Why Your Employee Engagement Survey Should Include Learning

A blue laptop with a survey displayed on the screen

The employee engagement survey has become a critical tool for monitoring workers’ experiences within an organization. By asking the right questions, they can serve as an excellent resource for quantifying your efforts to establish a culture of learning. Spot opportunities to fill employee-perceived gaps in your L&D program by taking a closer look at these three areas of your employee engagement survey results.

1. Accessibility of opportunities for learning

Many engagement surveys ask employees if they feel satisfied with their opportunities for growth, since that has been shown to be a factor in retention. You might also check to be sure that employees are able to find the resources they need. Ask how much employees agree with statements such as these:

  • I have received the training I need to do my job effectively
  • I find it easy to locate resources I need to learn and develop

By coupling response trends with departmental demographics, you can pinpoint where there may be unmet needs in the organization. And you will be able to monitor your efforts to ensure that your learning management system makes it easy for people to search for needed resources. If you identify problem areas, conduct a more direct needs assessment in those departments to drill down to issues.

2. Management support for ongoing development

Establishing a culture of learning starts from the ground up: with managers. How managers interact with employees is the most important determinant of engagement and employee success. In your engagement surveys, you can find out the degree to which managers are encouraging and promoting employee learning. You could ask, for example,

  • In what ways has your direct supervisor supported your learning and development?

The responses can help you to know if you have work to do to encourage managers to more robustly support learning in the workplace. If employees have little to report here, that may point to a need for more focused education for managers on their role in development. Or, you may need to better market how managers can leverage the power of your LMS to encourage continuous learning. If reports here are positive, they may detail an array of terrific approaches playing out at the team level that you can share so other managers might try those techniques as well.

3. Social learning

Much of learning culture is embodied in the ways people learn from and with each other. Your engagement survey can delve into some of these specifics, depending on the kinds of learning activities you want to promote and monitor. Asking about the degree to which employees agree with the following kinds of statements can be revealing:

  • My coworkers and I learn together
  • I have the opportunity to share what I know with my coworkers
  • I get the feedback I need to continuously develop

While you hope to get good results in these areas, if the responses turn out to be low in given departments, you can look for additional ways to support and promote these kinds of activities.

Pulse-check on L&D efforts

Each organization has its own priorities with regard to its L&D strategy. Given that the culture of learning is a contributing factor for both engagement and performance, it makes sense to leverage your employee engagement survey to check in on your learning culture. Over time, these questions will help you document the progress you’re making and help you identify specific departments that may need more attention from the L&D team.