There are many benefits of employee engagement for any organization, which is why it’s important to understand how to measure employee engagement, and what it means.
Employee engagement definition: when people who work for your organization take pride in their place of business, their job, and go above and beyond their daily responsibilities because they’re passionate about what they do.
Achieving strong employee engagement throughout your workplace is all about infusing it into your company culture. There are many steps you can take to improve employee engagement across your workplace, such as consistent communication, acknowledgment, encouragement, team building activities, and more.
But why is employee engagement important? Why should you make a concerted effort to improve it? And what will it do for you? There is a slew of benefits of employee engagement including higher retention, employee satisfaction, productivity, and profitability.
Companies with engaged employees are 21% more profitable because their employees are 17% more productive, according to a Gallup study. This is important because, on average, just 15% of employees are engaged in their job, presenting a huge opportunity for improvement for the average organization. If 85% of employees on average are unengaged, that means your organization probably has a ton of room for improvement.
When there is strong communication and internal communication tools in the workplace, employees get a better understanding of their company’s goals and how their individual roles play a key part in their company’s overall mission. That makes them feel valued, acknowledged, and appreciated, leading to a stronger connection to their job and their place of business. This typically results in employees feeling more committed to their jobs, makes them more productive, and makes them less likely to leave because they are happier at work.
Let’s take a closer look at how to measure employee engagement and what the benefits are.
What Are the Benefits of Employee Engagement?
When you hire an employee, you’re making an investment in their ability and productivity. Why is employee engagement important? It allows you to make the most of your investment.
Employee turnover costs your organization money. You lose productivity, have to find new talent to replace positions, and someone must onboard new hires. This costs both time and money. If you keep your employees happy, not only will they stick around, they’ll be more productive.
There are many employee engagement best practices you can implement into your company culture. Some include:
- better one-on-one communication between managers and employees.
- company-wide acknowledgment of individual employees and departments who hit goals.
- general transparency between executive teams and the overall employee population.
These and other steps can lead to a number of employee engagement benefits.
Higher Employee Satisfaction
Strong employee engagement leads to a happier workforce.
There are many aspects to a job that makes the difference between a happy and disgruntled employee, and they have nothing to do with compensation. Sure, making money and having good benefits are important to anyone, but in terms of the actual job, there are a number of variables that people consider.
Does your department work well together? Are your company’s mission and direction clearly communicated to you? Could your workplace improve its internal communication? Answering these questions is key to measuring employee engagement.
The employee engagement benefit of high retention should come as no surprise.
If you’re happy at your job, you’re less likely to leave. This is true for everyone. So if your organization has strong employee engagement, your employees are more likely to stay at the company and less likely to look for a new opportunity.
Acknowledgment is a great way to improve employee engagement and keep employees happy. Over 21% of employees that don’t feel recognized when they do great work have recently interviewed for other jobs, compared to about 12% that do feel recognized, according to TINYpulse.
A pat on the back can go a long way. People switch jobs for more than money or a promotion. They want to feel appreciated and be recognized for the work they do.
And it’s not all about acknowledgment. It’s also about communication, having clearly defined processes, and trust. When employees feel supported and trusted by their higher-ups, they are more engaged in their work.
Organizations with high levels of employee engagement see more productivity out of their employees.
Again, engaged employees are 17% more productive than unengaged employees, according to Gallup. Furthermore, employees who feel their voices are being heard at their jobs are 4.6X more likely to feel empowered and perform their best work, according to a Salesforce report.
Now, why is that? Employee engagement leads to people having strong connections to their jobs and feel supported by their employers. They are happier with where they work, leading them to work harder at the job they feel more connected to.
Getting a gage on your employees’ productivity is a step you can take in how to measure employee engagement.
Another big employee engagement benefit is that it leads to increased loyalty from your employees.
You might recall the concept of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a psychological comparison comprising a five-tier model of human needs. In this model, there are basic needs like safety, security, food, and water. Next, there are psychological needs of self-esteem and a sense of belonging. When met, these all lead to self-fulfillment needs - achieving full potential in activities.
Source: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Simply Psychology
When people feel appreciated, it boosts their self-esteem. Furthermore, when there is great internal communication and transparency within an organization, employees appreciate that and feel they belong and they are an important piece of the puzzle.. They also gain a better understanding of the overall mission of the company and its strategic goals, so they know where they fit in the strategy.
When people feel this type of inclusion and support, they feel like they fit, building a stronger sense of loyalty to their employer. When basic and psychological needs are met, your employees will seek self-fulfillment, they seek self-fulfillment activities, which usually shows in the quality of their work. This reaffirms loyalty and commitment to an organization because all of the employees’ human needs are being fulfilled.
...All Leading to Higher Profitability
Employees who are happier at work feel a stronger connection to their jobs are more productive, and it all leads to positive results.
Again, companies with engaged employees are 21% more profitable, according to Gallup. That is a huge financial difference for any company, and it’s probably the biggest employee engagement benefit you can point to.
With employee engagement, you can make your employees happier, improve their communication with managers, executives, and each other, build a stronger connection between themselves and the organization and improve their understanding of the brand’s mission. And it all results in higher profitability for your company.
Why is it Important to Measure Employee Engagement?
As any good marketer knows, if you’re not measuring for something, you’re not trying to improve it.
We know why employee engagement is important, but you need to know how to measure employee engagement, and what employee engagement metrics look like. If you don’t measure for it, and you don’t know what to measure for, how can you improve?
You want to get a sense of the state of your organization. Learn how to assess employee engagement in your workplace. Create a baseline of where you are. How are your employees performing as a whole? How much of their performance is a reflection of your company culture? Do they like their jobs? Is there a positive feeling throughout your office?
Finding these answers is easier than you might think.
Find Trends & Adjust
What you want to do is get different perspectives from different departments and different people. You might have a very different view of your company. The way you feel about your department or organization might be different from your coworkers.
Organize a group of people in your company from different departments to meet with you. Each person should have a good sense of how their respective department is performing, with numbers to back it up. They should also have relationships with most people in their department so they have a sense of what the general feeling is of the company from their perspective.
When you meet with these hand-selected employees, you want them to share with you variables for their department, such as:
- Number of team building events and activities
- Number of one-on-one meetings between managers and employees
- Overall performance of each department
This information gives you a baseline to build off of. The purpose is not to get anyone or any department in trouble for having poor employee engagement, performance, or communication. The purpose is to get a sense of how departments are doing, what they’re doing differently from each other, which helps their employee engagement and what doesn’t. This is how to measure employee engagement and make informed decisions on how to adjust moving forward.
A big part of achieving strong employee engagement is building a feeling of trust.
You want your employees to know you trust their judgment on important decisions and you value their input. But how do you go about building trust? It’s all about communication and transparency.
One-on-ones between managers and employees goes a long way. Constructive criticism helps, but there’s more to it than that. Have managers work with employees on coming up with plans, processes, and strategies. If employees are involved and feel they are being heard, they will know their input counts and are appreciated. This will build camaraderie and trust.
Managers should trust their employees. Remember that you hired your employees for a reason. For example, you want to bake employee trust in your social media policy. Allow and encourage your employees to post on social media about your industry and your brand.
Your employees are professionals and experts at what they do, what your organization does, and the trends and challenges of your industry. Use that expertise to build your organization’s social media presence through their reach.
Make Employees #1
Not only should organizations treat their employees well, but they should highlight them.
Put your employees out front on social media, and highlight your employees in your content. This helps your employees feel valued and will build employee engagement in your organization. They’ll also share your content with their networks and it will get a great amount of engagement since people will trust your employees, and it’ll come off as more personable and authentic.
Highlighting your employees in content and on social media makes them feel valued and props them up. You want to make your employees feel valued by doing this and by acknowledging them.
Award them for great work. Schedule team-building events that’s completely focused on them. Open lines of communication to give them opportunities to voice concerns and make it clear to them you want to work with them on solving any concerns they have.
By showing employees you value them, they’ll greatly appreciate their place of employment. That’ll build a great company culture and employee engagement.
Offers Ways to Improve Employee Engagement
When you meet with employees you hand-selected to represent different departments of your organization, you want to figure out what works for their department and what doesn’t. Identify which departments have employees that have a positive feeling about their company, low turnover, and high performance. What are they doing in terms of employee engagement?
You also want to identify what departments aren’t doing so well. Which departments have high turnover, struggle to perform well, and have employees with a negative outlook of the company. You do not want to single out specific employees in this case or single out a department with low employee engagement. That wouldn’t exactly go with the theme of inclusion that you’re going for.
Instead, figure out what the departments with high employee engagement are doing to be successful, and what departments with low employee engagement aren’t doing. Offer ways struggling departments can improve based on this information. In terms of employee engagement, what are successful departments doing that struggling departments are not? Is there anything you can do to make the more successful departments even better?
We’ve talked about building trust, encouraging your employees to post on social media, and having better internal communication with them. This is all the foundation of an employee advocacy program.
Through an employee advocacy program, you can select employees who you believe would be your biggest brand advocates and employees who volunteer to post about your brand. This will keep employees in the know of what you’re trying to promote and allow you to acknowledge and highlight them for the contributions.
Employees can volunteer to be part of your program, you can send them suggestions of what to promote on social media and how to promote it. Each request is voluntary, and the employees who do this most will be acknowledged for it.
Employee advocacy builds up your employee engagement by keeping your employees in the loop of what initiatives your organization wants to promote. When the ones who contribute are acknowledged, it’s noticed by employees who aren’t in your program. This will draw them in to contribute as well.
An employee advocacy platform like GaggleAMP makes it much easier for you to logistically run your program. It’ll help with your internal communication, get employees involved and engaged.
Keep the Flow
You want your company to be an enjoyable place to work. Employees should find their flow, meaning they should be in a groove, and get into a zone at work. You don’t want them to feel overworked but not unchallenged either. You want them to be somewhere in the middle, engaged, and enjoy what they’re doing. When you enjoy your job, it’s not exactly working anymore.
Help your employees enjoy their jobs and make it easier to find and keep their flow by improving their work environment. You can do this through better communication, more team-bonding activities, acknowledgment, improving workplace culture, leading to stronger employee engagement.
If your employees are overworked and overstressed, they won’t enjoy their jobs, leading to low productivity. The same is true if they are bored or upset at work. You need to help them find their flow and find that middle ground where they enjoy their work.
How Do We Measure Employee Engagement?
Measuring employee engagement is incredibly important. Outside of forming a team of people you hand-selected from each department, you want to hear from the employees directly, but anonymously.
Your team of department representatives can tell you their perspective of absenteeism, turnover, team-building activities, performance, communication and more. This is all very valuable information. They can tell you what they think the employee engagement of each of their respective departments is like and how it got there.
But you want more than that. You want to measure more than these aspects of employee engagement, and you want the perspective of all the employees across your organization.
You want to get these perspectives and get the right employee engagement metrics. This is how to measure employee engagement.
Key Employee Engagement Metrics
You need something tangible when you’re measuring employee engagement, and we’ve talked about some of these things already.
Look at your company’s overall absenteeism, turnover, productivity, and ROI. The last two might not be completely based on happiness, but employee engagement could be a factor. You can also look at your organization’s Glassdoor rating. Is it strong? What are the comments like? How recent are they?
You want to know how people feel about your organization, what they’d like to see more or less of, what their relationship with higher-ups is like, and what their communication with managers is like. How often do they have one-on-ones? And do employees find them productive?
These types of metrics and general information will go a long way.
How Do You Conduct an Employee Engagement Survey?
The best way to get an aggregate view of your employees’ perspectives and get employee engagement metrics from them, is to survey them.
Have your employees fill out anonymous surveys by department. This way you can get a granular view of how each department is doing. You’ll know what processes each department has in place to improve employee engagement, and you’ll have a granular view of the results straight from the employees.
This is how to measure employee engagement. Anonymous surveys can give you a lot of information. Ask employees if they’re considering switching jobs. What would they value other than compensation? Would they like more team building events? How do they feel about communication with coworkers? Are their managers supportive? How do they feel about their company culture?
This is all valuable information that you can get if they answer anonymously. Compare this to the numbers you can get without their help, such as absenteeism and turnover, and what the company is trying to do already to build employee engagement. You will be able to adjust your strategy.
Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion is an important factor to consider when measuring employee engagement. The best way to measure diversity and inclusion is by listening to how your employees feel about it.
Include in your employee survey, and meetings with department representatives you picked, questions regarding:
- If they are treated fairly
- Have equal opportunity
- Feel genders and races are properly represented
- Do they feel heard
Of course, having strong diversity and inclusion within your company also brings different perspectives. This often leads to faster problem solving, increased creativity, and better and stronger innovation.
Source: Top 10 Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace, TalentLyft
Your HR department will have more information on diversity and inclusion in your company that you can leverage. Helping employees feel included and adequately represented will improve your culture. You can work with HR to find ways to improve in this area.
Net Promoter Score
In short, an Employee Net Promoter Score (NPS)is a score on a scale of 0-10 of how likely the team member would be to recommend a job at your company to a friend or family member. When your NPS is low, employees may not feel very engaged and are not likely to recommend your company to others. Likewise, a high NPS score can reduce turnover, attract strong, like-minded candidates, and keep your labor costs down.
Absenteeism & Turnover Rate
Your HR department will have information regarding turnover rate and absenteeism. These are long term measurements that you want to work to improve.
The reason these employee engagement metrics are so important is that it shows if people want to work at your organization or if they want to leave. Obviously, people get sick, go on vacation, or switch jobs, which is totally fine. But how often are these things happening?
When implementing your employee engagement strategy, you can create a baseline of these numbers, and over a long period of time, you’ll be able to see if you’re improving or if you’re getting worse.
If you make a strong effort to improve your culture, communication, and more to boost your employee engagement, you should see these numbers go down. If that’s not the case, you can identify what you’re doing wrong and what you should do differently.
Want to Make It Easier for Your HR Team to Track Employee Engagement?
Your survey results, meetings with department reps that you picked, and all the information you gather, is being done outside of the efforts of HR. You can work with HR to compare numbers they have with what you gather.
You want to team up with HR to measure these numbers, and they’ll appreciate your help. Once you get initial information and survey results, you can implement more communication best practices, more team building activities, and more. After some time goes by, you can survey employees again, and revisit with your team of department representatives to see if there has been an improvement. Compare the information you gather with HR’s numbers on turnover, retention, and inclusion, and analyze changes over time.
This makes the job of HR easier because you are implementing the changes, and you are conducting surveys and team meetings. HR also knows when you are implementing strategic employee engagement changes, so they’ll be able to know what date ranges to look for in changes. They’ll be able to better analyze any improvements or declines during those dates since then know when you implemented new strategies.
Start Your Free Trial!
A successful employee advocacy program can work really well for improving employee engagement at your company. It can keep people informed about your company’s mission, what initiatives you want to promote, the importance of their role in the organization, improve transparency and communication, and more.
A voluntary employee advocacy platform like GaggleAMP can help a great deal. Go ahead and try it out for yourself with our 30-day, risk free trial.