Does your workplace measure employee engagement? It should
Employees who feel valued because they are heard and appreciated by their employer bring their best to work each day. Supportive and enriching work environments lead to employee engagement, which leads to higher performance.
However, it can be hard to measure employee engagement without the correct tools. The first step to improving employee engagement and increasing performance is to measure engagement correctly.
Knowing how to measure employee engagement can be challenging because many factors impact it. It is based on feelings and differs from person to person. There are also so many factors that influence employee engagement. Every company will have different internal struggles and may require other measurement techniques.
Employee engagement is the strength of an employee’s connection to their work and to their employer. This measurement goes beyond just satisfaction and includes motivation, loyalty, and a willingness to recommend the organization to others.
Employee engagement differs from employee satisfaction, which measures only how happy people are in their roles. Happiness is essential, but it is based on surface-level feelings rather than a more profound sense of connection.
After more than 15 years of surveying employees, Energage recommends using a survey that measures commitment, referral, and motivation. And here is what we mean by those factors:
- Commitment: An employee’s intent to stay at the company.
- Referral: An employee’s willingness to recommend their company.
- Motivation: An employee’s drive to give their best work.
Employee engagement happens when employees respond positively to those survey factors; they are directly tied to boosted performance and productivity.
Asking employees for anonymous and honest feedback is essential, provided leadership is ready to hear the feedback and create the space for real solutions. Surveys are the most common tool for measuring employee engagement, but there are other methods to consider too:
- Pulse surveys: Short, frequent surveys including 5-10 questions that evaluate sentiment and capture input.
- Recurring 1:1 meeting: Regularly scheduled time that offers a safe environment for dialogue.
- Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS): Asks employees, “How likely would you recommend my product/service to a friend or colleague?”
- Focus groups: Assemble a diverse group of employees to participate in a guided discussion.
- Employee retention rate: Review employee loyalty and commitment. Low retention rates are an indicator of low engagement.
Lack of employee engagement is a primary reason employees quit. Companies benefit from reduced turnover (and costs) when engagement is high. This dynamic creates a strong workplace culture for everyone involved and dramatically reduces the costs of turnover (both monetary and time) for the organization.
And remember, measuring employee engagement is not a one-time activity. Develop the habit of asking for feedback. Pulse surveys effectively target specific issues and allow you to capture real-time employee feedback at a regular cadence. Asking people for their candid input will help employees to feel valued, connected, and engaged.
Phoebe Finn is corporate communications specialist at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s partner for Top Workplaces.