Employee engagement is a critical aspect of measuring the success of an organization’s culture. It’s also a symptom of overall employee wellness, because psychological aspects of work are as important as physical. When a business can provide its employees with a positive place to work—as well as above-average wages and benefits and an opportunity to grow in a career—employees become happy, productive and loyal.
The issue is that many companies do not know how to measure employee engagement levels, therefore time and money is wasted on efforts without a solid return on investment.
Engagement in Workplaces
Based on data from Gallup Poll from the last 15 years, only 32 percent of the US workforce is actively engaged. Worldwide, the number drops to 13 percent. Many factors can contribute to low engagement levels, including:
- The emergence of a more entrepreneurial, “gig economy” mindset of independent talent
- Added pressures placed on employees since the end of the 2009 recessionary period
- Increased presence of millennials who desire quick career growth and tend to job hop
Measuring Employee Engagement
Fortunately, leaders can learn how to measure employee engagement and focus on improving levels. Measuring sticks can include:
- Pulse surveys – Short, targeted surveys can be sent out to employees any time there is a change occurring in the organization, or if the company just wants to check the temperature of things. Information is confidential and can be used to report on progress.
- Retention rate – Employees tend to stick with companies where they feel valued and have their needs met. If the company is struggling with poor retention rates, this is worth evaluating and improving on.
- Company reviews – We live in an increasingly transparent world. Former and current employees can share details of their experience with your organization on company review sites and social networks. Take heed of what they are saying.
- Productivity levels – Managers can track productivity levels of their teams, including tardiness, absenteeism and performance rates. These metrics provide valuable insight and generally reveal the first signs of trouble.
- Exit interviews – When employees leave a company, exit interviews can provide insight into the causes of low employee-engagement levels. Listen carefully and determine if there is a company-wide problem that needs correction.
Using The Data
By tapping into the above data sources, employee engagement can be tracked and trends can be spotted. Take survey results and compare them to periods when retention was at its lowest. Read through company review sites and note what employees are saying and whether there is an increase in negative reviews. The goal is to spot problems as they arise and then make continued improvements as needed in the organization to retain your best and brightest employees.