Rewind a few short decades ago when it was thought that the customer was king — now, don’t get me wrong, that’s still true to an extent. However, a major corporate paradigm shift has occurred since then. Companies have realized employees are the first customers they need to serve. Winning against the competition starts internally.“37% of employees feel most encouraged by personal recognition, according to a study on the top performance motivators.” — Fortune Click To Tweet
By now, it’s widely accepted that employee engagement matters.
So what’s left to discuss?
Well, how about the fact that measuring employee engagement can be incredibly challenging? After all, you’re not just trying to quantify the emotional state of one individual, but rather, the collective emotional state of an entire company.
This is exactly why we put together this mini-guide about the 5 proven steps for measuring employee engagement effectively. So without further ado, let’s dive right into these tips for measuring engagement at your company!
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Why should you measure employee engagement?
Employee engagement is a measure of how connected and committed employees are to their jobs and the company they work for.
Engaged employees are more likely to be productive, stay with the company, and promote a positive corporate culture. Given the many benefits of employee engagement, it’s important for companies to measure employee engagement levels on a regular basis. This helps to identify areas where improvements can be made in order to increase employee satisfaction and commitment.
Here are 5 benefits of measuring employee engagement
➤ Decreased absenteeism — Numerous studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between employee engagement and absenteeism. Employees who are engaged with their work call in sick less, and when they do, they are more likely to return to work quickly.
➤ Greater commitment — Employee engagement is a key metric for measuring how committed employees are to their work and their employer. By tracking employee engagement, employers can identify issues early and take steps to address them before they result in turnover or other problems.
➤ Better retention — Engaged employees will opt to stay at their jobs. As a result, measuring employee engagement can be an important tool for reducing turnover and maintaining a healthy workforce.
➤ Greater customer satisfaction — When employees are engaged, they are more productive and provide higher quality customer service. Because of this, measuring employee engagement can help to improve customer satisfaction.
➤ Better employee satisfaction — Employees who are engaged in their job naturally want to keep their position, which reflects in their productivity and is a strong indication that they are satisfied.
How to measure employee engagement at your company
Step 1 – Pulse Surveys
Pulse surveys are one way to measure employee engagement. These surveys are typically sent out on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly, etc.) and ask employees a series of questions about their work. The advantage of pulse surveys is that they can provide a real-time snapshot of employee engagement levels. This information can be used to identify issues early on and take corrective action before they become bigger problems.
Why this is a proven method for measuring engagement: Pulse surveys can be used to track progress over time and see how changes (in management, policy, etc.) impact employee engagement.
Tip! Setting up your own pulse survey for the first time can be daunting. You can try out a free trial with WorkTango to learn about setting up surveys with their engagement platform that takes the stress away so you can focus on your action plan.
Step 2 – 1:1 Meetings
1 on 1 meetings are a key tool for measuring employee engagement. In these regular meetings, managers can check in with individual employees and get a pulse on how they’re feeling about their work. Are they excited and engaged, or are they starting to feel disengaged and detached?
Why this is a proven method for measuring engagement: 1 on 1s give employees a chance to voice any concerns they may have, and they also provide an opportunity for managers to give feedback and guidance.
Step 3 – Exit Interviews
By understanding the reasons why employees are leaving, employers can identify areas where they need to improve. If a high number of employees are leaving because they feel undervalued or unappreciated, the employer can take steps to increase communication and recognition.
Why this is a proven method for measuring engagement: Employers can use exit interviews to identify patterns of turnover, such as a high number of resignations under a certain manager.
Step 4 – Turnover Rate
Turnover rate is the percentage of employees who leave an organization within a given period of time. High turnover rates can indicate that employees are not happy with their jobs or that they don’t feel valued by their employer. If turnover rates are high in a particular department, the company may need to address issues with working conditions or job satisfaction in that department.
Why this is a proven method for measuring engagement: By tracking turnover rate, organizations can get a better sense of how engaged their employees are and take steps to improve employee retention.
Step 5 – Anonymous Feedback
By anonymously collecting feedback from employees, organizations can get an accurate picture of how employees feel about their work. Anonymous feedback can help to identify the exact areas where employees are disengaged.
Why this is a proven method for measuring engagement: It’s often incredibly difficult to tell the truth as an employee, in large part because employees are naturally terrified of losing their jobs and livelihood. An employer has to give their employees the safety needed to be honest, which is precisely what collecting anonymous feedback does.
Ideas & strategies for measuring employee engagement
1 – Set goals for your company
By having specific objectives in mind, businesses can better gauge whether or not their employees are on board with their mission and vision. Setting goals also ensures that everyone is working towards the same objectives and makes it easier to pinpoint areas of improvement. Additionally, achieving company goals helps to build a sense of pride and accomplishment amongst employees, further motivating them to stay engaged with their work.
- Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals.
- Involve employees in the goal setting process to get early buy-in.
- Conduct company-wide shoutouts when employees and teams reach their goals.
Additional resource to help you measure engagement: On Goal Setting
Get started: Set goals and get your entire team behind a shared vision using a collaboration platform like monday.com! Distributed and remote-based teams can share goals and track them in one
2 – Use employee survey software
Employee survey software typically have a suite of tools and products within their ecosystems that make tracking and improving employee engagement extremely manageable. By incorporating employee survey software, businesses can get feedback on how employees feel about their work, their co-workers, and their company as a whole. Surveying employees on a regular basis can help to foster open communication and create a vastly improved working environment.
- Do not rely entirely on the survey software for deeper insights; instead look at it more as a tool for securing useful data.
- Use an employee survey software tool that automates as much of this info-gathering stage as possible.
- Try to eliminate as much bias as you can by phrasing those questions in a neutral manner.
Additional resource to help you measure engagement: Best Employee Survey Software
Get started: Use employee survey software to get an inside look at your employee’s real feelings about their job environment.
3 – Set up meetings with your employees (at every level)
Setting up meetings with your employees at every level of your organization is critical because one of the biggest factors that leads to disengagement is a strong sense of organizational hierarchy, which can ostracize junior or lower level team members. Some of the most positive and well-run organizations in the world develop trust and feelings of camaraderie among employees by flattening out their structure.
- Make sure managers and upper level employees give their subordinates or peers plenty of room and time to speak and be heard.
- Give employees the opportunity to help direct the meeting by enabling them to add topics to the meeting agenda.
- Document the meeting and develop a series of action items before its conclusion.
Additional resource to help you measure engagement: Employee Engagement Ideas
Get started: Utilize a video conferencing platform in order to involve both remote and in-person employees.
4 – Look at new employees
Many organizations are struggling to find ways to measure and improve employee engagement, and one of the most effective ways to do this is to focus on new employees. New employees are typically more engaged than veteran employees, and they can provide valuable insights into what is working well and what needs improvement.
By observing new employees and monitoring their engagement levels, employers can identify areas where engagement is low and learn more about how to solve these challenges. Also, looking at the factors that contribute to new employees’ engagement can help employers create policies and initiatives that will engage all employees, from new hires to veterans.
- Utilize icebreaker games and icebreaker activities.
- Set expectations and attain their expectations in pre-boarding so you can ensure both sides are equally satisfied.
- Most employees take several months to get the hang of things, which is why you have to have a comprehensive training program — and still be patient.
Additional resource to help you measure engagement: Employee Onboarding
Get started: Get employees engaged from the jump with an onboarding plan!
5 – Diagnose your employees’ productivity
From monitoring metrics like project completion rates and sales numbers to conducting regular performance reviews, you can gauge, to a certain extent, employees’ productivity.
Employees who are productive are generally performing at their best levels because they enjoy their role and want to keep it. Disengaged employees, whose productivity is falling off, can be an early indicator that they are unhappy and could be wanting to leave the company.
- Take the time to find out how they can be supported — the cost of a little extra help and infrastructure is always less expensive than high turnover.
- Find out what motivates each employee and try your best to provide that particular type of motivation — for some, it’s words of affirmation; for others, it may be something else entirely.
- Consider on-the-spot bonuses and other spontaneous rewards to have a stronger positive emotional impact on employees — this positive reinforcement can often be a boon for productivity.
Additional resource to help you measure engagement: Employee Productivity Hacks
Get started: Inspire, reward, and engage employees to see their productivity reach new heights!
Helpful tools to measure employee engagement at your company
monday.com is an employee engagement platform designed to fuel workplace collaboration, eliminate silos, and increase organizational efficiency. With Monday.com employees will be more easily able to remain in sync, reach their goals faster, get more done, and stay aligned.
Why we love this tool to measure employee engagement: To top it off, Monday.com has an entire suite of services, ranging from a sales CRM, a marketing campaign platform, a project management tool, and a development tool.
1) Gantt Charts | Helps you visualize project milestones and dependencies.
2) Kanban | Prioritize tasks and balance demands according to capabilities and personnel.
3) Docs and files | Easily share all documents and files within the platform to keep employees in sync and stride for stride.
Get started: monday.com
WorkTango is a holistic employee experience platform that enables impactful recognition and rewards, offers actionable insights through employee surveys, and supports alignment through milestones, feedback tools, and goal setting. An integrated dashboard also ensures that all of the important employee engagement metrics and data are conveniently accessible, helping managers and other team members to make informed decisions.
Why we love this tool to measure employee engagement: WorkTango amplifies and incentivizes core values and key behaviors.
1) Recognition and rewards | WorkTango offers in-platform rewards and recognition to bring out the best in your employees.
2) Surveys and insights | Measure engagement and gather feedback to support organizational change.
3) Goals and feedback | Create cohesion, establish a unified vision, and progress as a unit towards a focused objective.
Get started: WorkTango
Motivosity helps companies create real connections and lays the foundation for incredible company cultures. This employee engagement platform enhances the human experience in the corporate setting, opening up the possibilities for coworkers to get to know each other on a deeper level.
Why we love this tool to measure employee engagement: With personal profiles, personality maps, and interest groups, Motivosity is the ultimate way to develop cohesion and team unity, starting from onboarding even through the exit process
1) Social Feed | Motivosity is heavily focused on the social aspect of work, which is what really unites team members at the end of the day.
2) Org Chart | user-friendly, searchable organization charts keep your team structured and prepared for change.
3) Personality Maps | This feature makes getting to know one another 10x easier and to get a clear picture of how team members can work together.
Get started: Motivosity
Nectar is all about helping companies recognize great work, build out their communities, promote core values, and redeem rewards in one seamless employee recognition solution. Nectar is designed around 6 pillars, including connection and camaraderie, recognition, empathy, alignment, trust, and elevation (team members creating growth opportunities for each other).
Why we love this tool to measure employee engagement: Nectar offers integrations with your other favorite tools, softwares, and plug-ins, giving you the total employee engagement package!
1) Engagement Tracking | Nectar simplifies your ability and the steps it takes to keep tabs on employee satisfaction and productivity.
2) Rewards Management | Engagement deserves a reward and Nectar helps to facilitate that reciprocal value.
3) Rewards Catalog | Nectar lets employees pick from a variety of rewards so you know they’ll be beyond happy with whatever they choose.
Get started: Nectar
Kallidus is an employee engagement platform and a catalyst for high-performing organizations. It provides a first-class pre-boarding and onboarding experience to give new hires the best first impression possible and smooth sailing in their employment from there on out.
Why we love this tool to measure employee engagement: Kallidus places heavy emphasis on creating a learning, development, and feedback culture to maximize engagement throughout the entire employee lifecycle, bolstered by their very own Learning Management System.
1) Performance Management | Connect learning and performance for your teams.
2) Employee Lifecycle Management | Kallidus creates complete visibility into the entire employee lifestyle.
3) Development Tools | Kallidus can assist you in your quest to nurture a culture of self-led learning and focus on continuous development.
Get started: Kallidus
Tips to measure employee engagement at your company
1) Define A Goal For Employee Engagement
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to setting a goal for your employee engagement program, and you’ll need to get more specific than simply setting out to “improve engagement.”
To set a useful goal, tie it to one of three things:
- (1) improving company culture
- (2) managing talent more effectively
- (3) creating a high-performance organization
These goals will get results that go beyond simply changing a number on a survey report.
➤ How to Pick a Goal
Your organization’s engagement goal will depend on your size, culture and other variables. But we’ve found it’s better to focus on goals associated with business outcomes than to get hung up on a specific engagement score.
For example, many of our clients set goals that address improving company culture, attracting and retaining top talent or creating a high-performance organization. Work with organizational leaders to determine what your highest priorities are for change; that’s where you can find a goal for your engagement initiative.
As part of determining priorities, leaders at your organization will need to be honest about what they’re willing to invest to make changes to reach those goals.
If culture is a concern, what are you willing to do to improve it?If culture is a concern, what are you willing to do to improve it? #employeeengagement Click To Tweet
Answering this question requires setting budgets, identifying specific tactics you’re willing to start (e.g. do you want to serve free lunch every day? Offer employees more flexible work arrangements?) and establishing the proper levels of people, time and resources it will take to make these changes.
➤ Communicate Your Goal Carefully
Once you’ve set a goal, communicate it to the organization, but be conscientious about how you frame it. Saying something like “We want to move our engagement levels from X to Y by the end of the year” is too abstract; it shows you’re more concerned about a number than actually making improvements in the workplace.
In the same way, if you say you want 100 percent feedback on a survey before you take any action, you can rush respondents into submitting a rote response instead of focusing on responding honestly.
Instead, share the original goal with employees, not the numbers behind it: You want to improve engagement to improve retention rates, for example, or build a more open, flexible culture to help retain employees.
There will be measurements around these goals, and sharing them is obviously useful: “We retained 95 percent of employees last year, an improvement of 10 percent over the year before.”
But simply saying “we must reach 75 percent engagement by the end of the year” puts employees on the spot and gives them no context about how to reach that goal.
➤ Be Flexible
As you become more comfortable with managing engagement, your goal will change. It’s a business goal like any other, and as you achieve success you will need to set more goals to keep the momentum going.
You’ll need to stay flexible through the process, especially when it comes to larger goals: Engagement is a major change initiative, and building a new culture or improving productivity takes time. You may be constrained by others’ timelines; changing health benefits to improve satisfaction, for example, can only happen once a year.
Be patient, look for quick wins and stay flexible to get the most out of the process.Be patient, look for quick wins and stay flexible to get the most out of the process. #employeeengagement Click To Tweet
Most importantly – after you implement the changes, gather additional employee feedback to understand its impact!
2) Equip Your Employees With The Right Tools
Employee engagement has become a cornerstone to company success. While there are a number of steps outlined in this article, it is very important to provide the best tools for your teams to engage with each other. Providing your organization with a platform that can track and manage employee communication and engagement can go a long way when it comes time to measure engagement.
As a comprehensive employee engagement software, Empuls helps to build a company culture around employee engagement where teams and coworkers can communicate with each other
- Communication. Connect employees through interest groups, projects, teams & conversations.
- Recognition. Manage employee rewards & incentives.
- Feedback. Run engagement & other lifecycle surveys.
Think of Empuls as a digital toolbox with access to all tools of communication without forcing your employees to juggle multiple platforms. Using social intranet, the entire organization can stay connected so when it comes time to measure employee engagement, the framework is already there.
3) Establish Key Metrics And Measurements
Use your goal to identify the factors you’ll be measuring as part of your employee engagement survey. The questions are likely to fall into three categories:
- Satisfaction: These questions will ask about how employees feel about their job, pay, benefits and so on.
- Alignment: These questions will determine whether employees’ goals and motivations are aligned with the organization’s mission.
- Sense of future: It’s important to ask whether employees feel they have a future at your organization, especially if you’re interested in improving retention.
During this step, you’ll also determine the kind of survey you will run. You may be asking questions across different categories with answers on a 1-5 scale, or you might use open-ended questions. Check out the “Art and Science of Employee Engagement” for best practices.
The above are key metrics you will be tracking to measure employee engagement, but what data should you view to ensure your changes are leading to tangible business results? It’s true that employee engagement is good in and of itself, but ideally that engagement also leads to harder, smarter working employees and noticeable changes in success metrics. Some metrics you can measure include
- Attendance rate: Attendance problems signal a lack of employee engagement, and can cause huge issues for a business.
- Average hours worked: Engaged employees are willing to work overtime to complete projects because they see the intrinsic value and delight in the challenge of those projects.
- Conversion rate/average sale size: For a restaurant, bar, or retail store, more engaged employees will lead to better salesmanship and more visitor conversions.
For a retail store or restaurant, your POS system may already track these metrics automatically. Other businesses can likely track these with their accounting software or employee management software. If you are having trouble sourcing these metrics, there are tools available to help you determine where you stand regarding employee engagement.
4) Communicate Effectively For Transparency
Employees may be wondering what will happen to their answers, what exactly is being measured, and whether their responses are anonymous. Communicating effectively throughout the process will help create buy-in from employees, so ensure leaders and managers have the answers they need to keep everybody on track.
As you move through your employee engagement process, be sure to keep your communication lines open. After the survey, employees may feel like communication drops off as leaders try to determine an action plan for the organization.
Keep them informed about the results from the survey and what’s coming next; transparency throughout the process will help keep it moving. Use these three guidelines when developing your communication plan.
👉 Communicate Your Goal
Every employee engagement journey starts with a goal. When people have something to aim for, it’s easier to ensure all of their efforts are working toward the same end.
No matter what your goal is, communicating it to employees helps make engagement something understandable, as opposed to simply increasing a number on a score sheet.
👉 Tell Them Why You’re Doing This
Transparency is the backbone of communication, and you’ll need plenty of it as you kick off your engagement effort. Employees will naturally want to know about the process and what they need to do to make it a success.
Unfortunately, leaders and managers sometimes avoid those questions because they don’t know themselves how the process works, or because they’re afraid of promising too much.
Clarity helps build confidence in the engagement process, and confidence is what you need from employees to make your engagement plan a success. Empower your leaders and managers to share openly and honestly about engagement to create buy-in among employees.Empower leaders & managers to share openly & honestly about engagement to create buy-in. Click To Tweet
👉 Don’t Overcommit
During the beginning stages of an engagement initiative it can be easy to get caught up in all of the exciting ideas and changes people might come up with. It’s a great feeling when employees catch on to the idea of engagement, or when they see how they’re empowered to make changes on their own.
Make sure, though, that you’re not over-hyping the process. Engagement efforts are not a cure-all, and improving engagement is simply a business process like any other.
Change doesn’t happen overnight, and there may be changes that you simply can’t sustain or commit to. Keep your communication upbeat and honest about what might change in your organization.
Without effective communication, your engagement efforts aren’t going to get the traction they need to build lasting change and success. Before you dive into an engagement initiative, ensure your communication channels are clear, and that you’re willing to be transparent throughout the process.
5) Overcoming Roadblocks
Every employee engagement initiative runs into conflicts at some point. Once survey results are revealed and it’s time to plan, one of the most common roadblocks is a lack of alignment or trust among leaders who are trying to take the next steps.
Other leaders may suddenly decide there aren’t enough resources or enough time to make the changes necessary to improve engagement, or may not feel empowered to make it happen.
This is a critical moment for your engagement program, and one where HR can take a leadership role. Go back to your original goal and remind others of the commitment to positive change.
6. Build An Action Plan
Your survey results show you where your company is now; your goal will provide something to aim for.
Your action plan for getting there will depend on your company’s culture, engagement goals, risk tolerance, budget and other variables unique to your organization. Work with department and company leaders to create timelines and accountability for action, being explicit about which tasks belong to which people.
Check out best practices for building an action plan and consider these four steps as you set out to develop your action plan.
Step 1: Revisit Your Strategy
When you had set your engagement program goal and planned your overall engagement strategy, you thought about what you needed to know and why you needed to know it.
Once you have your survey results, you can see how well your goal matches up with reality. All of that information will go into how you shape your action plan.
What new insights did you get about your workplace from your survey?
As you build your action plan, be sure you don’t try to do too much at once. It can be tempting to address all the issues uncovered by your survey, but it’s crucial that you develop an achievable action plan that doesn’t take months to come to fruition.
There will be plenty of time to address all the information you got from the survey; follow the process instead of trying to improve everything in one fell swoop.
Step 2: Follow Established Processes
Crafting your action plan doesn’t have to be intimidating. Chances are you already have a normal business goal-setting process in your company, and it’s a great framework for building your action plan.
Ensuring your action plan conforms to your company’s culture will help make success more likely, so follow some of the processes you already have in place when drawing up your action plan.
Step 3: Work Quickly
When you’re making changes in your workplace to improve engagement, act fast. Once you’ve surveyed your employees, the speed and commitment you give to making change will have a big influence on whether it’s successful.
If there’s an engagement issue, employees will be encouraged if they see you’re committed to making a change — and they’ll lose heart if there’s no action.
Step 4: Listen to Feedback
Now that you’ve started making changes, how do you know it’s doing what you want it to do? Ask for and listen to feedback — just like you did at the start of your engagement program.
Short pulse surveys get a snapshot of how people are feeling about progress and identify tweaks to your action plan. These pulse surveys can be easily created and completed by your staff without any heavy lifting.
7. Thank Employees
As your action plan gets going, be sure to thank your employees. Thanking them tells them that their opinions are valuable and that you truly appreciate the work they’ve done to get to this point.
It reminds them that everyone is on this path together and that you’re all ready to move toward improved engagement through the action plan.
8. Focus On Long-Term Success
Surveying and measuring employee engagement should never be a one-time event. After all, you’ll need to survey them after you put your plan into action to see if it worked.
You may find that it does, or you may find that it didn’t go far enough. Your plan may improve engagement in one department or section, but uncover issues in another.
In addition to regularly surveying employees, set up your accounting software or restaurant POS system to continuously track vital success metrics. Compare this data against your survey responses to determine if your changes are contributing to your business goals.
Commit to the process of continuous engagement to ensure your company is the best it can be. Discover how other companies have put these HR employee engagement practices into action.
Get the Seven Steps to Employee Engagement Infographic! Download the Infographic.
People Also Ask These Questions About Measuring Employee Engagement
Q: How effective are surveys in measuring employee engagement?
- A: Surveys are fairly effective for measuring employee engagement. On the one hand, surveys can provide employers with valuable insights into how employees feel about their jobs and the company. However, surveys can be subject to bias and may not always give an accurate picture of employee engagement levels. Some employees may feel pressure to give positive responses on surveys, even if they are not actually engaged in their work. Having said all of that, surveys can be a useful tool for measuring employee engagement, but they should be used in conjunction with other methods, such as interviews and focus groups.
Q: How do I measure employee engagement within my company?
- A: There are many ways to measure employee engagement within your company. A common method is to survey employees on a regular basis and ask them questions about their job satisfaction, motivation levels, and commitment to the organization. Another way to measure employee engagement is to track turnover rates and absenteeism. High rates of turnover and absenteeism can indicate that employees are not engaged in their work and are less likely to be committed to the company. Companies can also look at measures of productivity when trying to gauge employee engagement. If employees are highly productive and deliver high-quality work, it is likely that they are engaged in their jobs.
Q: What are ways to measure employee engagement?
- A: There are a few different ways to measure employee engagement. One of the most frequently used methods is employee engagement surveys. However, most surveys simply focus on key factors such as job satisfaction, commitment to the company, and motivation levels. By understanding how these factors interact with each other, organizations can develop targeted strategies to improve employee engagement. Some companies use data from social media and other sources to measure employee engagement.
Q: How do I measure the ROI of improving employee engagement?
- A: When it comes to measuring the ROI of improving employee engagement, consider the cost of implementing engagement initiatives. This includes the cost of training employees and managers, as well as the cost of any technology or software required. You can also estimate the impact that engagement improvements will have on productivity and profitability. This can be done by looking at absenteeism rates, turnover rates, and performance reviews. Additionally, you can calculate the financial savings that will be generated by higher levels of productivity.
Q: What metrics should I use to measure employee engagement?
- A: One common metric is to track employee satisfaction levels. This can be done through regular surveys or by monitoring employee turnover rates. Things like absenteeism, productivity levels, and the quality of work can also help you get a clear picture of employee engagement levels within your organization.
Q: What is the best employee engagement scorecard to use?
- A: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best employee engagement scorecard will vary depending on the specific needs of your organization. However, there are a few key factors to consider when choosing a scorecard. Select a scorecard that is aligned with your company’s values and goals. This will ensure that your employees are engaged in activities that contribute to your organization’s success. Also, choose a scorecard that is easy to use and understand. If your employees find the scorecard difficult to use, they will be less likely to engage with it. Lastly, the scorecard needs to provide actionable insights.