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How to Measure Employee Engagement and Why It Is Important

The success of your business depends largely on your employees. If you don’t have the right people, and if they don’t perform their best work, everything your business tries to do becomes next to impossible. Whether it’s product development, marketing, customer service, or some other department, your employees play a vital role.

To make sure you’re getting the most from your employees, you want to measure their engagement level. This means taking a closer look at how interested your employees are in their jobs and how much they enjoy working for your organization. Below, we’ll discuss the importance of measuring employee engagement along with a few strategies you can use to effectively achieve it.

Why You Should Measure Employee Engagement

There are a few reasons that you should measure employee engagement. For starters, 85 percent of employees say they are not engaged in the workplace. Without measuring the engagement level of your workplace, you won’t know whether or not your workers are among those 85 percent. In addition, low engagement is likely costing your business money. According to one study, a lack of engagement costs businesses in the United States around $450 – $550 billion each year. Conversely, companies with a highly engaged workforce are 21 percent more profitable.

Improving your employee engagement levels can help you retain your employees, boost productivity and create better customer relations, among other benefits. However, to receive these benefits, you need to first know the current status of your employee engagement levels, and this is where measuring comes in.

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Employee Engagement Surveys

A simple way to measure employee engagement is by sending out employee surveys. Through them, you can ask your team carefully crafted questions related to how they are feeling about their jobs. Doing so allows you to gauge the general opinion of your employees at that time and if you send out these surveys on a regular basis, you can also roughly predict your employee engagement improvement over time. Some questions you can ask in your employee engagement surveys include:

  • How do you feel about your job?
  • Do you feel excited to come to work each day?
  • Are you satisfied with your current pay and benefits?
  • Do you think that you’re getting enough recognition for your work?
  • Are you getting along well with your team?
  • Do our organization’s values inspire you?
  • And the most important one – do you see yourself working in this company in a year?

Another great thing about employee engagement surveys is that you can use them regardless of whether your team is in-house or remote. It’s easy to send out a remote employee engagement survey and have your team respond in their free time, no matter the time zone they are in. So, if you don’t have the time or ability to meet with your team one-on-one, employee surveys provide a great way to still gather feedback.

Turnover Rate

Turnover rate is another important indicator of employee engagement. When employees don’t feel stimulated to continue doing their jobs, they are more likely to leave for another position. It’s important to reduce your turnover rate as much as possible, as more people leaving your organization translates to more money wasted. Some studies suggest that your business could lose six to nine months’ worth of salary each time you replace a salaried employee. 

Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to improve your business’s turnover rate. One place to start is your hiring process. You need to be extra careful and thorough when conducting this process to ensure the people you’re hiring are right for their positions. If you hire people who are overqualified or underqualified, they are more likely to either feel bored in their jobs or overwhelmed. The next thing you can focus on is your onboarding process. Many employees leave their positions shortly after joining because they never fully learn how to perform their jobs. If you think you are hiring the right people, but they’re still leaving within a few months of being hired, it’s time to examine your onboarding process.

The last thing you can explore is your employee development program. Most employees want to feel they are improving over time and advancing in their careers. If you’re not empowering your employees to grow or promoting from within, they may want to leave for another, better, opportunity. Consider adding more employee development training within your business to keep your employees around long-term.

Net Promoter Score

Net promoter scores are typically used to measure customer retention. However, with a little bit of tweaking, you can easily use this method to measure your employee’s engagement level as well. The basis for this system is rather simple – would an employee recommend your workplace as a good place to work?

To get a net promoter score, you ask your employees to rate on a scale of one to ten how willing they would be to recommend your organization for someone to work in. If the employee rates your business anywhere between zero and six, this identifies them as a “detractor” and someone who is unengaged with their job. If they answer a seven or eight, this is someone who is “passive” and could probably use some help engaging as well. Finally, a nine or ten represents a “promoter” – someone who is fully engaged with their job and enjoys working for you.

It’s a good practice to regularly send out an NPS survey to your employees. This can help you identify engagement levels as an organization, while also identifying individuals who may feel disengaged. It’s a simple metric that provides great value when you track it over time.

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Individual Meetings

Finally, don’t discount the benefits of having individual meetings with your employees. While things like employee engagement surveys and net provider scores may give you some data to work with, they might lack context. Scheduling time with your employees to discuss their engagement levels can help you learn more about exactly how they are feeling. Disengaged employees may feel that way for different reasons and learning what these reasons are can help you address each issue specifically.

Even if you have a remote team, you can still conduct individual meetings through video conferencing software. You don’t have to schedule them too often, but whenever your data starts to suggest a specific employee feels disengaged, or when engagement levels throughout your business start to drop, it can be helpful to have these discussions. The sooner you learn more about what’s going on, the sooner you can implement a fix.

Start Measuring Employee Engagement Today

Implementing a system to track employee engagement doesn’t need to be difficult. There are plenty of software tools that can help you set up surveys and gather the results for analysis. If you don’t want to use any new software tools, it’s not that hard to set up your own survey and email it to your staff. Pick a method that works for you, then decide on how often you want to send it out. A good timeframe is once every few months but you may need to adjust this based on your individual circumstances.

The important thing is that you get started soon. The sooner you start measuring employee engagement, the sooner you can learn if engagement levels are harming your business’s growth. If it is, you can then implement some solutions to re-engage your employees and get things back on track. The more your employees remain engaged, the stronger results you’ll see throughout your organization.