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Gallup's Employee Engagement Survey: Ask the Right Questions With the Q12® Survey

For decades, employers have been measuring employee engagement the wrong way -- or neglecting to measure it at all. But Gallup has the solution: Time after time, these 12 items have proven to be the most effective survey questions to measure employee engagement.

We've Studied Over 3.3 Million Workers Across 100,000+ Teams

Which is how we know what employees need most to perform their best. This isn't just one type of worker or workplace -- our research includes over 50 diverse industries. Gallup's 12-item engagement survey, referred to as the " Q12," is the culmination of that research.

Our employee engagement science and history researching the topic are unmatched. We know employee engagement (including the best way to measure it) and have been studying human nature and performance for over 80 years. When it comes to understanding what employees want and need to thrive in their workplace, we've got you covered.

The Q12 survey is linked to greater performance outcomes.

The 12 items give managers a framework to have motivating conversations with employees.

You can compare your results with other organizations and teams within our database.

How to Measure Employee Engagement With the Q12

There are 12 needs managers can meet to improve employees' productivity. This approach to engagement is simple, and it works. These are the 12 employee needs that make up the items on Gallup's engagement survey:

  1. How satisfied are you with your company as a place to work?
  2. I know what is expected of me at work.
  3. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
  4. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
  5. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  6. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
  7. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
  8. At work, my opinions seem to count.
  9. The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
  10. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
  11. I have a best friend at work.
  12. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
  13. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.

Add to Your Survey With Q12+

Gallup's ongoing research on how people work and live today drives the evolution of our metrics. Based on this research, Gallup added four new survey items to the original 12 -- the Q12®+. These new items represent four employee needs that leaders in today’s dynamic workplaces need to understand and enhance.

13. At work, I am treated with respect.

14. My organization cares about my overall wellbeing.

15. I have received meaningful feedback in the last week.

16. My organization always delivers on the promise we make to customers.

Learn how the Q12+ can help you predict performance and improve engagement.

Contact us to learn more about the the Q12+

Explore global, regional and U.S. employee engagement findings and see how the trends have changed over time.

How to Get Started With Gallup's Engagement Survey

The goal of the Q12 engagement survey is not to have employees complete a survey and move on. The goal is to start a conversation between managers and each of their employees. And this is a survey that does just that -- it allows employees to communicate their needs, allowing your managers to know which needs they should work harder to meet.

Choose the option that works best for your organization. But whichever option you choose, just remember: The survey isn't the end -- it's just the beginning.

For Departments and Organizations

Learn about the Q12 survey pricing and plans for organizations.

Connect with a Gallup expert to talk through your employee engagement goals, access to our platform -- Gallup Access (home to the Q12 survey) -- and discover how a partnership with us could look.

We recommend this option for departments in organizations with more than 100 employees.

For Smaller Teams and Organizations

Purchase a one-time Q12 survey. Get limited access to our platform for 12 months.

We recommend this option for teams and organizations with fewer than 100 employees.

What Comes After the Q12 Survey?

Our employee engagement framework is based on a hierarchy of employees' development needs, and each of our 12 employee engagement survey questions, or items, fits into one of the four levels within that hierarchy.

Upon completion of the Q12 survey, leaders and managers can fully integrate each item's concepts into casual conversations, meeting agendas, performance evaluations and team goal setting.

Understanding the levels of the Q12

Meeting the needs in the three foundational levels creates an environment of trust and support that enables managers and employees to get the most out of the top level, personal growth.

These levels provide a road map for managers to motivate and develop their team members and improve team members' performance, with each level building on the previous one.

The levels do not represent phases. Managers do not "finish" level one and then move on to level two. They must ensure that employees' needs are met on level one first, then continue to deliver on that while meeting their needs on the second, third and fourth levels. Without meeting basic needs, the other levels will not follow suit.

True employee growth begins when they have good coaching conversations with their manager, who knows how to ask the right questions.

Thousands of Organizations Trust the Q12: Here's Why

Each item is tested and scientifically validated as an accurate measure of employee engagement.

Experts write each item for clarity.

Each item is proven to link to performance outcomes across industries, cultures, company size and nationality.

Each item has a high participation rate.

Each item is paired with actionable advice to help managers improve team performance.

Each item has extensive benchmark comparisons.

See How You Stack Up Against the Competition

Gallup can provide a range of benchmarks within its overall database based on the following categories, among many others:

Putting Our Survey to Work Within Your Organization -- The Results Are In

Our engagement questions do more than gather information. When paired with developmental manager conversations, they directly translate into better business outcomes -- time and time again.

Other people may tell you to measure your employee engagement differently -- but no other measure is proven to link to performance like the Q12. When it comes to the business metrics that matter most, highly engaged companies outperform those with lower engagement.

When comparing employee engagement levels, Gallup found that top- and bottom-quartile business units and teams had the following differences in business outcomes*:

Negative Outcomes

78% in absenteeism

21% in turnover for high-turnover organizations*

51% in turnover for low-turnover organizations*

28% in shrinkage (theft)

63% in safety incidents (accidents)

58% in patient safety incidents (mortality and falls)

32% in quality (defects)

Positive Outcomes

10% in customer loyalty/engagement

14% in productivity (production records and evaluations)

18% in productivity (sales)

23% in profitability

70% in wellbeing (net thriving employees)

22% in organizational citizenship (participation)


*The above figures are median percent differences across companies in Gallup's database. High-turnover organizations are those with more than 40% annualized turnover. Low-turnover organizations are those with 40% or lower annualized turnover.

An Engaged Workplace Is Only 12 Questions Away

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