Employee engagement involves emotion, which is why it can often be hard to measure. Here are our tips for measuring employee engagement at your organisation.
It seems like everyone's always talking about employee engagement at the minute, but that hasn't helped keep morale levels high in the workplace. In Australia and New Zealand, only 24 per cent are engaged at work, Gallup reports.
Such a low figure is worrying - you don't want only one in four of your employees to be happy. But this doesn't mean you should give up hope. The first step to improving engagement is measuring it. However, because there is an emotional element involved, it can be difficult to quantify engagement.
That's why we've created this handy guide to measuring employee engagement.
The employee engagement survey
When we think of measuring happiness at work, many people's minds will turn automatically to the employee engagement survey. This is normally sent out once a year and features a range of questions that help companies quantify engagement levels.
Employee engagement surveys only give you a snapshot of engagement once a year.
It often features qualitative and quantitative data. For example, some questions might be open-ended and require typed out answers, while others will present statements and ask the person how much they agree with it. This gives you not just how many are engaged, but why they are as well.
These types of surveys are a great start and are good at giving you a broad idea of what you can be working on. For example, if you ask the question "I have the tools and equipment necessary to complete my job" and only 30 per cent of respondents agree with this statement, you can then start investing in the equipment they are lacking.
However, employee engagement surveys only give you a snapshot of engagement once a year. There are other, more frequent ways to measure it:
1) Pulse surveys
A pulse survey is a quick survey you send out on a frequent basis. It should only feature one or two questions so that it won't take up much of the employee's time - you'll find you get more responses this way than if you're sending out a lengthy quiz every few weeks.
Questions should be easy to answer and not require too much thought. They should also be broad enough that they apply to everybody in your network. If you ask a question like "did you enjoy being in the office yesterday" but the majority of your staff are normally out at client meetings, this wouldn't give you much useful information.
Examples of pulse questions include:
Were you able to achieve your aims this week?
Which areas of the business would you like us to improve?
Do you feel your manager is approachable?
Are you informed about changes in the workplace early enough?
Notice that there's a mix of open-ended and closed questions, which is best for giving you both qualitative and qualitative data.
2) Employee Net Promoter Score
Similar to a customer net promoter score, this metric assesses how likely your employees are to recommend your workplace to a friend. You can either tack this onto the end of your annual engagement survey, or send it out as one of your pulse survey questions.
Just remember you need to include a section where people can explain why they think this - just having the raw figures isn't enough to improve.
You need to be prepared to act on the survey results.
3) Absenteeism and turnover rates
A strong indicator that your employees aren't very engaged is if they aren't turning up to work, or are moving on from your company at a fast rate. Of course, some people leave companies for very good reasons, and not because they weren't engaged, but if you have frequent high absenteeism or turnover, it normally indicates that something needs to change.
Be prepared to act
Measuring employee engagement isn't enough on its own - you also need to be prepared to act on the results. One way you can improve engagement is through an Employee Rewards and Recognition Program. Talk to the team at Power2Motivate today to find out how we can help you create a happy workplace.