Why it's Essential to Measure Employee Engagement (and top tips on how to do it).
“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”
Anne M. Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox
There are many challenges facing the world right now, and although it may feel trivial, the fight for talent continues as the great resignation shows no sign of stopping. Less than six months ago, almost 69% of UK workers said they felt confident to move jobs, and only 16% were worried about getting a new job. Therefore, employers must challenge turnover by assessing and improving employee engagement and showing that they care about their people. But how do you effectively measure employee engagement, and what tools should you use for optimal results?
This blog will include:
Why is it important to measure employee engagement?
There are many reasons to measure employee engagement in your workforce, including:
- Retention – the happier your people and the more engaged they are with the company and their work, the more likely they are to stay with your company. While employees may always be tempted by money or other job offers, they should be more loyal and less likely to leave if they are very engaged with the company.
- Cost savings – high retention costs time and money because replacing skilled employees can be expensive in terms of recruitment costs and time-consuming to recruit, interview, onboard, train, and develop someone new. In addition, if engaged employees increase productivity, this should also increase profits.
- Workload – as a knock-on effect of improved productivity, motivation, and engagement, HR functions may spend less time dealing with underperformers, disciplinaries, and even tasks such as recruitment for leavers. This frees up time for you to spend on other issues.
- Productivity – highly engaged employees have 21% higher profitability and 17% higher productivity than those not engaged. If your people are motivated and understand how they can contribute to the business objectives, productivity should increase. This may also improve customer service, profit, quality of work, and output.
- Reputation – if your employees are happy and engaged, then this should improve your company’s reputation. For example, engaged employees may recommend your company as a great place to work; they may talk about you positively on social networks such as LinkedIn, and word of mouth should give you a reputation for being a great place to work.
Why is employee engagement important to HR?
As mentioned above, strong engagement can increase commitment and retention while saving HR time on recruitment, onboarding, performance management, and managing exits.
To break it down, if you can gain insights into which areas of the business are more motivated and engaged, you have the foresight to understand which roles and departments might be at risk of turnover. This helps with workforce planning and allows you to dig further into the reasons for the disengagement and work on actions to improve engagement.
In addition, such engagement information may also point to specific business areas where training and development are required. For example, if many teams or individuals are citing management or leadership discontentment, you know that you may need to develop or introduce a management training plan across your company. You might also gain honest views about pay and benefits, which may lead you to assess your reward structure and whether it is competitive.
Essentially, such visibility gives you insights you would otherwise not have and allows you to plan your people strategy around what your people want rather than guessing what they want.
How to measure employee engagement KPIs
Before measuring employee engagement, you need to define your KPIs (key performance indicators), as these will vary from business to business. Therefore, the leadership team should consider what should be measured and how.
It’s essential to establish the KPIs early on because how you measure each one will vary. For example, you could use employee records, exit interviews, and data to measure turnover or absenteeism, but you might need a survey to find out more about job satisfaction. Therefore, your KPIs may include measuring employee:
The importance of recognition in engagement
Recognition is vital to achieving employee engagement. Great Place to Work reviewed over 1.7 million employee survey responses over two years and found that recognition played an essential part in engaging employees. They found that a culture of recognition improves engagement as their findings show that those who felt recognised at work were two times more likely to say that other employees at the company were willing to go above and beyond their job roles. Additionally, they were 2.6 times more likely to think that promotions in the company were fair.
Furthermore, the employees in the survey who didn't feel recognised by their employer struggled to describe what makes the place they work great. Those who felt recognised responded more positively to questions in the survey measuring recognition.
How to measure employee engagement without a survey?
When employers consider how to measure employee engagement, the obvious solution is often to implement an employee engagement survey. And while surveys are hugely beneficial if carried out well, there are other ways to measure engagement in your workforce.
There are several ways, such as rewarding and promoting employees for high performance; however financial rewards may not always be the answer or indeed possible for everybody. Feedback can be compelling to improve recognition and, therefore, engagement. There are several ways to give and receive feedback, including:
Team meetings – managers could create a culture of always naming one thing done well over the past week or time frame and acknowledging individuals and team input into the achievement. They could also ask employees to comment on what went well that week and where improvements could be made.
Employee 1:1s – again, managers could pick out something the employee did well and ask for feedback about how they did that week.
All staff meetings – held by senior leadership are a positive and open way to give feedback to the people about company changes or achievements.
Internal recognition systems – whereby employees can vote for other employees for jobs well done, could be another effective form of feedback and recognition.
Focus groups – if you organise focus groups for feedback, it's important to select participants from different departments and all levels of management and hierarchy. Aim to use neutral facilitators so that your people are honest with their feedback. You can use employee survey responses or feedback as areas to discuss further. You can also use basic questions to understand employee feedback and understand issues around recognition and how valued they feel, growth opportunities, etc.
Involve every employee when you measure employee engagement
The hybrid model of working looks set to stay, and with the change comes a challenge to observe and listen to all your people. But just because not everyone is visible in the workplace, it doesn't mean that they shouldn't be listened to, which is really important for employee engagement. Regardless of where someone is situated, their voice needs to be heard; otherwise, how can you get an accurate engagement picture?
How to measure employee engagement using Sorwe
We offer you the technology to collect all people’s experiences in one place so that you can analyse data and gain a clear picture of employee engagement in your company. By giving this clear picture using different tools, you can create a company culture of engaged, motivated, and happy people who thrive in your culture. Our tools measure, assess, and enhance:
There's no doubt that the pandemic has changed the way we work and impacted our personal lives and the role of work for many. Therefore, employers have several challenges to contend with. They need to consider how hybrid working fits with their culture, but they also need to work harder to retain individuals who may be questioning whether their job is what they really want. Employee engagement must be measured regularly using different ways, but this is only the first step. Feedback must be listened to and acted upon. It's not enough to assume employees will put up with any issues in the workplace they don't like, and measuring and improving engagement needs a continuous cycle that forms part of your culture.
Sorwe provides the tools you need to assess, evaluate, and improve employees engagement. Please get in touch with us to learn more about how Sorwe solutions can help you improve your employee engagement practices.