4 Best Ways To Measure Employee Engagement4 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
Having your employees engaged is the basis of a business running smoothly, so it goes without saying that measuring employee engagement is just as important.
If only it wasn’t this difficult…
The main reason why measuring employee engagement is so hard is because there is no clear definition of what it is. Some corporations define it as happiness, some as satisfaction, while others define it as commitment to goals.
But, it is more complicated than that. You can be happy at work, but not get enough feedback from your manager. You can get a ton of great feedback but have no opportunities for growth. You can have opportunities for growth, but no work-life balance.
It would be much easier if the definition was clear, but engagement is a complex emotion. A lot of different things need to be in place for an employee to be properly engaged.
Why measuring engagement is difficult
In order to come up with a definition of what employee engagement is, try answering the following questions:
Is engagement about feeling happy at work?
Is it about being absorbed with what you do?
Is it about being energized in your work?
Is it about having work that is meaningful to you?
Or is it all of the above?
Different organizations use different definitions of engagement, so what your answers probably differ from others’.
How to measure employee engagement
Engagement of employees should be a continuous behaviour of an organization. For one, gaining consistent feedback from employees drives a positive culture. As a business leader, you should ask yourself the question
“Do I care about the happiness and wellbeing of my employees, as well as their productivity and performance within my business?”
4 Ways to measure employee engagement in an organization
Using Surveys (not just annual ones)
Many organizations that say they already do engagement strategies. However, when I drill into those conversations it all seems to come back to the same thing… “We have our annual survey”. Fair enough, annual surveys have worked in the past, however, the environment that we work in today more competitive than ever before, trying to retain your existing staff is hard enough, never mind attract new employees. In short historically annual surveys have been a great thing however, you don’t need me to tell you that they are now outdated – I have no doubts that you are probably one of the people who roll your eyes when asked when your annual survey is!
Short, frequent surveys are a great way to maintain a consistent pulse on the vibe in your office. There’s no need to make this process complex. You just want to find a regular way to ask anywhere from 5-10 questions about how people are feeling at work and what (if anything) they would change.
Another great way to measure engagement is through one-on-one meetings with employees.
Having regularly scheduled, hour-long meetings where you can have an informal chat with each member of your team is a great way to get a real sense of what’s going on with them.
The advantage of this method of collecting feedback is that it’s in person, and because it’s a private, safe conversation, you can get much more detail about each issue that’s brought up. The key for managers is to remove that fear from employees so they feel safe opening up.
Using structured interviews for employees is a great way to collect feedback and find out what makes them engaged or what holds them back from being engaged.
Exit interviews are fairly common in most organizations, but one great idea that should be done more often are stay interviews, where you ask employees that are clearly happy at work what makes them want to stay. Exit interviews can be great, but the only issue with them is that it might be too late by the time you get to that process. Ideally, you use both inside your organization.
The goal with an exit interview is to find out what you could have done better to improve engagement, and the goal of a stay interview is to find out what you’re already doing well (and what you could improve on). Here are a few examples of questions you could ask in both types of settings.
What do you dislike most about your job?
If you could, what’s one thing you would change with your role?
What makes you want to stay in/leave this organization?
After you finish the measuring, it’s now your duty to work with everyone towards improving things.