What can I learn from this page?
An overview of the wellbeing question set
Who is this guide for?
Account Admins, Survey Admins, Survey Creators
The short and long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic made a focus on employee wellbeing more important than ever. According to data published by the mental health charity Mind, 60% of the adults reported that their health got worse during lockdown. Therefore, companies have to pay very close attention to workplace wellbeing, not only as they deal with the immediate wellbeing-related costs of the pandemic, but also as they embark on creating a culture of wellbeing in a post-pandemic world.
While organizations define what wellbeing means to them and develop goals around how they want to tackle creating a better workplace for everyone, it can often be hard to know where to start and how to begin collecting the data you need. That is why we created our very own wellbeing question set.
Why should workplaces care about wellbeing?
When companies invest in researching, measuring, and acting on wellbeing, it benefits everyone. There is growing evidence that work wellbeing is part of a bigger picture of better functioning individuals, organizations, and societies. Many studies even show a direct link between productivity levels and the general health and wellbeing of the workforce. By studying a wealth of peer-reviewed wellbeing science, Australian research group Work on Wellbeing (WoW) reported that:
Workers become more productive at work to the tune of about US$1000 per year.
Workers are generally healthier, so sick days are cut in half.
Workers react more positively to workplace changes.
Workers being more positive about their workplace, so they are more likely to say good things to others and less likely to look for other work.
High employee wellbeing is also related to lower turnover. In a 2017 survey of employer-sponsored health plans in the United States, HR consultancy Mercer found that companies who do the most to promote wellbeing have lower turnover rates.
Apart from the above evidence, it makes a lot of financial sense to measure and monitor wellbeing. We have seen, time and time again, that organizational wellbeing can provide a company with a return of approximately 3 to 5 times the original investment (Goetzel & Ozminkowski, 2008; Rath & Harter, 2010). With today’s talent landscape being more competitive than ever, a workplace that invests in wellbeing can be seen as a great place to work and can boost its reputation and attraction.
Why did we create a wellbeing question set?
Currently, there are very little consistent, holistic approaches to assessing wellbeing. Most assessments are limited to job satisfaction type questions or focus only on a few domains. In other words, they fail to capture the complex and multidimensional nature of workplace wellbeing. We, at Culture Amp, wanted to offer a set of wellbeing questions that is grounded in research and modern concepts of wellbeing.
What is Culture Amp’s wellbeing question set?
Taking a data driven approach, we combined the most relevant and robust questions from our original Wellbeing survey template and our 2020 COVID Wellbeing survey template wellbeing. We also added several new questions to reflect the changing world of work. Our wellbeing question set allows organizations to select those questions most relevant to their context in order to develop a stronger culture of wellbeing, and understand the unique drivers of employee wellbeing in their place of work.
We define wellbeing as “a state in which people are able to develop their potential, work productively and creatively, build positive relationships with others, cope with the normal stresses of life, and make a meaningful contribution”.
Using this definition we drew upon well-known wellbeing models and concepts such as PERMA, hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing, subjective wellbeing, flourishing, and the more recent work looking at burnout, resilience and mental health.
Overall Wellbeing index - Early Burnout indicator
Our outcome measure or index can be used to give an indication of overall wellbeing and as an early indicator of burnout. It is measured using 5 statements:
I usually have enough energy to overcome challenges at work
I tend to bounce back quickly after challenging times at work
Overall I feel productive in my work
I generally feel positive towards work at Hooli
I rarely feel overstressed by my work
While it is not a diagnosis, the measure deliberately covers questions related to the 3 core elements of burnout as defined by WHO - feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion (resilience), increased mental distance or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job (positive feelings towards work), and reduced professional efficacy (feeling productive). Therefore the measure can provide some early warning signs or indication of the potential risk of burnout in your employee group.
In the same way that you can not just make someone feel more engaged, you can not simply increase an employee’s wellbeing. Rather you need to understand those things that are impacting your employees’ overall wellbeing and, importantly, what levers you can pull to increase their level of wellbeing.
Our library encompasses statements out of core areas that will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the following wellbeing related areas:
Company and leadership commitment
Work relationships (including those in remote and hybrid teams/organizations)
Energy and resilience
Work pressure and stress
Progress and growth
Meaningfulness of work
Resources and support
To support meaningful insight and progress, all of our wellbeing questions (excluding the outcome measure) are actionable either at a company or individual level.
When should you run a wellbeing survey?
You can roll out a wellbeing survey at any time. It is a great way to understand how you are tracking on wellbeing in your company. The insights from the survey can help you make better decisions about what wellbeing initiatives are needed right now, but also to understand the impact of those initiatives already in place. Gathering feedback on employee wellbeing is also an important symbol of kindness that demonstrates strong commitment to wellbeing, especially given that the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic still is a huge source of anxiety, stress, and self-doubt for many employees.
Some of the use cases of running a wellbeing survey include but are not limited to:
Fostering an overall culture of wellbeing
Being a workplace of choice by making wellbeing a part of your employer branding
Building resilience in fast growth
Reducing sick days, absenteeism and presenteeism
Monitoring wellbeing in hybrid or remote teams/organizations
Considerations on using the wellbeing question library
Ways to run a wellbeing survey.
Firstly, you may consider running a dedicated wellbeing survey to understand more specific aspects of wellbeing. Secondly, you may choose to create a factor or embed key questions from the library into another, broader survey, such as an Engagement survey.
Deciding on which factors to include.
If you decide to add a section on wellbeing as part of another survey, you may consider including the outcome index to track an overall sense of wellbeing in your organization. When running a dedicated wellbeing survey, identify any questions from the library that you are interested in, that are relevant within the current context of your organization or any wellbeing initiatives you have. For example, if your organization is working fully remotely or if you adopted a hybrid model, consider adding statements specifically around working relationships when employees work in different locations. Likewise, make sure not to include any questions that (a) do not fit with your culture, (b) you are not ready to hear the answer to, or (c) you will not open for discussion/ act on.
If you have surveyed in the past, consider which questions you would like to prioritize historical trend versus benchmark data. Check out our article on Survey Design for more guidance on how to craft a great overall survey experience.
Top 10 Wellbeing Driver Questions to Ask
Company and Leadership
I believe employee wellbeing is a priority at %ACCOUNT_NAME%
People here maintain a healthy blend between work and personal life
I can work productively in my current environment
I spend enough quality time interacting with colleagues
I feel equipped to manage both personal and work life demands
Energy and resilience
I am able to effectively switch off from work to make time for rest
I really enjoy the work that I am doing
My manager checks in regularly about how I am doing (not just work related)
Progress and Growth
I am making good progress in my career and development goals at %ACCOUNT_NAME%
In general, I feel what I am doing at work is worthwhile
What about questions on employee mood?
Excluding the outcome measure, all of our questions are directly actionable; however, some organizations have been seeking advice on surveying employees' moods or feelings. We don’t advocate for this as a process because this type of data is not inherently actionable by the organization, these types of measures often require intensive testing and validation for true insights, and asking employees to disclose information on mental wellbeing or emotional states requires a culture of extremely high trust. If you are seeking to measure employee mood or sentiment, here is a guide to consider.
Note: When we say “actionable”, we are referring to questions that one can take action on directly (e.g., if people are unable to access the systems they need working remotely, we can swiftly move toward providing access).
How can managers support employee wellbeing?
The role of the manager is also integral to taking action on supporting our employees during times of changes and transitions. If there was ever a moment for managers to make an impact, it’s now.
As the world of work is changing, managers are being asked for more than ever before – they are directly looking after people’s wellbeing and resilience under uncertainty, while reacting and then operationalizing any changes (such as downsizing, working remotely) and running a productive team.
It’s important to continue to regularly check-in on how people are adjusting and feeling during this time. Managers can support their people by asking them ‘are you ok?” and genuinely listening.
We have a ‘Playbooks Hub,’ in the platform that includes a section on Resilience. Managers and teams can draw on for inspiration on actions they wish to take on the questions that are impacting their wellbeing. This is also an opportunity to share any resources and/or programs your organization may already have in place for employee wellbeing that teams and managers can utilize.
Importantly, gathering feedback on employee wellbeing is as great for companies that are starting out as it is for companies that are already investing in workplace wellbeing. To help you set out on the right path, it’s an easy yet robust way of understanding where to focus to ensure you are building a culture of wellbeing, and as a result, a better workplace as you navigate the new realities of the modern workplace.
The wellbeing question library is available now for all existing engagement and full platform customers. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.