10 Employee Recognition Survey Questions

There are many ways to show your team love and recognition that are aligned with your company culture as well as your team’s personal preferences – if you are willing to make the effort.

It is important to keep in mind that each of your team members are unique in their respective character, ways of thinking, and responses  towards recognition. This is why it is essential that you understand what form of employee recognition will make each of your employees feel the most valued. 

One of the best tried-and-true ways to gain a deeper understanding of employee preferences and the effectiveness of your recognition efforts is by asking for their honest opinion. To give you an idea of how you can approach this conversation, below are 10 employee recognition survey questions that can help you gauge the efficacy of your recognition. 

Employee Recognition Survey

  1. How frequently do you receive recognition at work?

Answer type recommendation: A scale of 1-10 or verbally (during one-on-ones).

This first question will provide a quick snapshot of how valuable your employees feel to the company. If numbers in the response are generally low, you must examine your way for recognizing your team and determine where it falls short. If these numbers are high, continue implementing the strategies already put in place, but find ways to keep improving it. 

An appropriate time to ask this particular question is during your one-on-ones. This provides you with ideal opportunities to recognize outstanding work or an innovative idea. If your employees indicate that they are only recognized once a month or even less than that, you should start enhancing your recognition program.

  1. Are you satisfied with the level of recognition you receive? Why?

Answer type recommendation: A scale of 1-10 or multiple choice (with space to explain the “why”).

Everyone is different and thus, some of your team members may require more recognition than others. However, if a majority of the people within your company believe they should receive more acknowledgement, this is potentially an indication of a subpar policy that must be studied, reworked, and optimized.

 While some individuals require daily recognition in order to feel valued at work, others may not know how to respond to frequent recognition and may actually be uncomfortable with it. This question in the employee recognition survey reflects whether your current recognition approach is suitable for the individuals within your team.

Related read: Personalizing Recognition: Are You A Hydrangea or A Cactus? 

  1. Is the recognition you receive meaningful? How can it be improved?

Answer type recommendation: Open ended question.

It may feel easy to simply say “Good work!” to your team and call it a day. However, there are better ways to show recognition that will be more impactful to the individual or team overall. When providing recognition, try your best to be more specific. What have they accomplished that merits praise? How has this benefited the company? 

This form of acknowledgement feels personal and real, while also providing the recipient with a clearer goal to strive for in the future. This is what feedforward is all about. It is the cornerstone in our coaching methodology and something we urge leaders, coaches, and professionals alike to practice. For example, some employees prefer to be recognized in front of their coworkers, but others may feel more valued when you send them a private email. You need to evaluate the efficacy of the type of acknowledgment you deliver and make adjustments as necessary.

  1. Do you feel valued by the organization?

Answer type recommendation: A scale of 1-10 or multiple choice, with a space to elaborate.

Employees want to believe that their everyday actions, work ethic, and ideas contribute to the success of the organization. This makes them feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves, which gives them a sense of purpose. When employees have purpose and recognize their individual value to the firm, they are more likely to stay at the company and more motivated to improve their performance, therefore helping foster a productive and supportive work environment. 

Leaders, take the time to conduct one-on-one conversations with your employees and convey the significance of their roles. Your employees will feel valued if you pay attention to their accomplishments and contribution to the company, as well as provide them with the recognition they deserve. 

  1. Are some team members more frequently recognized than others? Why?

Answer type recommendation: Open ended question.

Recognizing some employees for the same amount of work that other people do (but do not receive equal praise for) is a quick route to employee disengagement. This is an important question to ask, as there can be an inherent bias that is affecting your judgment that you might not be aware of.

Related read: 9 Cognitive Biases That Affect Your Leadership

  1. What type of behaviors deserve recognition at this organization?

Answer type recommendation: Open ended question.

If your team members do not comprehend which behaviors merit recognition, it is unlikely that your efforts will have a significant impact on engagement or morale. Leaders should start by modeling certain behaviors that you want your employees to emulate to establish a benchmark. Leaders should also ensure that when employees do emulate those behaviors, their efforts will be acknowledged. 

If you receive a large number of “no” responses to this question – even when you have already tried modeling behaviors and recognizing them regularly – you need to set aside time to clearly communicate the company’s expectations when it comes to this issue. 

  1. Which behaviors tend to be the most and least recognized by leadership?

Answer type recommendation: Open ended question.

Does your organization have a standard for awards and recognition? Are there certain KPIs that have been established and communicated to the whole organization? If your team is aware of what is expected of them and how much they are valued, they will also have clear goals to work towards. 

However, recognition does not always have to be about something big, like closing a new client or achieving a sales target. It is also beneficial to recognize small wins, such as employees who show up with a positive attitude every day and exhibit behaviors that reflect the company’s core values and culture. 

  1. Which types of recognition and rewards do you desire the most?

Answer type recommendation: Open ended question.

There are many forms of employee recognition that you can provide: a brief appreciation for hard work over a chat, a public shout-out during the weekly staff meeting, a gift of reward points, and so on. The question is, which one makes them feel the most valued by you as their leader and the company as a whole? 

Your company’s recognition program will be more effective when you understand what kind of appreciation your employees enjoy. So, ask them directly and try out different forms of recognition and see how they respond to it. 

  1. How can your company’s recognition program be improved?

Answer type recommendation: Open ended question.

The best way to improve your company’s recognition program effectiveness is by asking your employees what they actually want. By simply asking how they can be better appreciated, your employees will already feel more listened to and valued.

Creating an outstanding employee recognition program is not a one-time and done project. Understanding how employees respond to and interact with your organization’s recognition program requires significant effort. Moreover, a successful recognition program requires a commitment to continuous learning and improvement as the organization grows and changes.

  1. How frequently do you recognize those with whom you work or interact in your personal life?

Answer type recommendation: A scale of 1-10 or multiple choice

Your team members should provide recognition to others as frequently as they expect to receive it. Making regular recognition a part of your company culture can help foster a positive attitude and boost motivation as well as engagement. 

As a leader, it is important that you set the tone for the whole company. You have the power to start a habit of providing frequent and personalized recognition to everyone in the company and inspire your team to do the same. Go out of your way to acknowledge a person or a team’s achievement and celebrate wins together in a way that matters most to them. That way, your team will slowly understand that this is the culture that you want to establish within the company and will be motivated to follow in your footsteps.

When was the last time your company conducted an employee recognition survey? It is time to gauge the efficacy of your current program in order to boost productivity. 


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