host, public speaker, and a sought-after thought leader in the world of employee engagement and recognition. At C.A. Short Company, he is responsible for producing engaging content, helping clients maximize the effectiveness of their programs, and providing ongoing training and education.

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