#Engage – what questions will I be asked?


How engaged are you in your work at the Iowa DOT? Are you involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to your work? It’s a simple question that can have a lot of impact on your wellbeing and our performance and capacity.  Whether you can’t wait to get to work every morning or you struggle to find the motivation to step into the building, your chance to make a difference in our work culture is coming soon.

Later this week we’ll all be asked to complete a survey as part of #Engage. As you’ve probably already heard, the survey is just a first step on our journey to get a feel for how engaged we currently are and find ways to make our workdays more enjoyable and productive. You’ll be asked to use a rating scale to score these questions. 

Director Mark Lowe said, “Participation in the survey is completely voluntary, but until we get a good grasp on how we are doing, it’s tough to move forward to get better. So, I encourage as many people as possible to participate.”

All the data from the survey goes directly to the Gallup organization, the group we hired to administer this program. No one from the Iowa DOT will see the raw data, meaning your answers will be anonymous. The really great news is there are only twelve specific questions on the survey (and one general question about overall satisfaction), so it won’t take long to complete. Here’s a rundown of the questions and some explanation from Gallup in advance so you’ll know what to expect.

Q01 I know what is expected of me at work.

Knowing what is expected of you every day is one of the most basic employee needs, yet past surveys across the country show about half of American workers are unclear about what they are supposed to do at work.

The Gallup group explains this question in this way. “Knowing what is expected” is more than a job description. It’s a detailed understanding of how what one person is supposed to do fits in with what everyone else is supposed to do, and how those expectations change as circumstances change.


  Q02I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you are given a task to do, do you have what you need to get the job done?

Q03At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.

Plain and simple, are you in the best job for you? Is the job you’re being asked to do every day the job that best fills your skills and abilities? If not, what can be done to either get you the training you need or alter your job duties to fit your strengths?

Q04In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.

The key to recognition is that it is honest and based on outcomes that are measurable. Some people think there can be too much positive recognition, but for managers, you can never give too much recognition if it is honest and deserved.



Q05Mysupervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.

Gallup’s research indicates that caring can be translated into the phrase, "Caring means setting each person up for success." A productive workplace is one in which people feel safe – safe enough to experiment, to challenge, to share information, to support each other, and in which team members are prepared to give the manager and the organization the “benefit of the doubt.” None of this can happen if team members do not feel cared about. Relationships are the glue that holds great workplaces together.


Q06There is someone at work who encourages my development.

The work “development” in this question doesn’t mean promotion. It means helping individuals find roles or positions that fit their unique combination of skills, knowledge, and talents.




Q07At work, my opinions seem to count.

Team members who give this element high scores feel they have access to channels of communication across different levels or divisions of the organization, and their managers work to maintain those channels. Groups do not function well when team members feel insignificant or irrelevant.



Q08The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.

Employees want to believe in what their employers do. If your job is just a job, it doesn’t matter where you work. This question gets to the basic human need to find meaning in what you do.



Q09My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.

What are the consequences to the team when one member isn’t pulling his/her weight and what challenges does a manager have with someone who isn’t working up to the level of the rest of the team? These are tough questions that can only be addressed when team members answer this question openly and honestly.



Q10I have a best friend at work.

People would rather build bridges than walls around themselves. Gallup’s research shows that workplaces in which employees report having a “best friend” are more efficient than workplaces with fewer best friends. Quality relationships between employees in the workplace nurture trust and emotional loyalty.



Q11In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.

Too often, managers prefer to focus on areas that need improvement instead of areas of excellence. Greater gains are made by building on talent, as opposed to trying to improve weaknesses.



Q12This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.

The need to learn and grow is a natural human instinct. One way employees can learn and grow is to find more efficient ways to do their jobs. The best teams are never quite satisfied with the current ways of doing things. They always strive to find better, more efficient way to work.


So there you have the 12 questions that will be on the survey later this month. Dave Putz from the Strategic Performance Division is heading up this effort and says, “These questions will form a baseline on which each work unit can build. I encourage every employee to answer the questions honestly. With about 2,700 employees spread throughout the state, it’s difficult to identify areas where we are doing well and areas where we need to focus on improvements. This survey is just the first step on our journey to make the Iowa DOT an awesome place to work. “Information for this blog post was taken directly from For more details on the #Engage effort, go to


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