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What is an employee mental health questionnaire?

In its simplest form, an employee mental health questionnaire is just a set of questions about work. But the questions are specifically designed to discover how employees feel about their working lives.

The questions should cover as many aspects of the job as possible, e.g. workload, autonomy, work-life balance, and relationships at work, etc. And the focus should always be on how these elements affect how the employees feel – anxiety levels, stress or self-confidence, for example.

Why does my organisation need an employee mental health questionnaire?

The world changed when the pandemic hit, so Covid-19 has probably affected everybody’s mental health. You can read about the statistics regarding employee mental health on our blog.

Work and home life have merged together in a way we’ve never experienced before. And we can’t really expect employees to leave their private life out of the office these days, can we? The two are inextricably linked – for better or worse.

Fortunately, the whole topic of mental health and wellbeing at work is now receiving the attention it deserves. Successful organisations know that their business success depends on the engagement and mental wellbeing of their employees. And the best way to find out about that is just to ask them.

A well-designed employee mental health questionnaire will reveal lots of information and insights. And these insights can help employers to protect and promote good mental health and wellbeing through their policies and programmes.

Do I have to design my own employee mental health questionnaire?

When it comes to mental health, there’s no one-size-fits-all. Each organisation and each workplace is unique. And so are the employees in your workforce.

However, you can find employee mental health questionnaire templates from various organisations quite easily. The best ones allow you to adapt them to suit your context and provide you with data specific to your business.

Which questions need to be included in an employee mental health questionnaire?

Below, are some example questions and scales taken from What Works Wellbeing. One example uses a ten-point scale. The other uses a seven-point scale and a list format. You choose what works best for your employees. After the examples, read on for more information about how to create an employee mental health questionnaire.

EXAMPLE 1. Ten-point scale.

Here, your employees are required to use a number from 0 to 10 to show how strongly they feel about the questions.

For each of these questions, please answer on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is “not at all”, and 10 is “completely”.

  • Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?
  • Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?

EXAMPLE 2. List format with a seven or five-point scale.

In this example, your employees are invited to choose the statement which best suits their response to the questions.

  • On a scale of 1 to 7 where 1 means ‘Completely dissatisfied’ and 7 means ‘Completely satisfied’, how dissatisfied or satisfied are you with your present job overall?

Recommended response scale

1 – Completely dissatisfied
2 – Mostly dissatisfied
3 – Somewhat dissatisfied
4 – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
5 – Somewhat satisfied
6 – Mostly satisfied
7 – Completely satisfied

  • On a scale of 1 to 7 where 1 means ‘Completely dissatisfied’ and 7 means ‘Completely’, I would recommend my organisation as a great place to work.

Recommended response scale

1 – Completely dissatisfied
2 – Mostly dissatisfied
3 – Somewhat dissatisfied
4 – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
5 – Somewhat satisfied
6 – Mostly satisfied
7 – Completely satisfied

  • How would you rate your overall mental health now?

1 – Very good
2 – Good
3 – Fair
4 – Bad
5 – Very bad

  • For each of the following statements, please select the response which best describes your work situation:

‘Your manager helps and supports you’.
‘Fellow colleagues help and support you’.
‘Your job gives you the feeling of work well done’.

Recommended response scale

1 – Always
2 – Most of the time
3 – Sometimes
4 – Rarely
5 – Never

How can I make sure my employee mental health questionnaire gives me the correct data?

Research by What Works Wellbeing shows that to be accurate, an employee mental health questionnaire should include questions which cover the key ‘wellbeing at work dimensions’.

These are:

  1. Subjective wellbeing outcomes
  2. Health outcomes and behaviours
  3. Organisational health policy
  4. Purpose and engagement
  5. Job prospects
  6. Autonomy and skills use
  7. Work demands
  8. Relationships and social environment
  9. Working time quality
  10. Physical environment
  11. Financial wellbeing

What else do I need to consider when creating an employee mental health questionnaire?

It’s essential to collect the data from your employees regularly so that you become aware of any issues as they arise – before they become a problem. You may find that anonymous questionnaires encourage more honest answers.

The time it takes to complete the questionnaire is also a consideration. A stressed-out employee probably won’t feel much like filling out a huge questionnaire. On the other hand, completing the questionnaire shouldn’t mean increased workload – dedicated time should be set aside.

The questions invite employees to respond on a scale. This is to take account of the different personal experiences of your employees. It also generates more valuable and nuanced data which you can act upon.

Make your questions as open as possible, inviting employees to think carefully about their responses.

Try to avoid duplicating questions and make sure the wording is as precise and relevant as possible.

It can take a while to come up with the right questions. But it’s worth putting in the time so that the answers tell you what you need to know.

Are there any other ways can I gather information about my employee’s mental health?

You can rely on questionnaires alone if you wish. But for an in-depth probe, a good questionnaire can be combined with other types of employee surveys.

Your questionnaire might reveal particular topics which you want to explore in more detail. A good way of doing this is through focus groups. This is where several employees meet to discuss specific issues around mental health. You could also conduct one-to-one interviews with individual employees.

There’s much more about employee mental health at work on the SupportRoom website. In addition, our resources and our blog are full of fascinating information to help you understand the big issues around workplace mental health.

How can SupportRoom help my company?

Here, at SupportRoom, we offer employee therapy for small to large businesses. Our platform allows employees to receive therapy on-demand from a dedicated, qualified therapist, mentor or coach.

Our SME Employee Support platform is designed to give insightful data that allows your employees to track their progress and monitor their own mental and physical health.

Book a free demo here.


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