Employee engagement

Template time: 14 employee wellness survey questions to combat burnout

Maja Orsic
September 20, 2021
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Employee wellness and organizational wellness are two sides of the same coin. 🪙

When companies prioritize employee wellbeing by investing in impactful wellness programs, they can improve productivity, psychological safety, company culture, and so much more.

Whether you're building out an employee wellbeing strategy or you need to take immediate action to combat employee burnout, you'll want to conduct a health and wellness survey to get a baseline.

There's a wide range of social factors at work that can impact our health, including things like communication, peer support, employee involvement and empowerment, social norms, and shared values. You can design your employee wellness survey to address these work-related social factors as well as common risk factors for health conditions like cardiovascular disease and depression.

We pulled information from the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety and our 2020 Employee Engagement and Modern Workplace Report to create the following 14-question employee wellness survey. We invite you to use these survey questions to measure employee wellness and collect actionable feedback for improving wellness across your organization.

Wellness Survey Questions by Bonusly

1. My organization is committed to the wellness of its employees.
Answer type: Emoji scale

Offering an emoji scale option for these kinds of questions is more personable than a five-point Likert number scale.



2. I am satisfied with my organization’s overall wellness offerings.
Answer type: Emoji scale


The results of this question can serve as a baseline metric for improvement when you're ready to act on the survey results. 

3. I feel well-rested most mornings.
Answer type: Emoji scale


Poor sleep can impact every aspect of our waking lives and exacerbate the onset of burnout. Perhaps you've heard of or experienced revenge bedtime procrastination? If your employees aren't getting enough rest, you can bring that information to your organization's leaders to reinforce the importance of modeling clear boundaries about working hours.

4. My work allows me to allocate time to physical fitness.
Answer type: Emoji scale


Flexible schedules are so important and so is no-meeting time. One of the benefits of a hybrid work model is that folks can make their own schedules. Plus, employees making time for exercise is inextricably linked to productivity at work. It's a win-win! 🏋️‍♀️


5. I am able to communicate my emotions constructively.
Answer type: Emoji scale

This is a hard question to ask and an even harder one to answer. However, expecting your employees to check their emotions at the door is simply unrealistic.


By asking this question, you can learn more about the underlying emotional culture at your organization.

6. I feel safe at work.
Answer type: Emoji scale

This question addresses physical and psychological safety, both of which are essential for creativity and productivity. Safety is also related to inclusivity, and a low degree of safety can be the result of discrepancies in training, communication, and job insecurity for minority groups. 


7. I feel overwhelmed with my workload.
Answer type: Likert scale

Including this question can help you et an annual or semi-annual gauge of burnout and hiring needs. Though surveys can set a clear benchmark for stress and distribution of work, we recommend leveraging regular one-on-ones to get a more frequent pulse on these sentiments. Once your survey results are in, you can break down the data by department and locations to see if there are priority groups for immediate improvements. 


8. I am often anxious at work.
Answer type: Likert scale

The anxiety an employee is experiencing may have nothing to do with their workload, but that doesn't mean it won't affect their performance. Consider what tangental variables are at play that can worsen anxiety. Are your employees returning from parental leave too soon? Are you adequately supporting their needs during this phase of the COVID-19 pandemic?


9. My team encourages open discussion of anxiety and stress at work.
Answer type: Emoji scale

This question gets to the heart of psychological safety.


There are many ways to create safe opportunities to discuss mental health issues and stress at work. Here are a few other ways to create safe spaces for stress and anxiety at work: 

  • Build discussions of stress and anxiety levels into weekly one-on-one agendas.
  • At smaller team meetings, ask for emotional energy level ratings on a scale of 1-10, then discuss how to improve anything lower than a 5. Brainstorming as a team can help normalize these feelings and boost a sense of camaraderie. 
  • Work doesn't happen in a vacuum. When a major tragedy or triggering event happens in the world, offer employees time off and resources to address the stress and anxiety the event might evoke. 

10. My work allows me to spend enough time with family, friends, and non-work activities.
Answer Type: Emoji scale

Our understanding of work-life balance has to evolve to account for hybrid work. However, the importance of work-life-balance on employee morale, burnout, and retention remains. 


11. My work allows me to take enough vacation time throughout the year.
Answer Type: Emoji scale

This question is pretty self explanatory. When employees leave vacation time on the table, productivity and retention can suffer. 🌴 Consider implementing a minimum or mandatory time-off policy and building out coverage processes so your employees don't bring any guilt with them on vacation!


12. I am interested in participating in my organization’s wellness offerings.
Answer Type: Emoji scale

Your organization likely already has wellness offerings in place. Depending on the responses to this question, you may need to reconsider whether your current offerings are meeting the needs of your employees. 


13. How does our organization promote wellness?
Answer type: Long text answer

Though it's important to have quantitative data to improve upon with number and emoji scales, including an open-ended question gives your employees the opportunity to cover anything those scales might miss.


14. How could we improve our organization’s wellness?
Answer type: Long text answer

This question will help you identify holes in your wellness offerings or offerings that need extra publicity to make employees aware of what's available to them.


What's next?

Remember that the wellness needs of your employees aren't static and your wellness offerings shouldn't be, either. If you ask for employee feedback, you must be truly open to what they have to say, even if you built your wellness program from the ground up and it seemed to be exactly what employees were asking for at the time.

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