Whether you are a multinational corporation or a small business with a handful of workers, making sure that your employees are engaged is essential. It comes down to one simple equation: A workforce that is engaged equals profitability for your business. The not-so-simple element is how to measure employee engagement.
What is Employee Engagement?
First up, you should know that there is no one clear definition of what engagement is. Everybody has their own theories and methodology. What engagement isn’t, however, is employee satisfaction. Just because an employee is satisfied with their position does not necessarily mean that they are engaged. Satisfaction is an element, but there are many other factors to consider. These factors include: Support, recognition, commitment, loyalty and values amongst many others.
There are a wealth of resources available for you to carry out (or outsource) employee engagement measurement. Below are three popular choices.
1. Observation and ‘Shop Floor’ Interaction
Observation and interaction has a twofold impact on measuring engagement. First of all, your presence among your employees shows that you as an employer/ manager know what is happening at the level of your employees. By extension this impacts directly on their engagement. Many will appreciate it; some will be driven by it. Either way, you will be able to see how engaged they are.
Be sure to research best observation methods and if possible create a mental checklist of things that you are looking for – walking around with a clipboard and making notes tends to unsettle people. Secondly, by interacting with employees you will be able to question them and discover what it is that engages them. Once measurements have taken place you will be in a position to personalize their engagement plan to ensure that they have the necessary drivers in place.
2. Employee Surveys
Surveys are by far the most popular method of measuring employee engagement. Carried out correctly they can be a powerful tool for recognizing what you might need to adapt or strategies you can put in place to improve engagement within your workforce. Unfortunately, many businesses miss the point when conducting surveys and the data gathered can result in information that does not enable you to take any kind of action.
When creating a survey, more employers need to consider their business outcomes as well as the satisfaction of their employees. By doing so, you’ll be able to engage your employees and achieve those all-important outcomes.
If you have any doubts about creating surveys and you have the revenue to do so, outsourcing your surveys is highly recommended. For example, companies like Insightlink offer tailor-made employee survey services.
3. Customer Satisfaction
There is a direct relationship between customer satisfaction and the level of your employee engagement. Where possible, get feedback from your clients. Do you have returning customers asking for specific employees by name? What kind of reviews are you getting for your company? If you have happy customers, then the chances are good that you have engaged employees.
As mentioned previously, employee engagement is not an exact science. Not everything will work for you and your employees. The most important thing is that the task is taken seriously and isn’t just a simple ‘box ticking’ exercise. Try a range of different methods and be prepared to take action based on your findings.