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How to measure employee engagement

You can’t measure employee engagement and ignore the results. To improve engagement, you must take action and show your people that you value their feedback.

You can’t assess or change engagement levels if you don’t measure employee engagement. So, wherever your current employee engagement level is, it takes time, effort and commitment to not only create a culture of engagement but also to maintain it. 

In this article, we’ll discuss why you should measure employee engagement, how to measure it, including the use of employee engagement metrics, and what to do once you’ve gathered the results.

Employee engagement is focused on how engaged employees are with their job, the workplace, and the company they work for. It goes beyond employees just turning up and doing the work they're given; it includes how committed they are to the organisation and how connected they feel to it. 

For instance, if someone needs help understanding their job, how it fits into the broader organisation or what the organisation’s goals or strategy are, they may feel left out and, therefore, not engaged and motivated.

If you don't measure employee engagement levels, then it's difficult to know how your people are feeling, and you will speculate how they feel without getting any employee feedback.

Gallup’s research suggests that on a global level, low engagement levels cost the economy over $7 trillion. So, engagement is essential and costly if not measured and acted upon. 

For example, through feedback, you may discover that management communication is the most significant issue affecting employees. Everything else could be excellent, and this brings engagement down. If you know this, you can take actions to fix it; if you don't pinpoint issues, how will you ever understand what to change?

In addition, engagement affects areas in the employee life cycle, including:

If employees are committed to your organisation, they may be less likely to leave. High turnover costs the business money in terms of recruitment and training new starters up to the right level.

Disengaged employees may be more likely to take time off, leading to increased absence. 

The more engaged your people are, the more likely they will be committed to going above and beyond in their jobs, leading to higher productivity and performance levels. This can lead to increased profitability and fewer costs associated with employee and customer turnover and absence.

Engaged and motivated employees should provide a great customer experience. Employees in customer-facing roles may be more committed to their job if engaged, which may increase customer loyalty and retention.

There is more than one way to measure employee engagement in your organisation. So, whether you use one method or a combination, it's essential to gain ongoing employee feedback about how they feel working at the organisation and ensure that action is taken to change the input. 

How you measure employee engagement will also depend on the size and maturity of your organisation. It will also depend on whether you have one location or many, what you have done in the past, and whether you would use it again.

Here are some feedback options to consider using at your organisation which collect both quantitative and qualitative feedback.

Surveys are the most well-known way of measuring organisational engagement. They measure some or all areas of the employee lifecycle, including compensation and benefits, leadership, and job satisfaction.

Many stages are involved in carrying out an employee engagement survey, including the planning stage and data collection, data analysis, and action plans. 

Traditionally, surveys may have been created and administered in-house by HR teams. However, now, many software options can use an employee engagement survey template to create the survey and questions, distribute the survey, and analyse the results.

These surveys tend to be shorter than employee engagement surveys and can therefore be carried out more often. They may focus on a specific engagement area so that a quick assessment can be made with employee feedback. They can also be used for particular teams or to assess engagement after a company change.

These meetings gather employees together to gain quick feedback on areas of the workplace. However, they don’t necessarily provide metrics, and employees may not feel comfortable being open and honest in front of others so feedback may be limited. 

Managers can speak to their team about engagement, but honesty may be limited, and feedback may need to be more in-depth.

Employees need to see the outcome of their feedback. This may be in the form of all staff meetings to communicate results and clear indicators of areas to work on and the actions in place to improve. 

Once action plans are in place, managers must be aware of their actions, and all teams need to understand what changes are being implemented.

Feedback must then be ongoing. For example, it can be given in team or individual meetings to continue understanding engagement levels and make employees feel valued.

A truly engaged employee should understand where they fit into the organisation and how their input contributes to the broader business. Ideally, this should provide a sense of purpose, so they feel they are working towards organisational goals. Therefore, by measuring engagement, you confirm engagement levels, issues, and what needs to change.

At Momentive, our SurveyMonkey service can help you to measure employee engagement and our pricing plans are designed to suit your needs. Sign up now to improve employee engagement using our survey design, data analysis and other engagement tools.

Yes. You should discuss with all leavers their reason for leaving and other feedback about working for your organisation. In addition, stay interviews can help to identify problems or concerns before they get too serious and individuals leave.

You can use turnover and absenteeism metrics to view engagement on an ongoing basis. However, if sudden increases occur, you need a proper engagement investigation across the organisation or in certain areas.

Your eNPS can give you a quick view of employee sentiment, and it’s helpful, too, if you ask employees why they gave their scores.

You might sense dissatisfaction or low morale, but this could be a one-off, or it might be more severe than you think. Also, with increased remote working, it’s more different to sense engagement. Without measuring engagement and gaining employee feedback, you can't possibly begin to pinpoint where the real issues lie.