Implementing employment engagement strategies and understanding how to measure employee engagement is an important step for any business. However, simply setting the wheels in motion is not enough. Proper employment engagement strategies include plenty of reflection, review, and revision. In other words, it’s crucial to measure the effects of your employment engagement approach, evaluating what’s working and what’s not, appraising your progress against key benchmarks, and maintaining an outlook of continuous improvement.
For all of that, measuring the effectiveness of employment engagement strategies can be challenging. Imagine this scenario. You pull an employee into your office and ask them how much they enjoy their job, on a scale of one to 10. Your employee says eight. That sounds pretty good, but what does it really mean? Is an eight good, great, or outstanding? Does it put your employee above or below the company average? If you ask the same employee again tomorrow, will it still be an eight? Or is that score highly conditional?
My point in raising these questions is simple: Engagement is difficult to quantify and challenging to formally assess. With that said, there are some ways you can put your finger on the pulse and see what kind of progress your employment engagement strategies are making. Let me share a few ideas.
Defining the Term Engagement
Before we get into specific measurements, let me offer this thought: When you’re developing an employment engagement strategy for your workplace, one of the most important steps is clarifying what engagement actually is.
By no means is it straightforward. It’s tempting to equate engagement with happiness, but a lot of employees are happy at work while still wishing they had more development opportunities, got better feedback from their boss, etc. Ultimately, engagement is complex and multifaceted, and that’s part of what makes it so hard to quantify.
In fact, the best way to articulate employment engagement is as a matrix of different metrics; some of the metrics you might want to include in your definition of employment engagement are:
- Recognition in the workplace
- Quality/frequency of feedback
- Advancement and development opportunities
- Respect for immediate supervisors/team leaders
- Relationships with peers
- Alignment with the team’s mission
- Wellness and work/life balance
As you ask yourself how to promote and then measure employment engagement, these are some of the components to keep in mind.
5 Ways to Measure Employee Engagement
There are a number of ways you can monitor the effectiveness of your employment engagement approach. Here are some of my favourite methods:
- Employment engagement surveys. Formal surveys remain the most popular method of measuring employment engagement. I’ve written about them before and endorse them whole-heartedly, so I won’t belabor the point here. However, it’s important to know that sending out an employment engagement survey is a baseline, and a first step. It’s not sufficient in and of itself! Always augment your surveys with other methods of measuring employment engagement.
- Pulse surveys. A pulse survey is usually a very short, uncomplicated, slightly-less-formal questionnaire you send out to employees, simply seeing how things are going at any given moment. You may include anywhere from five to 10 questions on one of these brief surveys.
- One-on-one meetings. I’m a big believer in having regular, confidential meetings with individual employees; invite them into your office and just ask how things are going. Make it clear that the conversation is safe and that it’s private, and that you truly welcome feedback… even if it’s not entirely positive. These one-on-one meetings can be a great opportunity to collect data that’s truly personal.
- Exit interviews. If you have an employee who’s leaving the company, for any reason, ask if you can talk with them for a little while about their experience, and ask what earnest feedback they would offer. Exit interviews are invaluable but let me also recommend stay interviews. Basically, what you’ll want to do is locate employees who are clearly happy and don’t seem like they’re going anywhere, and just ask them what makes them so happy to stick around.
- Anonymous feedback. Finally, let me recommend putting some structures in place for employees to anonymously give you their thoughts or suggestions. An old-fashioned comment box is one way, but there are also some tools out there for anonymous employee forums, which can have a high impact.
As you consider your options for measuring employment engagement, let me recommend a combination of several of these approaches. Again, you’re measuring something that’s innately complicated and difficult to pin down. You’ll want as many tools at your disposal as possible!
After You’ve Measured Employee Engagement
The next question is, what happens after you’ve made your measurements and collected your data?
First of all, keep in mind that measurement is never a one-time thing. You should constantly be monitoring results and seeking new data.
I’d also stress the importance of communicating the results of your information-gathering, especially following something as formal as a survey. Let your team know what you’ve learned, and how you plan to act on that information.
Indeed, I’d always suggest picking a couple of areas where you can make improvements based on the data you collected. Let employees know that you take their feedback seriously and intend to use it to make your employment engagement strategies even more robust.
Any additional questions about how to measure employment engagement? That’s something I’d love to chat with you about! Reach out and let’s set up a time to discuss your questions or concerns. Contact me at www.rickgoodman.com or call 888-267-6098.
And don’t forget to buy my book, The Solutions Oriented Leader, for step-by-step advice on transforming your life, your business, and your team.