With a direct correlation to productivity and retention, the case for investing in employee engagement is undeniable. But once you invest, how do you know how you’re doing? Methods of measuring employee engagement can range from a 12-question annual survey to daily monitoring of online behavior and time spent in meetings.
Here are four key ways employee engagement can be measured and analyzed:
Employee surveys seem to be the most widespread method for measuring engagement. On the plus side, you’re showing employees you care enough to ask their opinion. On the flip side, you better have a plan in place to address any negative feedback you may hear from them.
Likert-scale Based Surveys: We Strongly Agree These Are The Most Popular
Many surveys are designed using the Likert scale, which provides five answers for each question: strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree and strongly disagree. Bridge and Qualtrics offer popular survey tools that implement the Likert scale plus the analytics to quickly compare different departments and determine where alignment and misalignment occur. If survey results reveal areas where additional training could improve engagement, Bridge also allows you to quickly create a training course and deploy it to those employees or departments.
Gallup’s popular Q12 survey also uses the Likert scale, but asks the same questions no matter the organization to measure engagement and compare results to industry benchmarks. Questions include:
- Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important?
- Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?
- In the last year, have you had opportunities to learn and grow?
- In the last week, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?
These types of surveys are a good indicator of how employees feel, but only if they feel comfortable—and care enough—to answer honestly. Too many “neutral” responses could muddy the water, so be sure to phrase questions carefully.
eNet Promoter Score (eNPS): On a Scale of 0 to 10, How Hot is Your Organization?
Much like the consumer version of Net Promoter Score, the eNPS system hinges on a short list of questions like: “On a scale of zero to 10, how likely is it you would recommend this company as a place to work? “How likely would you be to recommend this company’s products or services to a friend or colleague?” While these questions are valuable, the three categories of detractors, passives and promoters are quite polarizing. There is no middle ground here, really. And maybe that’s the idea. The real challenge is what to do next to keep the conversation going and try to convert passives and detractors into promoters.
2) People Analytics
Calendars and Emails Speak Louder Than Words
Other methods of measuring engagement use people analytics to monitor certain types of employee behavior. Security parameters can be put in place to ensure employee privacy, but it’s still best to make employees aware of what’s being monitored to avoid a 1984-esque working environment.
These metrics include tracking and analyzing everything from how much time is spent in meetings, checking email, collaborating with internal and external teams and work done on nights and weekends. While these metrics can be helpful, working overtime or on weekends doesn’t necessarily equate to engagement. It could equate to overload at work. Either way, it’s best to supplement these tactics with a survey to ask employees how they feel, and maintain total transparency in disclosing the information that will be monitored using this type of software.
3) Online Reviews
Glassdoor: Spiteful, Insightful and Eye-Opening
This isn’t an official measure of employee engagement, as many respondents are disgruntled ex-employees looking to bash their former managers. Glassdoor allows users to provide anonymous reviews of a company in categories including compensation and benefits, work/life balance, senior management, culture and values, and career opportunities. Similar to the eNSP mentioned above, there’s also a rating for recommending to a friend. These comments provide valuable insight into the shortcomings of an organization, and can also act as a deterrent or recruiting tool for prospective employees. To keep things fair and balanced, companies can respond to negative comments.
4) Deep Listening
While surveys, people analytics, and online reviews are helpful ways to measure employee engagement, deep listening is the key piece to really get to the bottom of challenging issues. Analyze the results from those surveys, emails, general conversations, and reviews, and have managers discuss them in 1:1s. Some organizations use exit interviews to do this, but to learn how employees are truly feeling and receive feedback long before—or if—they choose to leave, go beyond exit interviews. Have managers schedule regular 1:1s to ask about questions or themes that show up in those surveys. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that there isn’t a replacement for regularly talking with—and carefully listening to—our people.
In Bridge Perform, managers can set goals, add questions in the 1:1 agenda to influence key conversations that lead to improvement, and keep track of 1:1s to make sure the next one is just as impactful.
No matter which method you choose to measure engagement, you should always follow best practices and have a follow-up plan in place.
Which engagement tools have given you the most traction?
For more on engaging your employees, check out our free eBook "Educate to Engage” and see our infographic on increasing employee engagement and productivity.