How to Measure Employee Engagement (Accurately)

Measure Employee Engagement Hero

An engaged workforce is key to a successful business. When your employees are engaged, they’re more productive which increases the potential for your business to be more profitable. So, it’s vital to keep your staff motivated, ensuring that they are ready-to-go the extra mile to help your business thrive.

But how do you know if your employees are highly engaged, moderately engaged, or disengaged? More importantly, how do you boost employee engagement?

Learning how to measure employee engagement is the first step to improving it. However, measuring employee engagement can be challenging because it is the sum of multiple variables that are hard to quantify.

Our guide to measuring employee engagement will help you understand the metrics for measuring employee engagement and know how to utilize them.

First, let’s define employee engagement.

What Is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is defined as the connection employees have to their employer and how committed they are to their work and workplace. It helps describe how passionate your employees are about their work and how motivated they feel about pursuing a business’ goals.

But employee engagement doesn’t tell the whole story. A happy employee might seem thoroughly engaged, always showing up for team dinners and training camps. But they leave as soon as they get a more lucrative offer from a competing firm. And you’re left wondering what happened.

This is why it’s so important to measure employee engagement. You not only want your employees happy, you want them to be highly engaged and invested in the organization’s success so they’re more likely to stay with your business.

Why Is It Important to Measure Employee Engagement?

It is important to measure employee engagement so you know what your business is doing right (or wrong) and how it’s affecting your workforce.

Once you measure the engagement levels, you can determine your workforce’s level of engagement and satisfaction towards your business and identify how to boost them.

Here are a few more reasons why you should measure engagement levels.

To Predict Future Performance

Employee engagement is a strong predictor of performance outcomes, especially during turbulent times such as pandemics, economic downturns, and so on.

In 2000, Gallup began tracking employee engagement, and it was a steady metric until 2020. COVID-19 was a disruptor that year, causing engagement levels to fluctuate. By collecting this data, you can predict what to expect for engagement levels should another pandemic occur in the future.

US Employee Engagement Trend Average per Year according to Gallup

To Create a Culture of Trust

When you ask employees for feedback about how the business functions, you make them feel heard and valued. They will feel that the top leadership genuinely cares about them as individuals and is invested in their professional and personal growth. This makes them more committed to the team and less likely to leave for a bigger paycheck.

To Stay Ahead of Trends

Job market trends like quiet quitting and the Great Resignation can pose an enormous challenge for your recruitment teams. You can be better prepared for such turbulent conditions by studying employee engagement metrics and allocating resources accordingly. So, when you see engagement dropping and your workers are doing the bare minimum, you’ll know it’s time to step in and address the situation.

So, now that you know why it’s important to measure employee engagement, let’s dive into how you can measure employee engagement.

How Can You Measure Employee Engagement?

First, you need to be transparent with your plans. Let your relevant department heads (e.g., Human Resources, C-suite, Finance, etc.) and affected employees know about your plans for measuring engagement and your intentions with your findings. You can also share with them any goals you’re working on like increasing employee retention by 20% next year.

Keeping employee engagement measurement methods transparent and inclusive helps in getting honest and constructive feedback from the team. However, make sure not to over commit. If you make big promises and fail to follow through, the whole exercise can backfire and make the staff lose trust in the leadership. When in doubt, always underpromise and overdeliver.

Next, you want to select your metrics to measure employee engagement.

What Metrics Should You Consider?

To measure engagement at the workplace, you need to be familiar with some key metrics that help create passionate and motivated employees. Here are a few metrics to consider.

Relationships With Managers and Colleagues

The average employee spends one-third of their life at work. When you spend that much time with your colleagues, you want to have a good relationship with them. This makes the relationships employees form at the workplace a decisive factor in how they feel about the organization.

McKinsey and Co study results about how critical the relationship with management is for employee satisfaction

Positive manager-employee relationships encourage a culture of productivity and cooperation among workers. In fact, the relationship with management is the top factor in an employee’s job satisfaction. Good managers should not hinder employees. Instead, they should support an employee’s growth at the workplace and help them overcome any obstacles that they may encounter.

Apart from the vertical relationship between the managers and employees, you should also study the horizontal relationship among team members. Having a culture of respect and inclusivity among co-workers fosters teamwork, allows them to achieve goals faster, and drives innovation. Employees should also be encouraged to share resources and ideas and help each other when needed.

Job Satisfaction

Happy and fulfilled employees benefit employers as well. Individuals who are happy at work produce better results and are more engaged than their unhappy counterparts.

An employee’s job satisfaction is based on several external factors, including but not limited to, benefits, compensation, working hours, the potential for professional growth, and the commute to the office. With the shift towards remote work, many employees include the option for flexible or remote work as a key criterion in determining their job satisfaction.

Personal Growth and Wellness

47% of employees say they regularly feel overwhelmed at work, while over a quarter of respondents feel their employer doesn’t care about their mental health.

Employees want to work at an organization where their physical and mental well-being are prioritized. So, it’s no surprise that employees are moving towards jobs that provide a greater work-life balance.


It’s difficult for an employee to feel passionate about their work if their extra efforts go unnoticed by their managers and colleagues. Recognizing employees who go the extra mile is a simple yet effective way to make them feel more engaged and valued.

The lack of recognition given to high-performing employees may not be intentional; managers may forget or just be too busy. However, it’s essential to acknowledge deserving employees to encourage them to continue their hard work.

Turnover and Retention Rates

A high voluntary turnover rate is indicative of a disengaged workforce. It can cause delays in project deadlines, affect a team’s morale, and generally prove costly for your business. You must also dedicate time and resources to recruiting and training replacement staff.

You can calculate your employee voluntary turnover rate using the following formula:

Turnover rate = No. of employees who resigned voluntarily in a given period / total no. of employees in the workforce x 100

Turnover Rate Formula

On the other hand, a high-retention rate correlates with a highly-engaged and happy workforce. Businesses strive for a high employee intention rate as it helps them save on hiring costs and boost productivity and teamwork.

You can calculate your employee retention rate using the following formula:

Retention rate = Total no. of employees in the organization- No. of employees who quit in a given period / total no. of employees x 100

Retention Rate Formula

What Methods Should You Use?

Measuring employee engagement is a complex task. While factors like your organization’s turnover rate and retention rate can be calculated using simple formulas, other considerations like job satisfaction are qualitative. After all, employee engagement is an emotion, a state of mind, or a feeling of connection: it’s difficult to place it on a scale from zero to 10.

Moreover, each business is unique and requires a customized approach to identifying its strengths and weaknesses concerning its employee engagement score, employee engagement index, and employee engagement KPI (key performance indicator).

Depending on your business’ needs and culture, you can use a combination of these methods to measure your engagement metrics.

Identifying Your Engagement Goals

Employee engagement goals are essential benchmarks that you can use to identify an engaged employee. They help you determine how close you are to reaching your ideal level of employee engagement. You can also refer to our Employee Engagement Checklist if you’re feeling stuck.

Some examples of employee engagement benchmarks are:

  • Tracking email opens and clicks: If team members regularly open the employee newsletter to stay updated with company news.
  • Tracking employee attendance: You can track employee absenteeism.

Using Pulse Surveys

Due to their short length, pulse surveys are a convenient way to collect employee responses to simple yet significant questions.

Short, frequent surveys play a crucial role in an organization’s employee engagement strategy. You can use them to collect real-time and actionable feedback on any topic and to track trends over time.

Weekly pulse survey conducted at GaggleAmp using Hirebook

An example weekly pulse survey conducted here at GaggleAMP

To measure employee engagement, here are three types of questions you need to include in your pulse survey:

  1. Satisfaction questions: Does your manager motivate you to perform your best?

  2. Opportunity questions: Do you find sufficient growth opportunities in the organization?

  3. Alignment questions: Do you feel your team considers your opinions before taking a major decision?

But how effective are surveys in measuring employee engagement? While pulse surveys are a great way to find out your employees' views on just about any topic, they aren’t enough to measure engagement accurately. You will need to view the data in tandem with the findings from more personalized employee interactions, such as one-on-one meetings.

Setting up One-on-One Meetings

One-on-one meetings are the most meaningful and accurate method to get employee feedback. These meetings, whether in-person or virtual, can help you ask employees detailed questions about their experience in the organization and gauge their answers while looking out for verbal and non-verbal cues.

To get the best results (and avoid wasting time), get rid of any distractions and pre-plan the meeting questions. Here are some questions you could ask:

  • What is your favorite part about working with this organization?
  • Can you describe the work culture here in three words?
  • Which aspect of your department do you feel needs the most improvement?

Be sure to pay special attention to the employee’s responses. What they say (or don’t say) can be telling.

When you set up individual meetings, you show employees that you are spending the time and effort to find out about their opinions and needs. In fact, the act of conducting the meetings can boost engagement levels in the organization.

Creating Focus Groups

Businesses can use focus groups to study their employees’ dislikes, preferences, and sentiments toward various matters. This is especially useful for larger companies where one-on-one meetings may not be practical.

When setting up a focus group, make sure to include a diverse set of employees from different departments and seniority levels to get a better idea of the overall workforce attitude. Ask open-ended and qualitative questions to get key insights that can help you determine your employee engagement levels.

Calculating Your eNPS

The employee net promoter score, or eNPS, is a scoring system used by employers to track and measure employee engagement and loyalty within the organization. Your eNPS is based on a single question asked to employees. For example, “On a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to recommend this company as a great place to work?”

Employee Net Promoter Score Formula

Your eNPS is calculated based on the difference between the highest and lowest response (e.g., your most-engaged employees and least-engaged employees). This score will help you determine how engaged your workforce is.

If you want to understand your score better, you can also follow up with an open-ended question. For example, you can ask, “Why did you choose that particular rating?”

Implementing Continuous Listening Strategies

Measuring employee engagement is not a one-off activity. You must constantly monitor employee feedback and update your engagement strategies to keep up with changing sentiments. Compare new results to previous benchmarks to monitor your progress and understand how your employee engagement levels have changed.

If you’re wondering how often you should measure your employee engagement score, the short answer is as frequently as possible. Evaluations like pulse surveys can be carried out biweekly, while focus group discussions can be conducted once every quarter.

Even if you have a highly-engaged workforce, it can suddenly deteriorate if you don’t continue to improve your engagement strategies. Use the various employee engagement measurement tools available and keep communication channels open between the management and the employees. Remember, you must prioritize your workforce's well-being for your business to succeed.

Conducting Exit Interviews

An exit interview can help you understand what is causing employees to resign voluntarily from your organization. They are typically carried out by the human resources department and can take place in person, over the phone, or virtually.

Exit interviews provide you with former employees’ valuable insights about their experience with your organization. Since they are already leaving the job, they are more likely to be honest with their feedback and not worry about offending the management.

Some common exit interview questions that you can ask are:

  • Why are you leaving this role?
  • Do you feel the organization supported your professional goals?
  • Are you satisfied with the level of training you received while working here?

Conducting Stay Interviews

Far less common than exit interviews are ‘stay’ interviews. These are one-on-one interviews carried out with employees who have been working at the company for a long time and have shown their loyalty and commitment to its goals.

You can ask long-term employees about the specific aspects of your organization that have kept them from leaving. Remember to spend some time discussing areas of improvement within the company to better understand what your employees prioritize.

How To Improve Employee Engagement Levels in Your Organization

We hope our guide to measuring employee engagement helps you create an effective strategy. Your goal should be to make the process as transparent and accurate as possible and use the results to drive positive change at the workplace.

If you’re looking for a solution to improve employee engagement across the company, consider GaggleAMP. Our employee advocacy platform encourages both internal communication and external sharing on social media, which can efficiently keep employees up to date on the latest news and events and help them feel connected to the organization and its goals.

GaggleAMP Channels make it easy for employees to communicate with others, breaking down silos and forging a culture of teamwork and trust. The Channels are accessible from any mobile device and can be used to connect remote employees with ease.

Ready to boost your employee engagement levels with GaggleAMP? Start a free trial today.

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