Employee Surveys, Testing Surveys

How To Test Employee Knowledge with Surveys and Quizzes

Are your employees meeting company goals? Following company policy? How about keeping customers satisfied? These are just some of the many questions that company leaders should be regularly asking themselves when it comes to employee knowledge. Today, testing employee knowledge is a common practice in many organizations to help ensure that employees have the necessary skills and understanding to perform their job roles effectively. In this blog, we’ll show you why assessing knowledge is important, when to conduct assessments, and how to create them.

10 Reasons Why Testing Employee Knowledge Is Important

Testing employee knowledge is important for several reasons, and it plays a crucial role in the overall success and effectiveness of an organization. Here are ten key reasons why testing employee knowledge is important.

1. Assessing Competency

Organizations need to be sure that employees are competent in their roles. Testing helps ensure that they have the necessary skills and understanding to perform their job functions effectively. Competency tests can also identify candidates moving up (or sometimes down) the company ladder. 

2. Identifying Training Needs

Training is often ongoing in many job positions. By understanding employee skill levels, organizations can determine which areas (and which employees) may need additional training or development. This information can guide the organization in designing targeted training programs to address knowledge gaps.

3. Assuring Quality and Consistency

It’s important that employees have accurate and up-to-date knowledge in order to maintain a company’s quality standards. Quizzes  to understand employee knowledge can help prevent errors, reduce rework, and improve overall quality in products or services. Employee knowledge quizzes also improve consistency; too often, employees and/or departments work in silos with little interaction or understanding of what the other does. Standardized knowledge assessments promote understanding across different teams and departments. This is particularly important in organizations with remote, distributed, or diverse workforces.

4. Ensuring Compliance 

Some industries are subject to strict regulatory requirements and compliance standards. Testing employee knowledge ensures that individuals are aware of and adhere to relevant regulations, reducing legal risks and potential fines.

5. Reducing Risk

Some occupations carry a certain amount of risk, both to the company and/or the employee. Employees with a solid understanding of safety protocols, security measures, and risk management help make the work environment safer. Testing knowledge can help reduce risks associated with accidents, data breaches, or other potential issues.

6. Promoting Continuous Improvement

These days, many companies focus on continuous improvement. Regular knowledge assessments contribute to cultivating the type of company culture in which employees are encouraged to stay updated on industry trends, best practices, and emerging technologies.

7. Enhancing Decision-Making

Employees with agency are generally more productive and satisfied with their jobs. But, to make good decisions, they must have the knowledge. Knowledge quizzes help ensure that employees have the information needed to make informed choices, particularly in critical or high-stakes situations.

8. Measuring Training Effectiveness

Training is only as good as it is effective. Testing employee knowledge is a way to evaluate the effectiveness of training programs. This helps organizations gauge whether learning objectives are being met and if employees are retaining and applying the acquired knowledge. It can also help determine whether the training program needs to be reevaluated and/or revamps.

9. Encouraging Employee Development

Knowledge assessments are essential for employee development and career growth. Identifying areas of strength and areas for improvement allows for targeted development plans and opportunities.

10. Improving Customer Satisfaction

Employees who possess in-depth knowledge about products or services can provide better customer service. By using employee quizzes, organizations can help ensure frontline employees are competent, thus providing a better customer experience.

10 Times You Should Test Employee Knowledge

Testing employee knowledge should be conducted at various stages throughout the employment lifecycle. There are ten times that are typically most important to test employee skills and knowledge.

1. During Candidacy/When Interviewing

For some positions, it may be necessary to test a person’s skills before offering a position. This helps ensure the candidate will meet the job requirements and that they will be effective (and happy) in the position. This reduces turnover and the need to rehire or train a new hire in an area they should be knowledgeable about.

2. During Onboarding

Once an employee has been hired and is in the onboarding process, organizations should assess new employees’ understanding of company policies, procedures, and essential job-related information. During this stage, any employee knowledge gap can be identified to provide necessary training. This is especially important if there was no pre-hire survey or quiz.

3. After Training

Following any training, organizations should conduct knowledge assessments to confirm that employees have acquired the expected knowledge and can apply it to their roles. Testing after training also helps evaluate the effectiveness of the training program itself.

4. During Periodic and/or Performance Reviews

Most companies conduct periodic reviews or performance reviews. During this time, an organization may want to consider knowledge assessments to ensure that employees stay up-to-date with industry trends, regulations, and changes in job requirements. This helps prevent knowledge decay over time and complacency.

5. Before Promotions/Role Changes

Unless an employee has already shown high aptitude in a role they are positioned for, It’s important to test their knowledge before considering them for promotions or changes in roles. This helps ensure that individuals moving into new positions have the necessary knowledge and skills for success, otherwise they may find themselves in over their heads.

6. Before Company Changes/New Initiatives

When a company is poised to introduce significant changes in processes, technologies, or regulations it is important to test employee knowledge to be sure they are able to adapt. This type of employee testing can also be done before major projects or initiatives to help ensure that team members are well-prepared for the specific requirements of the project.

7. After Errors or Incidents

Companies should consider testing employee knowledge following critical incidents, errors, or accidents to identify any underlying knowledge gaps. The results of the employee test or survey can be used to implement corrective measures which could prevent similar issues in the future. This holds true for any kind of error or incident, from a forklift accident to a medical error.

8. Before Certification Renewals

For roles requiring certifications, organizations should conduct knowledge assessments prior to certification renewals. This ensures that individuals maintain the required level of expertise.

9. After Receiving Feedback

Perhaps a customer has expressed dissatisfaction with a particular employee, or other employees are often complaining about one of their peers. In these cases, employee surveys and quizzes can be used to test employee skills and knowledge in response to customer feedback, or to understand if the complaining employees have a valid reason for their grievances. The results can then be used to address employee knowledge gaps or to determine whether there is a need for disciplinary action.

10. Before Recognizing Employees

Most organizations know that employee recognition contributes to happier employees. However, should they be rewarded or recognized if they’re not meeting goals or understanding policy? Employee surveys and quizzes can give leadership and understanding of employee knowledge, and help identify who should be rewarded (a raise, promotion, etc) and who may need retraining or disciplinary action.

Testing Employee Knowledge With Surveys and Quizzes

Some occupations need testing that can’t be accomplished with employee surveys and employee quizzes. For example, some jobs require on-the-job performance monitoring, in which a supervisor physically oversees an employee. Other jobs have standardized testing, which requires that a certain type of exam be passed. But, in general, employee surveys and quizzes can be used to carry out a lot of employee testing.

Using an Employee Survey to Test Knowledge

Here are some considerations for using surveys to test employee knowledge.

  • Knowledge Assessment Surveys. These surveys should be designed with questions that directly assess employee knowledge in specific areas. You should use a mix of question types, both quantitative and qualitative, to get a well-rounded picture of the employee’s knowledge and to gauge different levels of understanding. Consider using multiple-choice, true/false, and open-ended questions, and so on.
  • Self-Assessment Surveys. These allow employees to self-assess their knowledge levels. This can provide insights into their perceived strengths and areas where they may feel less confident. You can compare the results against supervisor or peer reviews to see commonalities and disparities, and then work through them.
  • Training Effectiveness Surveys. After training sessions, conduct surveys to gather feedback on the effectiveness of the training. Include questions related to the knowledge gained and the applicability of the information to their roles.
  • Feedback on Policies and Procedures. Use surveys to gather feedback on employee understanding of company policies, procedures, and guidelines. This can help identify areas where additional clarification or training may be helpful.
  • Regular Check-ins. Organizations may implement regular knowledge check-ins through short surveys (or microsurveys). This can be part of a continuous improvement strategy to monitor and enhance employee knowledge over time.

While surveys can be a valuable tool for certain aspects of knowledge assessment, they may not replace more direct methods such as written tests, skills assessments, or on-the-job performance evaluations for a thorough understanding of employee capabilities. It’s important to balance surveys with other assessment methods, such as an employee quiz or survey, to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of knowledge and skills.

Using an Employee Quiz to Test Knowledge

Here are some considerations for using quizzes to test employee knowledge.

  • Online Tests/Exams. Organizations can use an online platform to create quizzes or tests that cover the key areas of knowledge relevant to the job. As with surveys, include many types of questions to get a clear picture of each employees’ skills.
  • Skills Assessments. Practical assessments or skills tests to evaluate employees’ ability to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios can be very useful, especially for jobs that require hands-on skills.
  • Knowledge Checks/Continuous Learning. Integrate employee quizzes or “knowledge checks” into training sessions. This helps reinforce learning and identifies areas where additional training may be applicable.
  • Case Studies. It’s helpful to know how an employee would react in a real-world situation. Organizations can use quizzes to present employees with case studies related to their job and ask them to analyze and provide solutions. This assesses their critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
  • Certification Preparation. While the official exam or certification testing may be standardized, organizations can help employees prepare for them with quizzes and tests that mirror the type of questions and formats used. It’s beneficial for an organization to have certified employees, so preparing them makes employees and the company stronger in the long run.

Employee quizzes are versatile tools that can adapt to various learning objectives and organizational needs. When used thoughtfully, quizzes can be an effective way to measure and improve employee knowledge in a structured manner.

Employee Quiz Example

Below is an example of an employee quiz using SurveyLegend. We chose a  corporate background and a variety of questions, including image selection, multiple choice, and open-end text.

employee knowledge survey


Organizations often need to test the knowledge of its employees, throughout the employee lifecycle. You can accomplish this through online surveys and quizzes. Remember to tailor the surveys or assessment methods to the specific requirements of the job and industry, and consider a combination of these methods to get a comprehensive understanding of employee knowledge and capabilities. 

Ready to test your employees’ knowledge? SurveyLegend has you covered. Our online platform makes it easy to create surveys and quizzes, and offers many different question types to match your survey or quiz needed. The platform also collects and provides user-friendly analytics so you can easily see which employees need more training and which deserve a high five!

Do you regularly survey or quiz your employees? What is the purpose of the employee surveys or assessments? We want to hear from you in the comments!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Why should you assess employee knowledge with quizzes?

Assessing employees with quizzes provides a structured and measurable way to gauge their understanding of specific topics, ensuring that they possess the requisite knowledge for their roles. Quizzes offer a quick and effective means to identify knowledge gaps, tailor training programs, and contribute to continuous improvement within the organization.

Why should you survey employees?

Surveying employees allows organizations to gather valuable insights into their opinions, perceptions, and overall satisfaction, fostering a more engaged and motivated workforce. By regularly seeking employee feedback through surveys, organizations can identify areas for improvement, address concerns, and make informed decisions that contribute to a positive work environment and increased productivity.

How do employees feel about surveys and quizzes?

Employee preferences regarding surveys and testing vary, but many appreciate them when they are clear, fair, relevant to their roles, and contribute to professional development. However, excessive or irrelevant surveying or testing may lead to dissatisfaction, emphasizing the importance of aligning assessments with employees’ learning needs and job requirements.

About the Author
A born entrepreneur, passionate leader, motivator, great love for UI & UX design, and strong believer in "less is more”. A big advocate of bootstrapping. BS in Logistics Service Management. I don't create company environments, I create family and team environments.