Most companies measure employee engagement by sending out generic satisfaction surveys, though a single survey typically fails to depict employee engagement accurately.
This is because there are many different elements that employee engagement encompasses, from employee happiness to productivity.
For example, the satisfaction survey may show that employees are generally happy, but it would be misleading to say they are highly engaged if they aren't productive.
In addition, a lot of the data is qualitative, so it can be intimidating to look through an Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of employee responses.
To solve these issues and help you create a solid process to measure employee engagement, we'll discuss:
The elements that create an engaged employee
One, simple metric to measure each element
A process to ensure you consistently measure employee engagement throughout the year
Many brands measure employee engagement by finding a few random metrics and conducting surveys to generate data for those metrics.
However, most never pause to consider if the survey accurately measures each element contributing to employee engagement.
For example, if you only measure the average Employee Retention Rate and NPS score, you may have a host of employees that are happy but not particularly productive. Similarly, you may have a 7 NPS score, though that leaves you with more questions like:
Which elements of the employee experience are good?
Which elements are causing pain?
Who or what is causing this pain?
Therefore, it's important to first understand the key elements that create an engaged employee and then assign metrics to measure each of those elements. Let's jump into it.
Studies show that employees that are happy at work produce better results and are much more engaged.
Employee happiness is a rather broad category, though because plenty of studies show that fulfillment is a key contributor to happiness, we’ll define it as an employee that feels fulfilled in their work. They wake up, want to go to work, and aren’t watching the clock every minute on the job.
To measure employee happiness quantitatively, you can track the Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI).
The ESI is a score based on the following questions (answered on a scale of 1-10):
How satisfied are you with your current workplace?
How well does your current workplace meet your expectations?
How close is your current workplace to the ideal one?
It is calculated with the following formula:
ESI = (question mean value/3) x 100
If you want more qualitative data, here are some questions you can ask either in a survey or one-on-one sessions.
How many hours per day do you spend doing tasks you don't enjoy?
Do you feel appreciated in the workplace (scale of 1-10)?
Are you proud to be a part of the team (scale of 1-10)?
How do you feel when you wake up in the morning on weekdays?
Do you feel a sense of accomplishment after the end of a long workday?
What's the best part of your workday?
Do you feel you are fairly compensated?
Once you have your ESI score, here are a few activities to improve general employee happiness:
Conduct monthly virtual happy hour sessions
Conduct regular yoga, meditation, or journaling sessions
Surprise employees with care packages
Show appreciation by giving shout-outs to employees that do a great job
However, it's also important to pay attention to specific employee complaints and address the top issues immediately.
Employees that have an opportunity to progress in their careers are much more likely to be engaged on the job as they will have a clear goal to work towards. Here’s how you can measure and track employee growth.
One easy way to measure employee growth is by looking at what percentage of employees received promotions.
Promotion Score = Total Promotions Given / Total Number of Employees
Statistics show that the average promotion score is about 8.9% per year, so hopefully, your company is within that range.
If you don't have the budget to pay an employee more, there are still other ways to recognize employees and therefore measure their growth.
For example, some appreciate nothing more than a title promotion.
Other employees just want more opportunities to further their careers, like speaking at conferences, writing thought leadership content on the blog, or providing more mentorship.
So here are a few questions you can ask in a survey to measure employee growth opportunities quantitatively:
Did you ask for any career growth opportunities this year? If so, what percentage of them were you granted?
On a scale of 1-10, how much do you feel you've grown in your career over the past quarter, six months, or year?
Do you feel supported in your career goals?
How often do you meet with leadership to discuss your career goals?
How often do you run experiments within your role?
In addition to offering promotions, here are a few other ways you can support an employee’s career growth and improve employee engagement;
Create a budget for employees to purchase courses or pay for coaches
Create regular one-on-one professional development meetings between managers and their team members
Help employees secure speaking gigs at conferences
Enable employees to write thought leadership content on the company blog
Create a culture that encourages career development (let them do side hustles, discuss growth often, etc.)
A highly productive employee is likely also highly engaged, so here are some ideas to measure and improve an average employee's productivity.
Here are a few metrics you can use to measure employee productivity from an organizational standpoint.
Planned to Done Ratio= Projects Planned / Projects Completed X 100
Revenue Per Employee = Total revenue / Employee Headcount
However, these metrics aren't perfect because they lump superstar employees with low-performing employees. In other words, you won't know which employees are contributing the most to company growth, making it rather difficult to weed out unproductive employees.
So in addition to using these metrics as guidelines, here are a few questions you can ask individual employees to get a better snapshot of employee productivity:
If you feel that your employees could be more productive, here are a few ideas to elevate productivity across the company:
Employees that enjoy their peers are much more likely to discuss various projects they are working on, which creates a more aligned vision for the company. It also makes the work environment more fun, which naturally improves engagement.
While there isn't necessarily a metric to calculate employee peer-to-peer relationships, you can use the 360 employee assessment to understand employees' general sentiment towards their peers.
To conduct a 360 employee assessment, several team members fill out the same survey and evaluate one employee. This way, each employee in the organization is assessed by several of their peers.
The assessment covers questions like "doesn't criticize those who are not present" and "treats people fairly, without showing favoritism" to better understand how employees feel about their peers.
Here's a link to a sample 360 employee assessment.
This can also be used to measure and improve managerial relationships.
Improving peer-to-peer relationships starts with your hiring process. If you hire the right people, most of the above issues (improving productivity, happiness, productivity, etc.) will solve themselves.
However, it's still important to nurture a strong culture.
Specifically, make your core values present throughout your office or (if you're a hybrid or remote team) throughout your digital spaces (like Slack). Reminding people of fundamentally what the company stands for will help drive better relationships.
Retreats and group activities are also excellent ways to foster peer relationships and trust.
Metrics are only useful if you have a process to regularly collect data and take action based on the results.
To help you get organized, here's a list of what you'll collect every quarter, six months, or year (depending on your preference):
Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI).
Planned to Done Ratio
Revenue Per Employee
If you have any additional surveys you'd like to send out, add them to the list. Now, here's how to get organized to ensure you consistently measure employee engagement.
Step 1: Create a list of people (managers) you need to contact to send the surveys to and who has information on revenue or additional data you'll need to complete the metrics
Step 2: Decide how often you'll collect data for each of these metrics (quarterly, annually, etc.)
Step 3: Create a calendar reminder of the day you'll send out the surveys and a due date
Step 4: Create a calendar reminder to follow up with any outstanding surveys
You now have all you need to accurately measure employee engagement. You can also conduct one on one meetings with leaders if necessary, but at least the above strategy gives you a baseline to ensure you are consistently collecting data and measuring the results.
It's also important to schedule meetings with executives following the data collection to take action on the newly discovered insights.
If you’re looking for a solution to improve employee engagement across the company, consider GaggleAMP. This employee advocacy platform encourages both internal communication and external sharing on social media across the company which can efficiently keep employees up to date on the latest news and events.
To see for yourself how GaggleAMP can boost your company’s employee engagement, start a free trial today.
Megan is the CEO and founder of the content marketing agency, Ignite My Site. She is also the host of a content marketing and SEO podcast that breaks down the strategies and tactics of the world's most celebrated content marketers. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.
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