Reporting on employee engagement is a task that HR teams are required to perform frequently. But the concept of engagement is closely tied to the more elusive and ambiguous realm of human emotion – something that’s virtually impossible to quantify.
So, how can you turn the level of commitment that staff show towards an organisation into a measurable figure – something that can be monitored and improved upon?
Engagement is a multifaceted abstraction which should be segmented into its component metrics in order to truly define what an engaged workforce looks like. Don’t know what those metrics are? Well, they are…
- Relationship with peers
- Relationship with managers
- Personal growth
When it comes to measuring engagement in your business, if you’re able to measure these areas in particular, you’ll be able to build a clear picture of how your employees are feeling, the experience they have working for you and which areas require improvement.
However, a word of warning. If you’re going to start to request feedback, be prepared to act on it. Nothing will kill employee engagement quicker than the feeling of being ignored…
Measuring Employee Engagement
The easiest method used to measure employee engagement is through surveys. Short and frequent pulse surveys enable you to gain a lot of insights, simply by posing the right questions to your team.
When looking to undertake an engagement survey, start by sending out 5 to 10 questions that focus on what your employees like and what they don't; also, encourage them to offer suggestions on what could be improved. This will enable your HR team to put together a plan of action and communicate this back to the staff to show what will be done based on their valued feedback.
Another effective method is to hold regular one-to-one meetings, allowing employees to have an informal conversation about what may be triggering any negative feelings.
Now, these kinds of meetings can be more time consuming, and no one likes meetings for meetings sake! However, they do help to draw out further valuable insights from your surveys by allowing a more thorough examination of the individual's responses to the questions – so it’s definitely something to consider.
It’s also worth noting that a CareerBuilder survey found that 48% of employees said that if asking them for feedback and putting it into action would reduce their chance of voluntary turnover - so, whilst they can be quite time consuming, they are well worth the investment!
"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.
By making time for this kind of dialogue between you and your employees, you’re more likely to experience higher rates of retention. This can result in long-term savings due to a reduction in recruitment and training costs for replacement staff – all for just a little investment of time.
Exit interviews are also a great way to find out what has caused a member of staff to leave and if there was anything within the organisation’s control that could have encouraged the employee to remain.
Although this is a more retrospective look at how a soon-to-be ex-employee feels about the business, it can sometimes result in a more open and frank conversation that could otherwise go unheard by the HR team.
For example, this is the perfect time to find out if your managers are really helping build that all-important staff engagement, or whether there are issues bubbling under the surface that your staff haven’t felt confident in raising sooner.
However, if you would like a more proactive route, many organisations also conduct stay interviews to understand what motivates employees to stay, helping the organisation to make a continued commitment to staff retention.
Interested in seeing how improving your employee engagement can financially impact your business? Try our free employee engagement calculator to see what savings you could make.