How to recognize employee needs with a wellbeing survey

wellbeing survey

Learn why your business needs a wellbeing survey during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” – Richard Branson 

Employee wellbeing has become an emphasis for many companies in the last few years. It went from being an emerging trend to a staple in most HR funnels. Now in 2020, the need to gauge, monitor, and act on employee needs through wellbeing surveys has only amplified because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

In a survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the U.S. Census Bureau over the summer, rates of anxiety and depression increased among Americans. Among young Americans (18 -29), almost half of respondents in a June poll faced these mental health challenges. 

But despite age or demographic factors, workers of all backgrounds and industries are facing challenges because of the pandemic. These difficulties could be exacerbated in the coming months as pandemic fatigue grows and many people are forced to stay indoors and socially distanced for longer periods of time during the winter. 

With these employee challenges at the fore, and the opportunities businesses have to be there for their people, it’s become much more important to use tools like wellbeing surveys. 

How is wellbeing defined?

For Workify, we describe it like this: “Employee wellbeing encompasses the physical, mental, emotional health of an employee within the scope of work. This includes their physical resources and environment, capacity for work, and perceived organizational support.” 

Wellbeing always includes empathy, and employee needs like: 

  • How connected an employee feels to their coworkers
  • Whether or not they have the resources to do their job 
  • The support and empowerment they feel from their manager

The wellbeing equation is unique for each part of an organization, and it varies even more with individual workers. Getting a sense of how workers are faring is especially challenging during the pandemic since managers and peers aren’t able to meet with each other face-to-face or as frequently and spontaneously as they did in the past. With these workplace changes taking place, many workers are less likely to reach out for help, and some may not do it at all. 

The goal of a successful wellbeing survey is to break through this barrier to get all employees to share how they’re feeling and what their needs are. The employees that don’t share as readily are more likely to give information when they’re prompted effectively through surveying. 

To target employees, successful surveys usually focus on these types of categories: Change management, advocacy, value alignment, satisfaction, culture alignment, change adoption, commitment, and connection. 

Building your wellbeing survey 

We know that engaged and fulfilled workers bring more success to a business, which we covered recently when we talked about building business cases for employee engagement programs. Once your management team is sold on an engagement program, you can then start building different types of surveys. 

Our Workify surveys are designed by Industrial Organizational (I/O) Psychologists. They get at the heart of how employees are adapting to change, uncover how connected they feel to their organization, and answer whether or not they think the organization is committed to them. 

When building surveys, we recommend focusing on employee resources, the effectiveness of wellbeing programs, and work/life balance. You can see an example here of how we build out surveys for companies after mergers. 

Some questions we recommend are:

  • I understand what is expected of me in my role at this time. 
  • I have had the opportunity to collaborate with other employees at [Company Name]
  • I understand how the work I do contributes to [Company Name]’s success
  • I am excited about my future at [Company Name]
  • Joining [Company Name] has changed things for the better for me personally 
  • I know where to go at [Company Name] to get the information I need
  • I have access to the resources I need to work effectively 
  • I am satisfied with my experience working at [Company Name] so far
  • The team I work on is open to adopting new ways of doing business 


Need help building an wellbeing or engagement program? Want a third party view on where you should focus. Book a free 30 minute wellbeing consultation to discuss any questions you’re grappling with or to help with your company’s strategy.

Schedule a free 30 minute consultation