The trick to measuring employee engagement.

Compared to employee engagement, most KPIs are a cinch to track. Want to know your return on investment, click-through rate, or cost per acquisition? No problem. Just pop some numbers into a formula and you’re in business. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to calculate employee engagement. There’s no neat little formula you can conveniently rely on, and to complicate matters, everyone has their own definition of what it means to be engaged.

Defining engagement

Just because it’s difficult to measure employee engagement doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. The only way you can improve something is to benchmark and track it, so don’t shy away from this task. After all, highly engaged employees are more productive, which drives up profits and growth.

First, let’s start by figuring out what it means to be engaged at your organization. Research conducted by Officevibe found the following ten metrics to be integral to employee engagement:

  1. Feedback (continuous communication)
  2. Recognition (displays of gratitude)
  3. Relationship with peers (friendships)
  4. Relationship with managers (encouragement, mentorship)
  5. Personal growth (ability to move up in the organization)
  6. Alignment (compatibility of beliefs, values, and goals)
  7. Satisfaction (overall fulfillment, and appropriate compensation)
  8. Wellness (all aspects of personal health)
  9. Ambassadorship (evangelists within the organization)
  10. Happiness (affected by many of the other metrics)

Which ones apply to your organization the most? Are there any metrics you would add or remove? Once you have an idea of the components you want to track, it’s time to collect some data.

Measuring engagement

Many of the metrics above are impossible to measure quantitatively. You can’t put a meaningful number to how satisfied your employees are, or the quality of their relationships with their colleagues. However, you can use a variety of techniques to gather insights that will shed light on what’s going well and what needs improvement. Some of these methods include surveys, group and individual conversations, and exit interviews. Here are some helpful questions to ask:

  • What’s your  favorite aspect of your role?
  • What about your role do you dislike?
  • Do you have a close friend at this organization?
  • Do you feel like you receive adequate recognition for your achievements?
  • How well do you get along with your manager/junior employees?
  • Describe your ideal day at work.
  • Do you often have good days at work?
  • What happened the last time you had a bad day at work?
  • What makes you feel loyal to this organization?
  • Have you considered working at another organization?
  • What makes you want to work somewhere else?

For the best quality data, be sure to mix up the types of questions you ask. Questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no aren’t as revelatory as those that require a longer answer. In a previous post, we explored the importance of asking open-ended questions to solicit more detailed answers. However, close-ended questions and those that can be answered on a scale of 1-10 are useful for finding statistical trends. For example, facts like “73% of employees say they enjoy coming to work” are much easier to find using yes/no questions (“Do you enjoy coming to work?”) than open-ended questions (“What excites you about coming to work?”).

Use your data effectively

Now that you have this information, you can build a roadmap to guide your organization toward even higher engagement levels. Start by communicating your findings, even if they’re negative. It’ll demonstrate to your employees that you’re taking their feedback seriously, and that you genuinely want them to be happy at work.

Next, analyze the data to figure out which changes are necessary, then implement and track them. Learn from what’s effective and what’s not. And, of course, repeat. This is a cyclical process, and it will evolve as the needs of your workforce change.

How to maximize employee engagement

It’s hard for employees to concentrate at work when they’re distracted by personal issues like divorce or health concerns. That’s why it’s essential that employers provide them with the right tools and information they need to address these challenges. The LifeSpeak platform contains nearly 2000 expert-led resources on topics like physical and mental health, relationships, professional development, and parenting so they can be as focused and productive as possible. To learn more, request a free demo today.


Also published on Medium.