Employee Satisfaction Survey to Help Manage Your Managers

No matter how great the overall culture of your company is, an employee’s direct manager will always be one of the biggest factors in how much they enjoy working for your company.

According to Gallup research:

  • Managers account for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement scores.
  • 50% of adults have quit a job to improve their life by getting away from a direct manager.
  • Employees who feel that their manager is approachable are more engaged at work.

When a manager is disengaged, hard to communicate with or downright unpleasant to work with, it makes an employee’s life much more difficult.

No matter how much they may enjoy the work they do, part of their job becomes managing their manager, which can cause them to become one of the many who have “quit their manager, not their job.”

Employee Satisfaction Survey for Manager Competency

We’re big fans of transparency at Glassdoor, and want to level the playing field that managers and reporting employees engage on.

By getting your employees to fill out this employee satisfaction survey honestly, you can identify the managers who need more coaching and avoid the retention and engagement issues that come along with problem managers.

Related: For tips and templates for boosting employee engagement, download Glassdoor’s Employee Engagement Checklist and Calendar.

Direct Manager Relationship

These employee survey questions will help you define the good and bad parts of your relationship with your manager.

  1. How would you describe the positive aspects of your relationship with your direct manager?
  2. How would you describe the negative aspects of your relationship with your direct manager?
  3. What is a moment, situation or period of time that strengthened your relationship with your direct manager?
  4. What is a moment situation or period of time that strained or weakened your relationship with your direct manager?
  5. What parts of your relationship with your manager would you like to change?
  6. What parts of your relationship with your manager would you like to stay the same?

Related: For customizable email and poster templates to help you engage your employees at every stage of their journey, download Glassdoor’s Customizable Employee Engagement Kit.

Direct Manager Mentorship

These employee survey questions will help you identify the ways in which your manager is a good mentor and the ways they can be a better mentor.

  1. How does your manager help you to grow your skills and develop in your career?
  2. How does your manager hold you back from growing in your skills or developing in your career?
  3. Do you feel like your manager is planning for your future? What makes you think this?
  4. How have you and your skillsets grown since starting work under your manager? How much of this growth would you attribute to them

Direct Manager Leadership

These employee survey questions will help you identify the ways in which your manager is a strong leader and the ways that they can improve.

  1. What is a quality that you find to be admirable or inspirational about your manager?
  2. What is a quality that you find to be difficult or discouraging about your manager?
  3. What is a situation in which your direct manager helped to hold your team together and  overcome an obstacle or challenge?
  4. What was a situation in which your direct manager let you, a team member or your entire team down?
  5. What makes an ideal manager, and how does your manager resemble this ideal?
  6. How does your manager fail to live up to this ideal?

Direct Manager Communication

These employee survey questions will help you identify the ways in which your manager is a strong communicator and the ways they can improve.

  1. What was a situation where your manager’s communication style achieved great results for you or a team member?
  2. What was a situation where your manager’s communication style got terrible results for you or a team member?
  3. What are your manager’s strengths when it comes to listening and communication?
  4. What are your manager’s weaknesses when it comes to listening and communication?
  5. How does your manager’s communication style positively contribute to your team’s cultural dynamic and daily working life?
  6. Are there any ways in which your manager’s management style detracts from your or your team’s ability to work, cooperate or communicate?

Direct Manager Satisfaction

These employee survey questions will help you identify the ways in which your manager is a strong communicator and the ways they can improve.

  1. How does your manager make your job easier?
  2. How does your manager make your job harder?
  3. What about your working relationship with your manager makes you the most satisfied?
  4. What about your working relationship with your manager makes you the least satisfied?
  5. How could your manager better support your work and growth?
  6. How could your manager better support the work and growth of your team?

For step-by-step instructions for implementing employee engagement activities, download Glassdoor’s Complete Guide to Employee Engagement Activities.

David Mendlewicz is the co-founder and CEO of Butterfly, an employee intelligence and leadership coaching app.  Butterfly helps modern organizations gather regular employee feedback that drives actionable insights and builds stronger leaders and more transparent cultures.Prior to Butterfly, he co-founded Tevizz, specialized in providing semantics analytics on social media stream for broadcaster.