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Employee Survey Questions to Evaluate Management Effectiveness

By Betterworks
8 minute read
Updated on November 10, 2022
employee survey questions management

Think of a feedback platform as a compass. No matter where you are along a journey, that compass can provide you with a sense of direction to reach your destination and accomplish your goals. As useful as a compass is while walking through unfamiliar ground, though, it doesn’t work entirely on its own. Without a magnetic north, it loses its effectiveness and utility, leaving you to conjecture and best guesses to find your way.

Like a compass, even the most sophisticated, convenient, and insightful feedback systems require precisely worded, targeted questions to fuel the surveys and other tools that generate the all-important people data to inform decisions. While employers should use a variety of topics and concerns to uncover a broad swath of insights, manager survey questions are particularly important in evaluating the effectiveness of supervisors and their decision making.

To help your organization fully leverage the insights and power of Betterworks Engage’s feedback platform, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of such survey questions to reveal your workforce’s authentic opinions and perspective on your enterprise’s management team. Use these questions as the magnetic north to Betterworks Engage’s revelatory feedback compass so your organization never gets lost in the woods and always finds its destination.

Why Feedback on Management Is So Vital

To place the importance of management feedback in a proper context, researchers have conducted several recent studies to gauge management’s impact on a workforce and organizational productivity. As one might guess, managers play a vital role in the quality of employees within an enterprise, engagement levels, and overall efficiency and productivity.

Specifically, better-managed organizations are much more capable of attracting and retaining top talent which, suffice it to say, is a tremendous competitive advantage in a marketplace filled with rival firms all competing for the same candidates. Likewise, the simple act of replacing an underperforming supervisor with one that excels has a more significant impact on team productivity than even adding a top performing employee.

Workers supervised by highly engaged manager are 60% more likely to be highly engaged themselves

Regarding engagement, another study found that workers supervised by highly engaged managers are 60% more likely to be highly engaged themselves. Given the gravity of employee engagement within an organization that Betterworks Engage has detailed in the past, it’s difficult to overstate the importance of management on everything from attrition and engagement to culture and productivity. Therefore, the following questions and topics concerning an organization’s managers are fundamental in guiding an employee feedback system designed to uncover the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that pulse throughout every enterprise.

Managerial Skills

Effective management requires a specific skill set and knowledge base to draw the most from a team. However, different organizations use different policies and procedures to choose their managers. While one supervisor might have a long track record of managing groups of people with extensive management training, another might have risen through the ranks and lack the insights and skills of others simply due to differing circumstances. In other words, no two managers are alike and will have different backgrounds, education, and experience that influence their managerial skills.

Use the following feedback questions to determine if your managers have the necessary skill set to be an effective leader in your enterprise. Collectively, these employee questions will help you gauge how managers respond in different situations and if they can maintain a healthy work-life balance within their team. Maintaining peak productivity from employees is often determined by a manager’s ability to find that balance without sacrificing motivation and commitment.

  • Do you have confidence in your immediate manager’s overall effectiveness?
  • Do you feel your supervisor has the expertise and abilities to help both you and your teammates hit performance goals and succeed?
  • Does your manager provide you with regular constructive feedback and insights into your performance?
  • Is your supervisor open and receptive to your ideas, suggestions, and requests?
  • Does management handle disagreements within the team and workplace in a professional manner?
  • Do you often feel overworked?
  • Placing your response on a scale of 1 to 10, how comfortable do you feel providing feedback to the management team?
  • Does your supervisor manage your team with a positive and healthy attitude?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how engaged is your manager with you and your team?
  • In what ways does your supervisor make your responsibilities easier or harder?
  • What could your manager do to better support the performance and growth of you and your team?

Communication from Management

In any relationship, including one between an employer and employee, clear and fluid communication creates an indispensable foundation that leads to success. Regarding communication between management and their team, research has shown that when managers consistently converse with their employees — whether face-to-face, by phone, or video conferencing — those employees demonstrate higher engagement levels. For instance, that same research found frequent team meetings to increase team engagement almost three-fold versus managers who do not hold meetings with any consistency.

Furthermore, given the dynamic nature of modern business and management, supervisors that use a mix of in-person, telephonic, and video conferencing for their meetings experience even greater engagement from their team members. Aside from meetings, effective communication from management also includes timely responses to employee queries and concerns, ideally within 24 hours to, once again, maximize engagement amongst the team.

Individual team members exhibit greater engagement

Naturally, it’s not coincidental to find that when managers are up to speed on what their employees are working on at any given time, individual team members exhibit greater engagement. Use these questions in your employee feedback strategy to determine how communicative management is with their team and, thus, how engaged the individual workers are with coworkers, management, and the enterprise as a whole:

  • Do your managers communicate their expectations clearly?
  • Does your manager effectively convey important information?
  • Does management take the time to explain the reason behind their decision making?
  • Are performance metrics used to gauge your individual success clearly explained?
  • Does management explain how your role fits into the organization’s bigger picture?
  • Are your daily responsibilities clearly laid out and explained to you?
  • Based on a scale of 1 to 10, how well does your supervisor communicate about projects with you and your coworkers?
  • Is your career path within the organization well-defined?
  • Are you kept informed about news and developments impacting the organization?
  • Does your manager’s communication style positively or negatively affect your team’s dynamics?

Support From Management

Once again citing recent research, studies now demonstrate that a supportive environment where managers concentrate on employee strengths rather than weaknesses is a far more effective strategy in maximizing performance. To that point, 67% of employees are more engaged when their managers focus on strengths as their primary support method. Moreover, when managers leverage an employee’s strengths to bolster their growth and development, they are twice as likely to engage with their team members.

Employees are more engaged when managers focus on strenghts

To best support their workers, managers are best served by placing them in a position to succeed in their roles, where they can continually play off their strengths and natural skills. From there, additional development and support to hone those skills and expand their knowledge base only increases their productivity and engagement with their team and organization. The following employee feedback questions will help determine how well a manager supports their workers and identify their own strengths and weaknesses regarding employee support:

  • Does your manager foster trust and openness within your team?
  • Does your supervisor treat each member of your team fairly?
  • Does your manager actively push for a healthy work-life balance?
  • On a 1 to 10 scale, how happy are you with your job?
  • Do you feel valued in your position within your organization?
  • Does your manager recognize you for successes?
  • Are you provided with the necessary tools, information, and technology to be successful?
  • Do you feel like your voice is heard by your manager?
  • Do you feel respected by your supervisor?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rank your work-life balance?
  • What three words would you use to describe your organization’s culture?

Managers as Mentors

Mentorship is about working with another person to help them grow and succeed. Within a working environment, the best mentors are managers that inspire the worker to excel in their position, providing insights above the employee’s daily routine as a sense of direction for career advancement. If the manager is a good mentor, the worker makes a stronger commitment to their position and organization, spurring them to move up within the ranks and establish higher goals. Use these questions within your employee feedback to judge how well a manager performs in a mentorship role.

  • Do you often discuss your career path with your manager?
  • Does your manager display genuine care over your development?
  • Is your manager fully aware of your skills, knowledge, and abilities?
  • How have you developed while working for your manager?
  • How much of your growth do you attribute to your supervisor?
  • Does your manager play an active role in helping to plan your career path?
  • What aspects of your relationship with your manager are you most/least satisfied with?
  • What could your supervisor do to better support your growth?
  • How does your manager help/limit your skills, knowledge, and development?

best mentors are managers that inspire

Maximize the Benefits of Employee Feedback

As evidenced by the employee feedback questions we’ve provided, a manager’s role within an organization extends far beyond the simple notion of keeping projects on track. In fact, managers are a critical component to developing talent and establishing a sound, innovative, and skilled foundation for the entire enterprise. Therefore, it’s always in an organization’s best interest to ensure their managers are consistently performing at optimal levels across their many responsibilities.

Betterworks Engage’s feedback and engagement platform provides critical insights to gauge managerial performance, identify strengths and weaknesses, and further their development to maximize results on productivity, engagement, and culture. However, just like the questions that drive the feedback surveys themselves, it’s of utmost importance for organization’s to implement and utilize Betterworks Engage’s illuminating tools in a manner most suited for the enterprise’s particular needs and circumstances.manager should consistently perform at optimal levels

For instance, given the nature of employee feedback that targets manager performance, utilizing anonymous surveys and polls is often an invaluable tool that increases employee participation by shielding them from possible negative repercussions. Obviously, many employees might be hesitant to provide feedback on their direct supervisor in fear of a negative impact on their career and position within the organization.

Thankfully, Betterworks Engage’s feedback platform can use anonymous tools to gather people data from a workforce that gives participants much-needed anonymity without sacrificing impact. In fact, anonymous surveys will provide employers with a higher degree of authenticity and reliability in the responses, making them even more insightful in identifying weaknesses within their managerial ranks.

Use the questions we’ve provided as a basis for deciphering pain points in your management to fully unlock your workforce’s potential. Also, remember that every organization is different so customize the questions to fit your specific needs. When coupled with the convenience and anonymous tools from Betterworks Engage’s feedback platform, your enterprise will be able to amplify engagement, productivity, and commitment at every level of your workforce. High performing managers will create a distinct and lasting competitive advantage that will serve your organization for years, and Betterworks Engage looks forward to showing you how.

Why is evaluating management effectiveness so important?

It’s absolutely true that a team can only be as good as their manager. A manager controls the flow of work, strategies that are in place, and the roles of each team member.

Therefore, a manager must be effective and well-respected by their team. They must oversee overall productivity, time management, and the end results of each project and task.

What kind of questions should be asked when evaluating a manager?

Honest employee feedback is vital when evaluating the effectiveness of a manager. This feedback will be used to create an actionable plan to ensure productivity and overall engagement.

While many questions will vary based on the company niche, some will remain the same. Does the manager provide constructive criticism and general feedback? Do you have confidence in your manager? Are they receptive to your ideas?

How can you maximize the benefits of employee surveys?

Employee surveys are created to provide feedback that can be used to created actionable plans for a company. Therefore, doing your research and creating the ideal questions is imperative.

To further maximize the benefits of such a survey, keep in mind that anonymity is vital. If a company hopes the survey to beneficial, it’s important to receive the type of answers that only anonymous responses can bring.