How to run an Engagement Survey using Google Forms

In this post, we tackle how to Plan, Build, and Analyse your survey. Read on for How to run an Engagement Survey using Google Forms.

1/31/2019 Employee Engagement

This article on running an Engagement Survey is part of a series on Employee Engagement.

Phase 1 - Planning

Establish your Survey Objective

There are many reasons to run such a survey. They could be to proactively diagnose issues, to measure the strength and nature of your company culture, to build trust in management or to measure the impact of initiatives.

Penning your objective will help you focus on your audience and your subject matter.

Define your Survey Audience

Writing out your objective will help you clarify who you need to survey in your company. It will normally be everyone but it may be a select group first. Maybe you aren't confident in your survey process just yet so you want to trial it with a particular division first. Perhaps you're tackling a specific issue which is only relevant to a certain section of your company.

Determine what the Survey must Measure

To make progress you need a measuring stick. Boil your objective down into actual metrics or drivers. Consider looking at the Roslin Engagement Drivers for inspiration. You'll want to measure these with your survey and at regular intervals in your follow up surveys so that you can make good decisions.

As an example, eNPS or Employee Net Promotor Score (Read more about eNPS here) is a measure of Employee Engagement. Several questions could help you measure it such as: "I would be happy to promote the company as an employer to my friends and family." If Engagement is important to the overall Company Culture that you're trying to build then you should mark it as a key metric. A company trying to improve peer relationships could build out a set of 4 questions and group them in a Peer Relationships section then measure the aggregate scores of those questions as a measure of the current state of Peer Relationships. 

Understand the expectation you are going to create

The biggest challenge with culture-building and employee engagement is expectation management.

"When you make commitments to the people in your organisation about important issues, you need to follow through otherwise you will erode trust in the management team."

Simply asking questions and the way you introduce your survey will also start forming an expectation. This should not give you pause, it just needs to be considered before you proceed because the gains massively outweigh the risks. That said, don't ask questions that you when you aren't quite ready to deal with the answers.

Phase 2 - Engagement Survey Questions

Now that you have determined your objective and your audience, creating the questions should be easy. Read our article on Employee Survey Questions for guidance on writing your questions.

Here are the Top 10 recommended questions:

  1. I would be happy to promote the company as an employer to my friends and family.
  2. I like working for my immediate supervisor.
  3. I understand the company’s plans for future success.
  4. My job allows me to utilise my strengths every day.
  5. I am coping with my workload emotionally and physically.
  6. If I contribute to the company's success I know I will be recognised.
  7. I see professional growth and career development opportunities for myself in this company.
  8. My immediate supervisor cares about my development.
  9. I have the materials and equipment needed to do my work right.
  10. I foresee myself working here a year from now.

You can also check out the Roslin Question Library for more questions (You can register for free here). Note the different questions types available on Google Forms such as linear, dropdown and multiple choice.

Phase 3 - Build out your Google Form

Once you've signed up to Google Forms here, start a new form. Name it and write a description of it. Both will be seen by respondents. Now you can start with the questions which you can copy-paste from the previous step.

Google lets you add sections which will split your survey into several pages that the respondents will click through. This will make longer services less overwhelming and improve completion rates. Aim for 2-4 questions for a section or split them up per Engagement Driver.

Some other settings to consider for your survey are below. You can edit them by selecting the gear icon on the top right of your screen.

  • You can change whether users can edit their response after submitting.
  • Users can be allowed to see the data of the survey after submitting. Selecting this will depend on the sensitivity of the questions that you're asking.
  • You'll want to limit responses to 1 per respondent.
  • You have the option of writing a message to each respondent after submitting the survey. It adds a nice touch.

Phase 4 - Analyse the data

Once the responses start coming in, Google Forms will automatically select the best chart type for your questions and populate it with response data.

You can't go very deep into your data with Google Forms though. This is where it falls short. For deeper analysis, you're going to have to export the data to excel and map the questions to different metrics. If you've set the survey to identify respondents then you can export the data to excel and map the responses to a user profiles table which will allow for segmented data reports.

This shortcoming is what inspired us to develop Roslin so check it out if the data analysis of Google Forms wasn't enough for you. This makes it much easier to measure the impact of your actions on culture over some time.

Phase 5 - Follow Up on your Engagement Survey

Now is the time to make hard decisions about what to act on and what to defer. You also need to ensure that you don't knee-jerk and do everything that the staff ask for blindly. You need to be very deliberate about what sort of a culture you want to create. This means using the feedback you've received to see where you are and compare it to where you want to be. THEN, you can decide on actions. Ensure that your actions support your Culture Map and Company Strategy.

You'll want to communicate the results of the survey to the respondents within 1 month of the closing date. Be as transparent as you can by sharing the data with your organisation. It's also ideal that you communicate your action plan along with the results. Follow that up with the results of those actions 3-6 months later.

Communication is incredibly important. If staff raise key issues and you ignore them or dismiss them then you will destroy trust. 

Wrapping up

It's important to tackle the various steps in running your engagement survey and then following up on the results with your team. If you plan your objective and survey questions well, you'll get good data. With good data, you can make excellent decisions. Follow those decisions up with excellent execution and you'll have an A-Grade Culture in no time!

Is there something we didn't cover here? E-mail us at info(at)!

JP Olivier
Chartered Accountant, self-taught coder, entrepreneur, investor. Co-Founder of and CFO at