14 Employee Survey Questions About Management Effectiveness


Leveraging upward feedback surveys to improve leadership skills

How do we develop effective leaders?

Like many organizations, it’s probably a question you struggle to answer. Despite $166 billion being spent in the U.S. every year on leadership development, traditional methods are falling short. 

We need strong leaders.

How to become a more effective leader

Leadership training is often a go-to for developing skills. But training alone is unlikely to produce effective leaders. 

Many out-of-the-box eLearning solutions and in-person training programs don’t consider an organization’s unique needs.

A McKinsey study found that company culture and size impact how effective a training program will be. They also found that many times the sheer volume of training options overwhelms managers.

A better approach is to focus on developing two or three leadership skills at a time. We still need training, but it”s just one piece of the puzzle.

We also need real, on-the-job learning and time for reflection. Research shows that reflecting on what we learn can increase performance by 23%

By reflecting on experiences, both good and bad, and feedback from employees, we become more self-aware as managers and can improve our leadership skills.

How managers support their team in the work environment

Managers play a vital role in molding our team’s culture and ensuring top performance. While the specific job functions vary from manager to manager, many have similar responsibilities.

Setting goals and evaluating employee performance

Managers are responsible for guiding their teams and ensuring goals are met. This often includes setting clear performance goals and metrics for the team. Meeting these goals requires monitoring and evaluating employee performance.

Keeping the team organized

Managers are the ones who keep the wheels turning. They are often responsible for the day-to-day operations and supervising their employees. This type of work many times includes scheduling employees, monitoring deadlines, delegating assignments, and providing resources.

Mastering employee engagement 

Managers account for a 70% variance in employee engagement. From higher employee turnover to decreased productivity, disengaged employees can cost your organization. 

Most importantly, serving as a leader

Managers are more than just supervisors. They are leaders. While some may not be comfortable with the title “leader,” it comes with the job. 

Leadership development is one of the top challenges facing organizations. Helping managers become effective leaders can improve workplace morale and profitability.

Evaluating manager and leadership effectiveness through employee feedback surveys

Think back to the last time you asked for leadership feedback. Was it during your annual employee survey? The exit interview? 

Do you collect anything at all?

Research has shown that managers who receive feedback showed 8.9% greater profitability. The key is asking the right questions the right way.

The problem with traditional upward feedback methods is that you may not be getting unbiased, honest responses. In-person methods make it difficult for your employees to be candid. Formal reviews make it hard to get timely feedback. 

Asking about management on your employee engagement survey or running a leadership survey, on the other hand, can be done anonymously at any time. This will help you better understand which qualities you naturally have as a leader and which you can work to develop.

Your employees’ responses will show you how they perceive you as a leader and help you identify growth opportunities as a leader. This will in turn improve employee satisfaction and help you create a better work environment

Qualities and traits of an effective leader

Leaders are born, not made.

This is one of the greatest myths of our time. While some managers are naturally charismatic and easily inspire their employees, leadership is about more than that.

There are specific qualities that have been shown to increase leadership effectiveness. And these traits can be developed over time — even if they don’t come naturally.

To get meaningful results from your manager survey, it should assess these leadership qualities:

  • Inclusiveness
  • Empowering others
  • Competence
  • Growth mindset
  • Compassion
  • Self-awareness

Employee survey questions about management and leadership

Getting meaningful survey data is all about asking the right questions. The sample survey questions below are designed to assess managers’ leadership qualities. 

All of these questions (except the open-ended ones) use a 5-point Likert scale that measures how much each employee agrees with the statement in question. 

Employee survey questions about leadership values

#1: How much do you agree with the statement: 

“My manager provides clear goals for our group” 

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

Asking your employees how clearly you provide goals for the team helps you gauge how well you communicate the goals you set. It also allows you to evaluate whether they connect with these goals.

Values are the heart of culture. They also help bring clarity and transparency to decision-making and goal-setting.

Effective leaders are not only clear on their own values, but they also align with the organization and team’s values. These shared values bring a sense of shared purpose and lead to meaningful goals for the team. It also improves the overall company culture.

Values themselves tap into what makes us human: how we connect to each other.”
— Louis Carter, author of In Great Company

Employee survey questions about manager inclusiveness

#2: How much do you agree with the statement: 

“My manager role models how to work effectively with others.”

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

#3: How much do you agree with the statement: 

“My manager values my input and perspective.”

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

Inclusive leaders are mindful of cultural differences and can adapt as needed. They are able to work effectively with others who may have a different background than themselves.

They are also willing to listen to different perspectives and acknowledge their own personal biases so they don’t affect the decisions they make.

Teams with inclusive leaders are 17% more likely to report that they are high-performing and 29% more likely to report behaving collaboratively. 

Employee survey questions about leadership empowering others

#4: How much do you agree with the statement:

“My manager allows me the freedom to do my job as I feel best.”

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

Your employees want to contribute and feel like they are doing a good job. Research has shown that when employees are encouraged to use their strengths, engagement has risen from 9% to 15% and employee satisfaction is higher.

Great leaders realize this and leverage their teams strengths. They delegate when possible and provide support while still allowing employees freedom to make decisions about how they do their job.

Employee survey questions about manager competence

#5: How much do you agree with the statement:

“My manager has the necessary technical ability to lead our group.”

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

#6: How much do you agree with the statement:

“My manager makes consistently effective decisions.”

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

#7: How much do you agree with the statement:

“My manager is a highly effective leader.”

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

An effective leader requires competence as a manager. This means making data-driven decisions and communicating why decisions were made. 

Technical ability is also an important management competency. As a leader, it helps you better understand problems your employees are facing and collaborate to find solutions.

Survey questions about leadership growth mindset

#8: How much do you agree with the statement:

“My manager gives me opportunities to develop and grow.”

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

#9: How much do you agree with the statement:

“My manager offers useful feedback regularly.”

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

#10: How much do you agree with the statement:

“My manager holds consistent 1-on-1 meetings with me.”

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

Great leaders are committed to their teams’ personal growth and professional development. They support their employees and provide development opportunities.

One-on-one meetings give you the chance to discuss goals and opportunities with your employees. Research has shown weekly or bi-weekly meetings lead to the highest engagement levels, but every employee is different. 

Asking your team how they feel about the opportunities you provide and the meetings you have will help you make any needed adjustments. 

An easy way to support your employees’ growth and development is with TINYpulse Coach. This performance management and weekly 1-on-1 software can help you build one-on-one meeting agendas and track employee goal progress.

Employee survey questions about manager compassion

#11 How much do you agree with the statement:

“My manager cares about me as an individual.”

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

#12: How much do you agree with the statement:

“My manager seeks to share important information with me in a timely manner.”

1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree

TINYpulse research has shown that only 25% of employees feel valued at work. As a leader, you can make a difference. 


There are three key ways you can show your employees you appreciate them:

1. Microrecognition 

On a daily basis, take the time to recognize your employees. This can be as simple as saying thank you. You can also take the time to write a card or praise your employees publicly for a job well done. 

Encourage your team members to recognize each other too. HRM and Globoforce found that 57% of companies that use peer recognition have seen increased employee engagement.

With TINYpulse’s Cheers for Peers, you can help create a culture of appreciation.

2. Informal recognition

Acknowledging your employees’ hard work doesn’t have to be expensive. Small gestures such as handing out “kudos” chocolate bars or allowing your employees to take an extended lunch can go a long way.

3. Formal recognition

Formal recognition programs and awards can be used for both individual and group efforts. These can be used to recognize achievement, process improvement, and work anniversaries with your organization.

Survey questions to build self-awareness as a leader

#13: Please respond to the following:

“My manager should continue to …”

Give as much detail as you’d like.

#14:  Please respond to the following:

“My manager should stop doing …”

Give as much detail as you’d like.

Every manager has their strengths and weaknesses. Being aware of yourself will set you apart as a leader. Asking your employees for their feedback gives you the insight you need to grow as a leader. These open-ended questions allow your employees to tell you exactly what’s on their minds.

How to use employee feedback to be a better leader

After you get your survey results, you’ll want to reflect, interpret the findings, and create a development plan. Feedback is subjective and comes from your employee’s unique perspective. Look for overarching themes and commonalities.

To create your professional development plan, pick one or two areas to start with and create a SMART goal. Make sure it is:

Once you set your goal, write it down. This small step will make you three times more likely to achieve your goal.

Make a list of how you will reach your goal and share your goal with your team. When the deadline you set approaches, survey your employees again to see the progress you’ve made. 

Are you the leader your team needs?

Our employees need us to be empathetic and show them we value them as individuals. Don’t be afraid to ask your employees how you’re doing as a leader. Reflect on their responses and commit to taking action.

By becoming more effective leaders, we ensure our employees are supported and engaged. We become more accessible and help improve our workplace culture. It’s a win for everyone.

Remote Work Non-Negotiables To Boost Employee Engagement (1)-1





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