How to Measure Employee Engagement

May 20, 2022

5-min read

Chelsea Emerick

"When done well, measuring employee engagement provides accountability and reinforces employee satisfaction as a priority."

When it comes to staff retention and organizational growth, employee engagement is a driving factor that can get overlooked. With many skilled workers no longer tolerating unsupportive workplaces, it's important to provide opportunities for employees to reflect and openly provide feedback to leadership with the result of follow-up of action.

Defining Employee Engagement

Put simply, employee engagement is an understanding of the relationship between an organization and its employees. How employees feel in their respective roles, respond to management, and feel their contributions matter to the wider organization all feed into their engagement. This engagement is a measurable record of how company culture can be improved and can assist employees in achieving their desired outcomes such as career progression. 

Why Employee Engagement is Important

Regularly assessing employee engagement within an organization is an important marker for senior management as it identifies where there is room for improvement. When done well, measuring employee engagement provides accountability and reinforces employee satisfaction as a priority. When employees feel engaged within the organization, they’re likely to work hard in achieving their work goals which benefit the company on the whole. Working with employees to measure their engagement is a surefire way to show you’re invested in your team and value their contributions. 

Actions to Measure Employee Engagement

There are several ways to measure employee engagement, depending on the size of your organization you may find that there are several iterations of the suggested ideas below you’ll need to consider.

Surveys

Employee engagement surveys offer a great opportunity for team members to accurately reflect how they feel about their position and the company. Kept entirely confidential, these surveys provide in-depth feedback that can relate to engagement outcomes, communication, individual needs, and more. It is important to consider the type of survey you’d like to supply your team in order to achieve the desired results.

Annual surveys can be a great way to get a snapshot of an employee's perspective. As they’re a yearly endeavor, employers can put a little more time into the questions they provide their employees with to ensure they’re getting a well-rounded view of a variety of areas they’d like feedback on. Subjects often covered within annual surveys include workplace culture, trust in leadership, and career development. Depending on the issues you’re facing within your organization subjects can be more specific.

Some questions to consider providing in an annual survey include:

  • Do you believe the company values a healthy work-life balance?
  • Can comfortably approach your line manager with questions or concerns?
  • Does your role align with your career aspirations?

Pulse surveys on the other hand are more frequent. They can be a much quicker way to assess employee satisfaction and measure whether actions within the organization have been effective. Commonly, pulse surveys are sent out quarterly or monthly to get an accurate picture of employee engagement and other company outcomes. This means they’re often shorter in length than annual surveys, generally coming in at 10-20 questions depending on their frequency. Subjects often covered within pulse surveys include engagement, leadership, and overall job satisfaction. It is important to note that the questions you provide within a pulse survey will be indicative of immediate action you’re willing to take based on employee feedback. 

Some questions and statements to consider providing in a pulse survey include:

  • Do you agree with the following statement: “I would recommend this company as a great place to work.”
  • The leadership provides me with a vision that I feel like I am directly contributing to.
  • Is there anything else you would have liked to see covered in this survey?

121s

121s (alternatively known as 1-on-1s) are a great way to ascertain employee engagement in a more direct way. Setting up standing meetings once a month between line managers and their employees to discuss career development, core achievements and actively listen to employee feedback is a fantastic investment of time in the long run. This is an opportunity for employees to discuss frustrations as much as it is to celebrate wins. Creating a rapport with line managers opens channels for regular communication, making employees feel heard and valued. 

121s are a great way for managers to accurately relay issues that directly affect their employees to senior management. Investing an hour a month with employees for a 121 allows leadership will see more context surrounding survey answers and makes necessary action more achievable. 

Follow Up

Upon receiving feedback from surveys and 121s, it is imperative that line managers and senior leadership alike continue to communicate their plans with employees. Listening to feedback is just one part of the process of measuring employee engagement. The issues raised within surveys and 121s must be followed up with actions that can assist and support employees in order to create effective solutions. By continuously showing up for your employees by checking in, supplying surveys, and being present in 121s you’re establishing a relationship that values employee engagement and satisfaction.

No matter how you decide to proceed with measuring employee engagement, the key is to stay consistent. Effective communication between all levels of staff and valuing accountability within your organization will make all the difference in how your employee engagement improves over time. When employees feel engaged, everyone wins.

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