Employee Engagement has a direct correlation to business results, something that business leaders are well aware of. In a survey conducted by Bersin by Deloitte, where 73,000 global executives and HR leaders participated, 85% named employee engagement as “important”, or “very important”. However, only 11% of them could confidently say their existing employee engagement and learning retention programs were excellent. These organizational leaders understand the importance of employee engagement, but there is a clear gap in where they'd like to be, and where they are. This gap explains why increased engagement is such a sought after priority, and the only way to know there has been an increase, is to measure it.
There are 3 commonly known methods for measuring employee engagement: surveys, interviews, internal/external data analysis.
- Annual Surveys: Used by 40% of global organizations, this method is by far the most popular. Employees are able to give their honest feedback
- Interviews: This can include both recurring interviews, and exit interviews. This provides a bit of a more personal approach, which allows you to understand firsthand what employees find engaging, and what they don’t.
- Internal/External data analysis: This information can be gathered through communication portals used by employees.
While these approaches can be effective, the one problem is that they measure self-perceived engagement, which may or may not equate actual engagement. In addition, data is not exactly objective as most recent learning events will greatly impact the results (older events might be forgotten, and therefore not taken into consideration). As well, there is the risk of employees answering surveys with answers they think their employers want to hear.
So how do you collect more well-rounded data? There are a few things that employers can look out for - here are some signs of high engagement:
- Discretionary hours of work, work that occurs outside of working hours
- The effort put into building connections, community, and networks outside of the workplace.
- Attendance and participation in lower-level, less structured work events and meetings, in addition to ad-hoc meetings and events.
There are additional methods that you can add to these metrics to supplement your data even further - we will go over these methods in next weeks blog post - stay tuned!