Measuring employee engagement is an essential aspect of managing employees and one that every business owner should take seriously.
The underlying reason why any organization hires employees is to have them work together to achieve a common goal and objective.
To record success in this, it is essential that those employees are actively involved in everything in the workplace.
Your employees should feel that they matter, and so do their opinions and contributions.
They shouldn’t just be there to obey rules and company policies, but rather they should play a part in implementing these.
And that is what employee engagement is all about.
Regularly, it is important that you, as the manager or business owner, measure your employees’ level of engagement.
This is because it gives you a clear and objective view of how motivated your employees are on their job.
And of course, their level of motivation would also determine how much they are able and willing to contribute to the organization.
In turn, their contributions would dictate the level of success you can attain as an organization.
Additionally, when you know your employees’ engagement level using the right measurement methods, you can tell what adjustments to make.
This is because if you are going to retain your best employees and grow your business, employee engagement must be at the premium level.
Before delving into the various tools used to measure employee engagement, it would be great to understand what it means.
What Does Measuring Employee Engagement Mean?
Employee engagement can be defined as employees’ passion and commitment to their job and the organization they work for.
A measure of employee engagement reveals the rate of involvement that your employees have in your business.
It would generally consider how well and how hard they do their jobs and how often they also make contributions.
With that in mind, you can say that an engaged employee is a highly motivated employee and is always willing to get involved in things going on around them.
On the other hand, employees who are not engaged cannot care less about the daily activities and processes.
Such employees are more concerned about performing their assigned tasks and going home.
These are employees who only work for your organization because it pays the bills.
It doesn’t bother them if something is not going right or there is a loss of business due to their actions or inactions.
As long as their income at the end of a month is not affected, everything is fine.
Employees who are engaged, on the other hand, are different.
These contribute to the actualization of your business goals.
They are also concerned about their own professional growth and development, which is a driving force.
When your employees have a high level of engagement, they do not settle for less but always look to get the best.
This is a result of the motivation they get for their jobs.
It is this latter kind of employee that you should be aiming for as a business owner.
Little wonder then that measuring employee engagement regularly is very important.
How to Measure Employee Engagement – Important Metrics to Track
The importance of employee engagement in any organization has never been in doubt.
It can help to drive employees’ loyalty, performance, and retention.
But then, do you know how your organization is faring in this regard?
The best way to find out is to set relevant key performance indicators as far as engagement is concerned.
Once that is done, you can measure these KPIs or metrics consistently to see where your employees’ engagement levels stand.
Here are some practical ways you can go about the measurement of your employees’ engagement:
Get Feedback with Surveys
This is one of the most commonly used tools to measure employee engagement.
What employee surveys do for you is help you gather needed feedback from your employees.
The feedback received will provide a clear insight into how your employees feel about working in your organization and how motivated they are.
You can ask questions relating to their level of commitment, the work culture, and how satisfied they are with their job.
In a bid to get more participation from the employee, you can make fill survey forms.
That way, your employees would need not fear that whatever they say would be used against them as individuals.
When they provide their answers anonymously, they could be more willing to say things as they are.
To further ensure confidentiality, you could also use a third-party survey organization to gather this feedback.
Of course, this would depend on the size of your organization and your working budget.
The frequency of this survey depends on what you decide would work best for you.
It might be weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
Whichever one you decide, it mustn’t come off as a disturbance but rather a rewarding endeavor for employees.
Communicate with Individual Employees Face-to-Face
Aside from surveys, you can also get feedback from employees through a round table face-to-face discussion.
This might work better for smaller organizations where the employees aren’t that many and form a team.
If this method is effective, it is important that you already build a work environment that fosters trust and security.
Your employees need to know that the discussion is not meant to “witch-hunt” them, or their words would be used against them.
If this distrust exists, then this method of feedback might not yield expected results.
But when they understand the goal is to make improvements, they will be more willing to open to you.
It is in such personal meetings that your individual employees reveal how engaged they are with the organization.
Chances are you will get a lot out of this due to the personal and confidential nature of the informal discussions.
Use of Management Software
Another tool that can be used to measure employee engagement effectively is software programs.
While surveys might provide you with a spur of moment feedback from employees, management software can do more.
This can give you a wider range of views from your employees and a long-term one.
Your HR department can use this for an all-around data collection on your employees to reveal their engagement level.
One of the key areas that can be easily measured with software is employee performance.
And of course, the performance level of employees is a great indicator of their engagement levels.
Measure Employees’ Rate of Absenteeism
Absenteeism refers to how frequently your employees fail to show up at work for whatever reasons.
While this might be for unavoidable reasons sometimes, frequent absenteeism might be a signal of something deeper.
Employees who are disengaged in their place of work have been found to exhibit a high rate of absenteeism.
You can calculate this in percentage, with the goal being to know what percentage of your employees were absent from work over a specified time period.
When the percentage is low, this might indicate that you have a high level of engagement from your workforce.
Here is the formula to calculate this:
Employees’ Absenteeism Rate = (Number of days with absentees / Total number of workdays during that period) multiplied by 100
This would give you the absenteeism rate of employees in percentage, which is an indicator for engagement levels.
Review Online Feedback on Companies’ Rating Websites
Certain websites welcome reviews and feedback on companies and organizations.
An example of such a platform is glassdoor.
Your employees can drop their reviews on what they think about your organization regarding work culture, leadership, and incentives on this platform.
The good thing is that even former employees can also rate you.
This is free valuable data that you shouldn’t joke with.
Analyze and review this feedback, as it can offer you enough insight into your employees’ level of engagement.
Calculate Employees’ Turnover Rate
The rate of employees turnover refers to how many of your employees you lose within a specified time period.
A high rate of employee turnover often points to a lack of job satisfaction and engagement.
Employees that are properly engaged wouldn’t consider leaving their jobs.
But the reverse is the case with disengaged employees.
Hence, while measuring your employee engagement, this is a metric you should not overlook.
How to calculate this:
Employees’ Turnover Rate = (Total Number of Employees that Left Within a Specified Time Period / Total Number of Employees at the beginning of that period) multiplied by 100
Measure Employee Net Promoter Score (NPS)
The idea of a net promoter score is to ascertain how likely your employees would recommend your organization to someone else.
This can reveal a lot about your employees’ loyalty, job satisfaction, and of course, engagement levels.
Usually, the question you ask employees to determine the NPS is: “How likely are you to recommend working in our organization to a friend or family member?”
The options you can then give for answers would be a range of 0 to 10.
If your employees rate 0-6, it means they are detractors and wouldn’t care about recommending you to someone else.
A rating of 7-8 is passives, while 9-10 are the promoters.
You can then calculate the rate thus:
Net Promoter Score (NPS) = (Number of Promoters – Number of Detractors) / Total Responses
Calculate the Rate of Internal Promotion
Another metrics you can measure while keeping tabs on employee engagement is the rate of promotions within a time period.
Employees are usually more engaged when their organization offers them opportunities for growth and development.
Hence, if your calculation on the rate of internal promotion reveals a high value, it shows you have more engagement among employees.
On the other hand, if the value is low, then the engagement level isn’t really at its best.
The formula for this is:
Internal Promotion Rate = (Total Number of Promoted Employees / Total Number of employees) multiplied by 100
Remember that there should be a specific time period as a reference when taking this metric.
Perform Exit Interviews
Losing your best employees is a sad thing for any business and should be a cause of worry.
When employees are not engaged, there is a high chance that they will seek new opportunities.
However, if this happens in your organization, it’s an opportunity for you to gather much-needed feedback from the employees leaving.
Exit interviews are fast becoming popular among the top business owners and their management.
This would enable you to find out what these top talents are not satisfied within your organization.
And of course, you can then implement the right processes and make needed adjustments to improve engagement and retention.
Once you’ve gathered all the needed metrics on employee engagement, the next thing to do is act on it.
It would be of no benefit to finishing measuring employee engagement and then not working on the areas needing improvements.
This is the stage where you implement the necessary processes towards building employee engagement.
It is the most important stage, as that is where the difference lies.
Why Measure Employee Engagement?
Do you as a business owner have employee engagement measurement/analysis as a part of your business policies?
If no, you miss out on an essential process that can offer you great insight and grow your business.
Truth be told, there are so many activities begging for the attention of management these days.
Getting prospects and leads, converting these to paying customers, and even customer retention rank highly on this list.
Because of this, some employers might be culpable of not giving enough attention to employee management.
And in the process, you might fail to notice the level of engagement of your employees.
In other for this not to happen to you, note the following benefits that come from measuring employee engagement:
It Shows your Employees you Value Them
One of the regular features of employee engagement measurement surveys to get employees’ feedback.
Your employees want to be heard and want to feel that their opinions matter.
When you run surveys to measure your employees’ engagement, you provide them the platform for this.
It shows them that they are precious to you.
And, of course, that can go a long way in keeping such employees.
It Reveals your Company’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Another advantage of employee engagement measurement is that it helps you identify your areas of strengths and weaknesses.
Whichever method of measurement you deploy, one thing is sure; it would offer you great insight into how your employees really feel.
From that, you can start to see which particular employees, teams, or departments are adequately motivated.
This insight would be impossible if you do not make employee engagement measurement an integral part of your employee management.
It Helps you Identify, and Correct Problems Before They Worsen
There is a lot your employees have to tell you that reveals underlying big problems in your organization.
This might be issues surrounding lack of quality communication, poor leadership from management, or problems with customer service.
It might also be that there are some certain innovations or improvements that can be done in the office to ease up employees’ work.
The only way you can get to know this is if you regularly measure your employees’ engagement levels.
If you fail to do this, the problems might escalate in no time and cause irreversible damage to your business.
It Helps to Properly Direct Organizational Growth
It is easy for you to set goals and objectives for your business and decide how to achieve such goals.
However, have you considered the possibility that you might be going about it the wrong way?
The only way to know this for sure is when you regularly measure employee engagement.
You might even find that some departments are performing better than others.
It is during this process that you can then ascertain what is responsible for their success.
And by extension, you can implement the processes or practices that work throughout the entire organization.
This can thus help you to direct or redirect your organizational goals for better results properly.
It Helps to Improve the Quality of Customer Service
You would agree that your customers are equally critical assets to your business.
This is why great customer service and experience should matter to you as a business owner.
When it comes to customer service, you cannot do this without your employees.
There is a limit to how many customers you can interact with on a personal basis and regularly.
Those who make up your workforce are saddled with the responsibility of taking care of these customers.
Engaged employees are motivated employees, and these are also happy employees.
When your workers are happy, they are willing to go all out for the customers and help them.
If you notice that the quality of your customer service has dropped in recent times, it could be a signal to measure employee engagement.
That is the only way you can find out if this is responsible for the drop in the quality of customer service and work on it.
Without regular and proper measurement of engagement, on the other hand, it might be difficult to maintain high-level customer service.
It Can Help Increase Business Sales and Profits
One of the major reasons why businesses struggle with sales is the poor performance and productivity of employees.
In this case, the saying: “You cannot give what you do not have” holds sway.
If your employees are not performing at the top level, it isn’t easy to convince customers or close sales.
And when the sales drop, it would inevitably affect your profit margin also.
This is a very critical aspect of business, as the main goal of any business establishment is to make sales and generate profit.
Hence, you should measure your employees’ performance regularly.
How does measuring engagement come in here?
One factor that can help employees up their performance levels is when they are adequately motivated.
And that is what employee engagement is all about.
Therefore, the results obtained from employee engagement measurements can reveal what is responsible for low performance.
This would, in turn, give you something to work with, not only increasing productivity but also increasing sales and profits.
It Ensures Employee Retention
Do you remember the process you followed while looking for the best talents you have working for you now?
How easy was the search?
Recruitment of top employees is not an easy task and can be quite challenging.
This is why you shouldn’t risk losing these employees that you so worked hard to find.
There is a consensus among employees that one of the major reasons they will stay in a job is engagement.
Your employees, especially the best of the lot, want to have an emotional and mental connection with your organization.
They want growth opportunities, feel their voice and opinions matter, and also feel valued.
If you fail to measure employee engagement, you might be missing a problem in that area.
And as a result, you might begin to experience a high employee turnover rate, which is bad for business.
Final Thoughts on How to Improve Employee Engagement
In summary, employee engagement would lead to better productivity and efficiency in your business.
This would inevitably lead to more profits in your business.