What is employee engagement?
There are many ways of defining employee engagement, but one of the clearest definitions is this, by best-selling author Kevin Kruse,
“The emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.”
Why is employee engagement important?
The employee engagement strategy is a key element in long-term organizational success. When employees are engaged in their work, they are more likely to put their best effort into the work they do. And this will lead to better business results.
It also contributes toward improved retention (and so lower recruitment costs), a stronger organizational culture, and a healthier workforce with lower absence rates.
Despite this, engaging employees appears to be a struggle for many organizations. Gallup found that only 33% of employees claim to be engaged at work.
How to measure employee engagement?
Employee engagement is difficult to quantify because there are so many different ways to define it. However, there are a number of ways to assess employee engagement. These include :
Employee engagement survey
Regularly asking employees to complete simple and quick “pulse” surveys can give you an insight into how your employees are feeling. These employee engagement surveys can be done via an online tool, such as SurveyMonkey, or even using a paper questionnaire.
Employee focus groups
Organizing regular focus groups allows you to explore the engagement of employees in more depth. This is an opportunity for employees to share their thoughts and feelings about their work in a safe and confidential environment. These sessions can be run by an external facilitator or someone from within the organization.
Employee one-on-one meetings
One-on-one meetings provide an excellent opportunity to check in with employees and see how they are doing. These regular check-ins show employees that you care about their well-being and are interested in their work.
Employees who are leaving you have nothing to lose in telling you how they really feel about their job satisfaction and your organization. A well-planned and consistent set of questions used at exit interviews will allow you to understand what you could have done better to improve engagement.
Employee Net Promoter Score
This tells you how likely employees would be to recommend you as an employer to others. Highly engaged employees will be more likely to recommend you as an employer. Those who are not engaged will be unlikely to recommend you as an employer.
Several metrics can give you an indication of how successful employee engagement strategy is. Lagging indicators could include sickness absence, number of calls to your EAP, referrals for new starters, and retention rate.
Leading indicators might include attendance at key meetings, involvement in social events, and peer recognition levels.
Employee engagement examples:
Employees can be divided into three main groups when it comes to engagement. These are:
These are the people who care about their work and are committed to your organization’s success. They go above and beyond what is expected of them and are always looking for ways to improve.
Not engaged employees
These are employees who do the bare minimum to get by. They are not interested in their work or your organization’s success.
Actively disengaged employees
These are employees who are actively hostile to your organization. They will do everything they can to undermine your success.
How can an organization improve employee engagement?
Maintaining employee engagement strategies involves changing the way you manage your employees and training managers in this change. Employee engagement needs to be intentional and come from the very top of your organization.
What measures can be taken to increase employee engagement?
To drive employee engagement, consider reviewing the following areas :
Employees who feel they are working for a greater good are more likely to be engaged in their work.
2. Break down silos
Silos can lead to a feeling of isolation and disconnection from the organization. Employees need to feel like they are part of a team working toward a common goal.
3. Support employee well-being
Organizations with successful well-being programs are showing their employees that they genuinely care about their workers. And this has an impact on your employee turnover rate.
4. Ensure regular and clear communication
Engagement happens when employees understand what is happening, and good communication is essential to this.
Communication needs to flow in both directions for employee engagement initiatives to improve. Employees need to feel that they can openly share their thoughts and ideas with management, and management needs to be open to listening to what employees have to say.
3. Provide relevant training and development
Employees want more than a paycheck; they also want to develop professionally. By creating tailored development plans to help your employees develop and advance their careers, you will also increase engagement.
4. Reward and recognize
Hardworking employees deserve to be recognized. What is more, they appreciate that recognition. From an employee of the week to bonus payments and everything in-between, building a little appreciation into your organization can go a long way in building an effective employee engagement strategy.
5. Encourage employee input
Employee input is essential for improving engagement. Asking for employee feedback on a regular basis shows that you are interested in their opinions and that you value their input.
6. Creating a culture of employee engagement
A culture of employee satisfaction and engagement needs to be created from the top down. It starts with senior management setting the tone and leading by example. Preventing employee turnover should be part of your organization’s values and beliefs, and it should be evident in the way you manage your employees.