33 ESAT Questions to Ask Now That Everyone’s Working from Home

Mercer Smith-Looper Mercer Smith-Looper · 5 min read

We want our people to feel happy, right? It’s never too early to ask relevant questions, get the ball rolling, and making a better future.

You’ve probably heard of customer satisfaction surveys (CSAT). They measure how satisfied with your product and services your customers are and give you a barometer of where you need to improve. Well, we’d like to introduce you to employee satisfaction surveys (ESAT). Unlike employee net promoter score, ESAT helps you measure the satisfaction of your employees, rather than how likely they are to recommend working for your company.

With so many changes happening with the way that companies are required to work, it’s the perfect time to survey your employees and ask what you’re doing well and where you could be better. Remember: we are all in this together. Approaching things humanly, admitting where you are wrong, and trying to fix things before they escalate is the best way to move forward in our new world.

Here are some groupings of the best types of questions and examples that you can use to start understanding how your employees are feeling right now.

esat questionsManagement

Things are in flux. People are working on shifted schedules. Role definitions have changed. Perhaps your company has had to shift its overall strategy entirely. Those are the kinds of things that need to be managed through—they don’t just happen in a vacuum. In the event that you were a colocated business prior to the impacts of COVID-19, your managers may just be getting their remote management sea legs under them. It’s okay to not be perfect! Ask these questions to get a handle on where your team members feel successful, and where they still think there are some opportunities for your management and leadership teams to grow.

  • The company is effectively managed and well-run, even with everyone working remotely.
  • The company is open and honest in communications with its employees.
  • The company has responded effectively to changes in our business environment and ecosystem.
  • I have a good understanding of changes to company policies and procedures that impact how I work.
  • Our company is effectively organized and structured, given the changes to how we work.
  • I receive clear and regular feedback on how well I do my work, even while not in the office.
  • I understand the results I am expected to deliver and how they may have changed during the pandemic.

esat questionsCollaboration

Collaboration and communication are two of the first things that can be impacted by working remotely if you aren’t used to it. Transitioning from being able to walk over to someone’s desk and ask a question to have to ping them on your company messaging system and wait for a response is difficult.

Beyond that, body language and other forms of non-verbal communication aren’t always conveyed well across text messages and emails. While a well-versed remote employee may be equipped with strategies to work around this, people who are suddenly thrust into working remotely don’t always know the best ways to adjust.

Here are some questions to help you gauge how working remotely has impacted the collaboration and communication of your team, and what things you might need to adjust to make things better.

  • We rarely waste time on unnecessary or poorly designed processes and procedures.
  • The work is well-organized in my team.
  • My team receives high-quality support from the parts of the company we depend on.
  • There is good communication between departments in the company.
  • Knowledge and resources are efficiently shared across the company, and we’ve made changes to adjust to working remotely.
  • There are no significant barriers at work to doing my job well.
  • I enjoy working on my team.

esat questionsBenefits

Many companies right now are undergoing financial hardships—that may mean laying off employees, furloughing employees, doing payment freezes, cutting benefits, and even cutting salaries. It’s not easy. As painful as it can be for the management team, it’s even worse for the affected employees. This is especially true for companies that were affected by reductions in force. We often worry about the people that were laid off but consider also how the people left behind are feeling.

In terms of their impact on ESAT, 72% of people selected in a survey by Zoro said having more work benefits would increase their job satisfaction. These questions help to gauge how your employees are feeling about the benefits that you are currently offering, and if there are any levers that you as a company can pull to boost satisfaction.

  • The company provides its employees with adequate benefits.
  • We have adjusted benefits to address the needs of working remotely for an extended period of time.
  • I have the resources I need to do my job well (e.g. equipment, information).
  • I understand any impacts that working from home has had on my benefits and why they are necessary.
  • I am satisfied with my current compensation.

esat questionsWell-being

We want our people to feel happy, right? The Global Wellness Institute found the following statistics: 62% of employees say that being physically or mentally unwell affects their ability to get work done, 63% say it affects their engagement in work and 62% say it affects their motivation to do the job well. It’s not just about their productivity, though, it is just in human nature to want the people that we care about to feel well.

This is an incredibly bonkers time. Your employees are in a different mindstate than they’ve probably ever been in before. These questions allow you to understand where they are at, how well you are supporting them, and any areas where you may fall flat.

  • I receive recognition when I do a good job.
  • My workload is reasonable.
  • My work schedule is flexible enough to allow me to meet my family and personal responsibilities.
  • The level of stress in my job is acceptable.
  • I feel excited about coming to work in our new virtual environment.
  • I can see myself working here in a year, even if we are still remote.
  • I still feel motivated in my role and excited about the work that I am doing.

esat questionsOpen-ended

The above questions will all be rated on a sliding scale (1-5, for example), but it’s important to include the option for people to share their perspectives in a deeper manner as well. These open-ended questions offer the opportunity for people to elaborate a bit on the questions you’ve already asked, as well as add anything that they might still be thinking about.

  • What practices do we need to change to make our remote work environment better?
  • Have any problems arisen within our culture due to working remotely?
  • What new ways can we boost employee engagement while social distancing?
  • What is the most important aspect of your employee experience here, and has it been impacted by working remotely?
  • What are the things that we are doing great?
  • What are the things that we are not doing great?
  • Are there other benefits that we could offer now that we didn’t before that would be impactful for you?
  • Ask and you shall receive

While it might be scary to put yourself out there and potentially open your leadership team up for constructive, hard-to-hear insights if you don’t ask you’ll never learn. Inquiring about how your team is doing helps you proactively save your teams from undergoing risks like voluntary attrition, further collaboration issues, and even customer impacts. It’s never too early to ask and get the ball rolling and making a better future.

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Mercer Smith-Looper Mercer Smith-Looper

Mercer is the Head of Support at Appcues, a yoga fanatic, and strives to make the world a little bit happier one customer at a time. You can find her at mercenator.com and on Twitter at @mercenator.

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