There’s no one answer to what makes a successful company, but one factor that should be considered across the board: employee engagement. Employee engagement has a direct impact on productivity, job satisfaction, and retention as engaged employees are more committed to their work and are more likely to go above and beyond their job requirements.
Measuring employee engagement can be tricky since it can be influenced by so many factors, such as:
- Company culture
- Leadership styles
- Job responsibilities
- Work environment
- Personal life
However, implementing a reliable, in-depth employee engagement measurement system is crucial for companies looking to meet their growth goals, create/maintain a positive work culture, and develop a strong employer brand that people will want to be a part of.
What is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is the alignment of the mental and emotional connection employees feel to their work with their company’s goals and values. While the employee experience plays a role in employee engagement, the two are not the same. Having an overall positive employee experience has an impact on employee engagement, though.
Only 36% of U.S. employees are engaged in their jobs, while 13% are actively disengaged. This means that a vast majority of employees are not emotionally invested in their work, which can negatively impact their productivity and overall job satisfaction. On top of this, disengaged employees are more likely to take more sick days, have higher turnover rates, and are less likely to recommend their organization to others.
Companies with high levels of employee engagement experience a 19% increase in operating income and a 28% increase in earnings per share compared to organizations with low employee engagement levels. This demonstrates that employee engagement is a critical factor in an organization’s success and highlights the importance of measuring and improving employee engagement levels.
Why Measure Employee Engagement
Aside from building positive work environment and strong employer brand, here are other specific benefits of measuring employee engagement:
Gain insights into employee needs:
Think of this as a SWOT analysis — strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. By measuring employee engagement, companies will have an up-to-date summary of where employees feel fulfilled and where there could be some improvements.
Build trust with your team:
Creating a space where employees can give honest feedback is great, but it doesn’t end when the survey closes. By implementing programs/initiatives that reflect employee feedback, companies are actually building a stronger sense of trust with their people and making them feel valued beyond their job descriptions.
Understand trends…and each other:
Companies learn more than just what keeps their people engaged by measuring employee engagement. They’re able to pick up on common trends between employees and how they operate as people.
Boost profitability and growth:
It’s no secret that people WANT to perform well for their company when they feel engaged and valued. According to Gallup, companies with higher levels of employee engagement have a 21% increase in profitability compared to those with low engagement levels.
Before developing a measurement strategy, organizations should consider the following:
- What type of data to collect: Organizations should determine the type of data they want to collect, such as employee feedback, performance metrics, or turnover rates.
- How to collect data: Organizations can use a variety of methods to collect data, such as surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one interviews. The method chosen should be tailored to the organization’s size, culture, and resources.
- How to analyze data: Organizations should determine how they will analyze and interpret the data collected. This can involve comparing results over time, benchmarking against industry standards, or identifying correlations between different data points.
How to Measure Employee Engagement
Employers should consider the following strategies and techniques before measuring employee engagement:
Identify what’s important to your employees:
Employers should identify the key factors that contribute to employee engagement within their company, such as career development opportunities, work-life balance, recognition, and rewards. These factors can be measured using rating scales or surveys.
Use a combination of quantitative and qualitative data:
Employers should use a combination of quantitative and qualitative data to gain a comprehensive understanding of employee engagement levels. Quantitative data can include metrics such as employee turnover, absenteeism rates, and productivity levels, while qualitative data can be gathered through surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one interviews.
Collect data frequently:
Employers should collect engagement data frequently to ensure that they are aware of any changes in employee satisfaction or sentiment. This can be done through pulse surveys, which are short surveys conducted on a regular basis, or through ongoing feedback mechanisms such as suggestion boxes or employee feedback apps.
Benchmark against industry standards:
To help identify areas for improvement and provide a basis for setting goals and targets, employers should benchmark their engagement levels against industry standards to determine how they compare to other organizations.
Use technology to streamline the process:
Employers can use technology to streamline the engagement measurement process, such as by using online surveys, automated data analysis tools, or employee feedback platforms.
Some specific metrics or KPIs that can be used to measure employee engagement include:
Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS):
This is a metric that measures how likely employees are to recommend their organization as a place to work. It can be calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors (employees who would not recommend the organization) from the percentage of promoters (employees who would recommend the organization).
Employee engagement index:
This is a metric that measures overall employee engagement levels within an organization. It can be calculated by combining multiple engagement-related questions from a survey into a single index score.
High turnover rates can indicate low employee engagement levels, as disengaged employees are more likely to leave their jobs. Employers can calculate their turnover rate by dividing the number of employees who left the organization by the total number of employees.
Employers should use a combination of strategies and techniques to measure employee engagement, including identifying what’s important to their employees, using a combination of quantitative and qualitative data, collecting data frequently, benchmarking against industry standards, and using technology to streamline the process. Specific metrics and KPIs, such as eNPS, employee engagement index, and turnover rate, can be used to measure employee engagement levels and identify areas for improvement.
Common Methods Used to Measure Employee Engagement
Pulse surveys are short, frequent surveys that gather data on employee engagement levels. The goal of pulse surveys is to get a quick snapshot of how employees are feeling about their work, workplace, and overall satisfaction. Pulse surveys are effective because they are short and easy to complete, which makes it more likely that employees will participate. They also allow for more frequent data collection, which can help employers identify trends and changes in employee engagement levels more quickly.
Not only is this a great way for managers and employees to get to know each other, one-on-one meetings are a great way to discuss performance, career goals, and any concerns the employee may have. These meetings are effective for measuring employee engagement because they provide an opportunity for open and honest communication. Employees can share their thoughts and concerns with their manager, and managers can provide feedback and support. This can help identify areas for improvement and increase employee engagement levels.
Focus groups are group discussions led by a facilitator. The goal of focus groups is to gather in-depth feedback and insights from employees on a specific topic, such as a new policy or program. Focus groups can be effective for measuring employee engagement because they create a safe space for open and honest discussion in a group setting. This can help identify common themes and issues that may not have been apparent through individual surveys or meetings.
Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS):
eNPS is a metric that measures how likely employees are to recommend their organization as a place to work. The goal of eNPS is to understand how employees perceive their workplace and whether they are likely to recommend it to others. eNPS can be effective for measuring employee engagement because it provides a simple and easy-to-understand metric that can be tracked over time. It can also help identify areas for improvement based on the feedback of detractors.
Overall, each tool and method for measuring employee engagement has its own strengths and weaknesses. Employers should consider using a combination of these tools and methods to get a more complete picture of employee engagement levels and identify areas for improvement.
What to Avoid When Measuring Employee Engagement
While measuring employee engagement can provide valuable insights for organizations, there are also some watchouts to keep in mind to ensure that the measurement process is accurate and effective. Here are some things to avoid when measuring employee engagement:
Relying solely on quantitative data:
While quantitative data, such as survey scores and metrics, can be helpful in measuring employee engagement, it’s important to also collect qualitative data through open-ended questions, focus groups, and other methods. This can provide more in-depth insights into the reasons behind engagement levels and help identify specific areas for improvement.
Using a one-size-fits-all approach:
Engagement levels can vary based on factors such as job function, department, and seniority. Therefore, it’s important to tailor engagement measurement approaches to specific groups within the organization to ensure that the data collected is relevant and accurate.
Focusing too much on the numbers:
While metrics such as employee Net Promoter Scores can be helpful in tracking engagement over time, it’s important not to rely too heavily on these numbers and overlook the qualitative data and feedback that employees provide.
Lack of action:
Measuring employee engagement is only valuable if it leads to action and improvement within the organization. It’s important to communicate the results of engagement measurement to employees and develop an action plan based on the data collected to address areas for improvement.
Measuring employee engagement should be an ongoing process, and it’s important to follow up on the results of previous measurements and track progress over time. This can help ensure that engagement levels continue to improve and that the organization is meeting the needs and expectations of its employees.
Measuring employee engagement can provide valuable insights for organizations, but it’s important to take action based on the results of the measurement of employee engagement levels. By analyzing the data collected, organizations can identify areas for improvement, make changes to policies and programs, and address issues and concerns raised by employees. Taking action based on the results of engagement measurement can lead to higher levels of employee satisfaction, increased productivity, and improved retention rates. Ultimately, it can help organizations create a positive workplace culture and achieve long-term success. It’s important for employers to commit to taking action and following through on their engagement measurement efforts to ensure that they are making meaningful improvements for their employees and the organization as a whole.
To learn more about how to implement programs that boost employee engagement, go to fringe.us/talk-to-our-team.