The four-step guide to measuring employee engagement
Engaged employees have a strong mental and emotional connection to their organisation, so it’s no surprise that they're on average 17% more productive and are less likely to change jobs than those who aren't.
If you want to improve employee experience and increase business revenue, measuring employee engagement provides the insight you need to implement meaningful changes.
The process of measuring engagement also has another set of benefits. Your employees will feel a greater connection to your business when you take the time to get to know them and take on board their feedback.
In order to measure employee engagement effectively, you must first choose what metrics are most meaningful to your organisation. These could include:
- Work-life balance
- Professional development
- Perks and benefits
Now, measuring employee engagement can be a confusing process, so in this article, we outline reliable engagement metrics and discuss the tools you need to accurately measure them.
Measuring employee engagement: Metrics you must know
If employee engagement had a clear definition, measuring it would be much easier. When companies think of engagement, some define it as happiness, while others may view it as an indicator of how committed someone is to their goals.
Unfortunately, both of these interpretations in isolation won’t provide any meaningful insight into how engaged your employees are.
For example, someone can be happy at work —but because they don’t receive enough support from their line manager they won’t progress in their role.
On the other hand, another person could be achieving all of their goals, but have zero work-life balance. These means they may actually be deeply unhappy.
That's why in order to capture an insight into employee engagement, you need to measure a range of metrics. It's all about getting a balanced view.
Our top metrics for measuring employee engagement include:
Everybody loves receiving recognition for their work, especially when they’ve invested a lot of time and effort into a project.
Ideally, your employees should receive some form of acknowledgement at least once a week — and it doesn’t need to come from senior management. In fact, peer-to-peer recognition is just as rewarding.
Asking your employees how often they’re receiving recognition, or if they think they’re likely to receive recognition is a great way of understanding how they feel about their position within your company.
If you want to grow a culture of recognition and reward, an employee engagement platform is an easy way of encouraging this.
It's become ever more obvious over the years that you need to be mindful of the delicate balance between your teams’ professional and personal lives.
When people are working from home they may feel compelled to work longer hours, or simply lose track of time.
However, if a lot of your employees are constantly burning the midnight oil, their wellbeing is at risk. So it’s important to monitor how hard your employees are working and if this routine is negatively impacting on their personal lives.
It’s often easier to spot how employee engagement levels change within an office environment than when people are working at home. That's why it’s especially important to check in with your remote employees.
When a business has an excellent learning and development programme, they'll attract the best talent and are also likely to have better employee experiences.
Investing in your employees' professional development transforms them into ambassadors for your business and contributes to a strong internal brand.
Focussing your attention on how many growth and development opportunities are available to employees ensures they get a chance to showcase their talents and progress within your organisation.
Every organisation should have an inclusive work environment if they want to retain their employees.
At the bare minimum, an inclusive culture is a safe environment where everyone respects and supports each other. On top of that, you want to create a sense of belonging among teams. This'll lead to more transparent communication and allow you to be proactive in solving any issues that might crop up.
Employee feedback is key here. Asking questions about how safe and included your employees feel at work is an effective method of measuring the health of your company’s culture. One way of doing this is as part of anonymous engagement surveys.
Perks and benefits
Introducing a perks and benefits package is a great way to motivate your teams and show them you care.
Before introducing a package or making any updates to your existing offering, it’s important to ask your teams what they value in their current package . Are there any elements they'd like updating?
Their answers will give you valuable insight on what benefits they find most meaningful, and help guide your decisions on your overall benefits strategy. When employees are pleased with their benefits package they’re also more engaged and willing to go the extra mile.
Measuring and managing employee engagement in four steps
So, now you understand what engagement metrics are important to your business, but how do you measure them? There's loads of options out there to measure engagement, such as surveys and questionnaires. It can be difficult to know where to begin.
Fortunately, we’ve created a simple four-step guide to take you through the data collection and management process.
Step 1: Decide on how you’re going to measure employee engagement
Before you create your engagement survey it's important to think about the types of questions you want to use.
We recommended a mix of survey questions that include engagement outcomes and engagement drivers. Feeling a bit confused? Here's a super quick breakdown.
- Outcomes reveal the thoughts, behaviours, and feelings an employee holds towards their organisation. In other words, it tells you their current state of engagement.
- Drivers identify what your employees value and highlight what factors or metrics support or boost engagement. In this instance, questions may focus on benefits, recognition or and Learning and Development opportunities.
Additionally, you should also consider the type of survey you want to run. An annual employee engagement survey, for example, is much longer and more in-depth.
On the other hand, pulse surveys offer a real-time view of how your employees feel — you could distribute a pulse survey every week, month or quarter.
To get a comprehensive view of employee engagement, you should aim to use a combination of surveys throughout the year.
Step 2: Compare data and identify any trends
Running an analysis between engagement outcomes and drivers will uncover interesting trends. These have the potential to significantly influence your employee engagement strategy.
Let’s suppose the most engaged employees also reported they were highly satisfied with their benefits package. This suggests that employee perks are a significant driver of engagement and that you should maintain or grow your offerings.
Alternatively, you may discover that the majority of disengaged employees reported a lack of recognition. In this case, recognition also seems to be an important driver of engagement, but is a poorly performing metric that requires improvement.
Additional data you can compare survey responses against include:
- Absenteeism rate
- Average hours worked
- Employee Net Promoter Score (ePNS)
- Exit interviews
- Stay interviews
- Employee turnover rate
- 1-2-1 meeting notes
Step 3: Create goals and a long-term engagement strategy
So, you've done the initial measuring engagement part. You've discovered a few trends that highlight areas that need your attention. What next? We recommend creating a long-term employee engagement strategy that contributes to your engagement goals.
First of all, you should check if the employee survey data aligns with your goals. For example, if your most disengaged employees reported a lack of recognition and support from their managers, you likely have issues within your culture. Therefore, your goal should focus on developing and improving this throughout your entire organisation.
After taking meaningful action to address these pain points, you should follow up with regular pulse surveys to see if your changes are working.
Step 4: Share the engagement strategy and survey results
Being transparent about your engagement survey results reassures people that you're serious about improving their employee experience.
Many employees will probably think about their answers long after submitting the questionnaire and take an interest in the outcome. So it’s important you’re upfront about any engagement pain points, as well as next steps.
Example employee engagement questions
There are several types of questions that reveal your employees’ level of engagement. Some of these questions relate to general engagement outcomes and drivers, whereas others are more specific and focus on how likely a person is to recommend your company to others.
Answer formats could follow the Likert scale where responses range from strongly disagree to strongly agree, or a numerical scale from 1–5. The phrasing of the question may vary slightly depending on what method you choose.
Questions related to engagement outcomes
These survey questions capture a snapshot of an employees’ state of engagement and how they feel about where they work.
They tend to reveal a person’s intent to stay and their pride in the business, in addition to other attitudes and beliefs. Examples include:
- Are you proud to work for this organisation?
- Do you see yourself working at this organisation in two years time?
- Do you often think about looking for another job at a different organisation?
Questions related to engagement drivers
These questions help employers understand what metrics are performing well and highlight any areas in need of improvement. Examples include:
- If you contribute to business success, do you believe you’ll receive recognition?
- Do you believe there are good career opportunities for you at this organisation?
- Does our existing benefits package help with your lifestyle and cost of living?
An eNPS score indicates how likely it is a person will recommend your organisation to their friends and family. In a way, it's a measure of loyalty, which indicates a person’ engagement level.
An example of an eNPS question is:
- How likely are you to recommend this organisation as a great place to work?
Employees respond on a scale from 1–10, with 10 meaning they’re highly likely to recommend their organisation to friends and family.
Tools for measuring employee engagement
There are plenty of tools that measure engagement, but the tricky decision is understanding which one is best for your organisation.
While every organisation should survey their employees a few times a year to monitor engagement levels, they could also use:
- Focus groups
- 1-2-1 meetings
If you have the budget you could also use software to analyse your employee engagement data. Usually, these programs include reporting functionality that cross-references survey results against your KPIs.
Additionally, these programs automate a lot of the administrative processes and allow for a greater degree of data manipulation.
Keep employees engaged with Perkbox
Giving your employees access to a range of perks and benefits not only boosts engagement, but also attracts new talent to your business.
With our platform, your teams get over 1,000 perks and discounts with some of the biggest brands around, including retailers, hospitality specialists and entertainment venues.
Plus with Flexi Perks, they can treat themselves to a range of extras - such as coffees, meal deals and streaming subscriptions - at no personal cost.
Because our solution is a global benefits and rewards platform, your teams can recognise each other on the go, wherever they are.
This is done through Celebration hub, where they can also vote on topics such as employee of the month.
Want to find out how Perkbox can help improve employee engagement within your organisation, request a demo and a member of our team will get back to you.