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Surveys & Engagement

Employee wellness surveys | Questions, tips & benefits

Leapsome Team
Employee wellness surveys | Questions, tips & benefits
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Talking about mental health and wellness at work has become more normalized in recent years, but it’s still a challenge for many organizations. 

In fact, a 2024 report from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found that 74% of full-time US employees felt it was appropriate to discuss mental health concerns in a professional setting. However, just 58% said that they felt comfortable talking about their own mental health at work. (1)

At the same time, professionals are prioritizing their emotional and psychological well-being more than ever (2), and many are considering changing jobs. Indeed, as many as 71% of workers are searching for new opportunities in 2024. (3)

People-centered organizations are prioritizing employee well-being by equipping managers with adequate training, offering more mental health days, and providing resources for therapy. However, they need to go a step further. A wellness survey can be an effective tool to help devise strategies and policies that better fulfill team members’ needs.

This article is dedicated to discussing what employee wellness surveys can do for your business. We’ll talk about what wellness surveys are and why they’re beneficial, as well as share 45 wellness survey questions and suggest how to implement your findings.

  1. National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2024
  2. American Psychological Association, 2023
  3. Indeed, 2024
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What is an employee wellness survey?

An employee wellness survey is a questionnaire that employers use to monitor and investigate their team members’ well-being. Wellness surveys for employees include a series of closed and open-ended questions about topics like: 

  • Work-life balance
  • Workload 
  • Stress levels 
  • Mental health 
  • Physical health
  • Personal needs and interests 

Unlike engagement surveys, wellness surveys give managers and people professionals a better sense of how team members are doing physically and mentally. Staff wellness surveys also make it easier for leadership to address wellness-related issues and find effective ways to support their employees.

💡 If you want to learn more about engagement surveys before you dig into the world of health and wellness surveys, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got a step-by-step guide that’ll teach you how to run an engagement survey, as well as an engagement survey question template and a list of 70 engagement survey question examples.

Why conduct employee wellness surveys?

Staff well-being surveys produce more specific data than employee engagement surveys. Engagement surveys, while beneficial, typically only tell you how a person feels about their position and organization. 

On the other hand, worksite wellness surveys ask respondents to speak honestly about the ways in which their work environment impacts their physical and mental health and vice versa.

Since only four out of ten professionals say they feel their employer cares about their well-being, taking action on employee health and well-being survey results shows your people they matter to your organization. This type of survey also helps businesses to:

  • Improve work-life balance In our 2023 State of People Enablement Report, 74% of employees cited work-life balance as one of the reasons they wanted to leave their jobs this year. A workplace wellness survey can help you identify what barriers to work-life balance exist in team members’ work environments or personal lives. For example, if people express concern about a lack of affordable, accessible childcare options in your survey, find creative ways to expand your benefits to better fulfill their needs.
  • Boost employee satisfaction In 2022, only 33% of global professionals reported they were satisfied with their overall well-being, while 44% said they felt stressed at work. People may not always be anxious about work, but they likely experience stress at work. Well-being survey results can help you develop effective ways to facilitate more mental and physical comfort in your workplace, such as more paid time off, flexible hours, or access to therapy sessions.
  • Increase psychological safety When individuals feel psychologically safe at work, they’re more likely to express themselves openly, take risks, and make mistakes without fear of retribution. Answers to open-ended health and wellness survey questions like, “What would make you feel safer at work?” can give you a clear picture of what you need to do to make your organization more supportive.

Best practices for effective employee well-being surveys

A photo of four employees looking at a laptop.

An effective wellness survey should be anonymous, brief, and include a mix of closed and open-ended questions

Employee well-being surveys let you hone in on underlying issues and help you find ways to make a good work experience great. However, it’s important that completing your employee well-being survey is a straightforward, transparent process. Here’s how to accomplish that. 

Include closed & open-ended questions

You may be tempted to limit your well-being survey questions to closed-ended prompts because they’re shorter to answer, which increases the likelihood of people completing your questionnaire. Closed-ended questions also make it easier to gather data quickly, as you won’t have to read through long-form responses to glean meaningful insights.

However, using a mixture of closed and open-ended questions is essential. When you ask open-ended well-being survey questions, respondents may share perspectives you didn’t expect and couldn’t have anticipated when crafting your survey. Additionally, team members may have suggestions for solving work-related issues and wouldn’t be able to expand on their ideas with closed questions.

Keep it short

In general, surveys shouldn’t take longer than half an hour to complete, and staff well-being surveys should only last about 20 minutes. People may not be motivated to complete a survey if they think it’ll be time-consuming.

Moreover, keeping your well-being surveys brief is best because it may be challenging or even emotionally draining for some respondents to talk about their well-being, no matter how well-intended your questions are.

💡 Worry you’re conducting surveys too often?

Employee pulse surveys
only include one or two questions and take no more than a few minutes to complete, allowing you to gauge team member sentiment without sending several long surveys in a short time.

Incentivize participation

You don’t want to overload staff with too many surveys throughout the year. However, did you know survey fatigue is less about the number of surveys you send out and more about inaction? If you use surveys for data collection alone and don’t do anything with the results, team members may feel disappointed and like they’re speaking into a void. 

An effective way to incentivize participation in your employee well-being survey is by sharing your tentative action plan before anyone answers your questions. For instance, let team members know you’ll use the workplace well-being survey data to inform your upcoming wellness initiatives — and provide concrete examples — or make changes to your employee benefits packages.

Make it anonymous

Wellness surveys ask people to reveal aspects of their private lives, so an anonymous format is best. That’s why Leapsome Surveys are always anonymous by default. Anonymity also helps boost response rates and makes participants more comfortable sharing their experiences candidly. How do you assure team members that your employee health survey is truly anonymous?

  • Don’t use custom variables: That means not asking individuals to divulge information about their age, gender identity, or other potentially self-identifying questions.
  • Word open-ended questions carefully: Don’t ask people to get so specific with their answers that you might be able to figure out who they are. Instead, use open-ended questions that prompt the respondent to offer longer-form perspectives and suggestions.
  • Disable tracking settings: Make sure your survey tool won’t automatically collect any demographic or personal information about employees when they fill out wellness surveys.
“I think one key element [about] surveys is: How much do employees trust the organization? Do they know it’s really anonymous and won’t be [held] against them?”

VJ Posadas, Director for Corporate Partnerships, Executive Education at INSEAD

45 wellness survey questions for employees

A photo of two employees with laptops sitting together at a table.

Include questions about stress levels, work-life balance, and employee interests and needs in your wellness surveys

The goal is to make your wellness survey as effective and comprehensive as possible. With that in mind, we’ve organized our employee well-being survey question examples into categories for workload and stress, work-life balance, and needs and interests, so you can address several factors that play a role in employee wellness. 

When structuring your survey, ask respondents to rate their answers to closed questions on a Likert scale. For example, answers can vary from strongly disagree to strongly agree. For open-ended questions, leave space for employees to write out their responses.

Workload & stress

These wellness survey questions for employees allow you to assess how people’s workload and stress levels may contribute to their satisfaction and well-being inside and outside of work.

Closed questions

  1. My workload feels manageable. 
  2. I’m often stressed at work.
  3. Burnout is common for me.
  4. I feel pressure to change my work-life balance to fit in at work.
  5. I currently have enough time to spend with my family and friends.
  6. Coming to work is enjoyable.
  7. I feel comfortable asking for help or support with my work.
  8. My manager has no problem adjusting my workload when asked.
  9. I often have to work after hours or overtime.
  10. It’s normal for me to discuss mental health at work.

Open-ended questions

  1. What, if any, changes have you noticed in your work experience or personal life as a result of your stress levels?
  2. Are there any tasks or projects you find particularly stressful?
  3. What changes could we implement to make your workload more manageable?
  4. What factors contribute to your stress at work most?
  5. What can managers do to better support their direct reports with their workloads?

Work-life balance

Use these wellness questions to ask employees about how they find a balance between their personal and professional lives and empower team members to maintain healthy boundaries.

Closed questions

  1. I have the time and resources to talk to a mental health professional.
  2. I find work satisfying.
  3. This organization cares about employee well-being.
  4. My workload makes it easy to balance my work and personal life.
  5. I find it easy to balance my caregiving and workplace duties.
  6. I sometimes find work emotionally draining.
  7. I’m happy with my flexible working arrangement.
  8. I get plenty of managerial support while working from home.
  9. I feel connected with my teammates.
  10. There’s no problem talking to anyone at this organization about workplace issues.

Open-ended questions 

  1. How would you adjust your flexible work arrangement?
  2. Have you ever discussed the importance of work-life balance with your manager? What were the results of the conversation?
  3. What changes should we make to your schedule or workload for better balance?
  4. When was the last time you felt your work and life were well-balanced? What made that possible?
  5. What, if any, aspects of the company culture are currently impacting your work-life balance?

Needs & interests

These wellness program survey questions make it easier to identify what helps employees thrive personally and professionally. You can also use them to investigate what goals and interests team members have in common. 

Closed questions

  1. My work environment is comfortable.
  2. I have time to exercise as often as I want to during the workweek.
  3. I have an easy time maintaining healthy eating habits during work hours.
  4. I rarely have to skip meals because of my workload.
  5. I sometimes experience physical discomfort due to the nature of my work.
  6. Work never causes me to lose sleep.
  7. I feel comfortable asking for a mental health day when I need it.
  8. I work in a safe area.
  9. Work doesn’t prevent me from pursuing my interests and social activities.
  10. Work affords me time to volunteer and give back to my community.

Open-ended questions 

  1. What wellness activities or initiatives would you participate in if they were available?
  2. What physical accommodations could we provide to make work more comfortable for you?
  3. What can we do to create a more inclusive and positive environment?
  4. What benefits or perks do you appreciate most?
  5. How can we support your personal goals and interests?

Next steps to action your survey

Employees will be more inclined to answer your wellness questionnaire if you show them you turn your surveys into action. However, you need a strategy to leverage results effectively:

1. Interpret quantitative and qualitative data If you’ve phrased your closed-ended employee wellness survey questions carefully, they should give you valuable insights into employee sentiment. Employee survey software like Leapsome Surveys can turn your results into a heatmap for easier visualization, and our Impact Drivers can help you pinpoint which questions need higher scores if you want to improve well-being and engagement. Plus, our platform leverages the power of AI so you can quickly analyze survey responses, extract summaries of key themes, and generate actionable recommendations for your wellness initiatives.

Leapsome Surveys is powered by AI and allows users to analyze results quickly and effectively
Leapsome Surveys is powered by AI and allows users to analyze results quickly and effectively

2. Arrange a focus group — With data in hand, assemble a focus group of cross-departmental employees to translate survey answers into everyday workplace scenarios. For example, if you receive unfavorable scores from the Likert question, “I feel connected to my teammates,” a focus group can clarify those results by detailing specific moments when they experienced disconnection.

“After a wellness survey, you still need a focus group discussion to get more in-depth examples and situations of why [the results] came up.”

“There should be additional validation, whether it’s having a focus group or interviewing senior leaders just to ensure the results have concrete examples on the floor or in the office space.”

VJ Posadas, Director for Corporate Partnerships, Executive Education at INSEAD

3. Collaborate on an action plan After a wellness survey, you should know where to improve and understand the barriers to higher scores. As a result, you may decide it’s time to update your policies or start a wellness program. On the other hand, you may only have issues in a couple of areas, such as a need for more flexible hours or paid time off.

4. Share updates with employees It’s best to share your results and action plan with team members in at least two channels. For instance, you could communicate updates to everyone via email, a company-wide newsletter, or an all-hands meeting to reach as many people as possible.

⚡ Develop surveys lightning-fast

Leapsome Surveys comes equipped with best-practice questionnaires developed by psychologists.

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Run effective, meaningful employee surveys with Leapsome

A screenshot of a selection of best practice templates available within Leapsome Surveys.
Leapsome Surveys comes with a wide variety of ready-to-use templates, including some that are specifically designed for health and wellness

Employee wellness surveys invite people to speak candidly about their mental and physical well-being, and because of that, they’re powerful tools. As long as organizations are willing to take meaningful action, they can use the insights they glean to positively impact their team members’ work and personal lives. The key is to make sure you’re gathering and interpreting data effectively.

Leapsome Surveys has everything you need to design, interpret, and act on wellness questionnaires. Our surveys are anonymous by default, so you don’t have to worry about turning off data-gathering settings. Users can also use our expert-verified survey templates or customize their own. Our platform even lets you create conditional survey questions that only certain individuals get prompted to answer, like those who gave a low score on a Likert scale question. 

Best of all, Leapsome will generate action plan suggestions based on your results, so you can get started implementing feedback and making your workplace more meaningful and comfortable right away.

💪 Dig deep into survey results for more impactful insights

Leapsome Surveys quickly visualizes qualitative and quantitative data so you can take easier and more effective action.

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Written By

Leapsome Team

Written by the team at Leapsome — the all-in-one people enablement platform for driving employee engagement, performance, and learning.
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