Engagement is a tough word to define in terms of quantifying it or defining what exactly it is. This is why measuring employee engagement is a complex thing to do. A lot of things need to come together to keep an employee engaged. Measuring employee engagement is like measuring the relationship with a closed one, there is no one factor that you keep in mind when evaluating it.
What is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement can be defined as the employee’s loyalty, job satisfaction, and freedom to be creative, ability to work towards the organization’s goals. Measuring employee engagement becomes important since an employee who feels that they are a vital cog in the company will be more enthused to make sure that the organization not only survives but thrives.
Employees who have a fulfilling job ensure that they work towards making the workplace better, are keen towards innovating, collaborate to create successful projects and so on. When an employee is ‘engaged’, they will go above and beyond their job descriptions. They become invested in the company and put much more effort than you can expect from them. So yeah, the question of what employee engagement is sorted now!
Here are some ways in which you can boost employee engagement and keep your employee’s morale high:
1. Face To Face Meetings
A lot of people leave their jobs because they don’t feel valued by their employers. It has been proven by research that money might not always be the biggest motivator, being recognized for one’s job is a big aspect in keeping employees engaged. Referring people as ‘resources’, although technically correct, you are making them feel like a commodity. An employee who wants to vent their emotions out should be given an outlet to do so where they are allowed to have face-to-face interactions with their managers.
In fact, there are companies with happiness officers whose only objective is to keep the employees happy and motivated. Make sure that the employees get to engage with their managers face-to-face where they can discuss anything that is troubling them. By doing this, you create an environment of trust where employees feel that they can open up about their troubles. Such meetings help managers in getting employee feedback and understanding their satisfaction and happiness levels with the company.
2. Employee Net Promoter Score
One of the simplest methods to measure employee engagement is by using Employee NPS. The same NPS question that you ask your customers is tweaked a bit to arrive at this. Here’s a bonus read if you want to know what is the best NPS score to have.
Here is the Employee NPS question:
“Would you be willing to recommend the organization as a good place to work?”
”Would you be willing to recommend the products/services they sell?
Based on this score, you can gauge the satisfaction level of your employee. You can ask follow-up questions to the employee according to the NPS score given (here’s a quick NPS calculator) and see how you can make the workplace and culture better.
3. Conducting Exit Interviews
Exit interviews are pivotal to understand a lot of things, although it can be a case of too little and too late because the employee has already decided to leave the company. Using exit interviews to see what kept the employees engaged and what did not is a good employee engagement strategy to collect feedback. Most organizations conduct exit interviews and its goal is to find out from the employee what could have been done to keep them engaged and stay with the company for a longer duration.
Here are some of the questions that you could ask during exit interviews:
- Why are you leaving the company?
- Is there any incident that prompted you to leave the company?
- How was your relationship with your peers?
- How was your relationship with your manager?
- What did you like about your job?
- What are the things you disliked about the job here?
- Is there anything we can do to make you stay with the organization?
- What are the things you think should be changed in the organization to make it a better place to work?
4. Give Feedback Frequently
Waiting a whole year to give feedback might not be the smartest thing to do as a business. Give feedback at regular intervals so that the employees are on their toes and also know the expectations the company has from them. By giving feedback quickly and frequently, you give them the opportunity to change their habits and are able to get the best output from them that way.
Have frequent face-to-face interactions with your employees and in these meetings inform your employees about the changes that you expect in terms of behavior and work ethic. Giving feedback in real-time helps alter their behavior according to the expectations of the organization. Such actions also mean that they will be fully engaged with the company and feel valued.
Also, when you are giving feedback to your employees, make sure it is tied to a goal. This way it becomes easy for you to measure the progress of the employee by easily tracking their performance and can use metrics to gauge them. When there is a specific objective tied to the feedback, it becomes much more tangible a request and one can draft a step by step process to achieve the same.
5. Recognize Your Employees At Regular Intervals
It is a simple human expectation from your employees that they are recognized and acknowledged for the work that they do. Unfortunately, not a lot of leaders and organizations put any effort to make this happen. In fact, there have been many studies which say that the lack of appreciation and not feeling valued is one of the top reasons why people leave companies.
If your company does not have a policy of recognizing its employees, then it needs to set up one immediately. It is easy to confuse recognition with some kind of rewards system. Recognition is simply being acknowledged for a job well done, it is as simple as that. Saying a few nice words in praise about your employee’s outstanding work is one of the simplest and most transformative actions that you can take to score high when measuring employee engagement score.
6. Create An Atmosphere Where Employees Engage With Each Other
While allowing the employees to engage with each other might seem like a normal thing, unfortunately, is not the case usually across most organizations. There are a lot of businesses that do not believe in creating an open atmosphere where employees can talk to each other freely without any bias.
There are companies where managers are given a free rein where they make the employees live in constant fear, anxiety and are always trying to impress the manager. Keeping the employees ‘sane’ in most cases are their peers with whom they share a nice relationship. But creating an atmosphere where all the employees are equally satisfied is when the manager and the management’s only aim is to keep the employees happy and they are trying to outdo each other for the benefits of the company.
Make sure that each employee in your organization is given the comfort to talk to any of the managers and share their concerns. The job of the manager is not about finding the weakness of the employees, but identifying where they could be really shining. It is in the hands of the management to create a safe environment and ensure that everyone is approachable.
7. Have High Values And Stick To Your Principle
One important criterion for most companies when they are looking to hire someone is to see if they are a culture fit, but there is one more aspect that needs to be considered: value fit. For an employee to feel some sort of connection with the organization, their values should align with those of their company. But to achieve this you need to outline what your values are and what are the things that you believe in.
Write down the values, spread the word and make sure the message reaches all employees and ensure that your employees are connected with the mission. The values of your company should be incorporated into different areas in your organization and at each area where you interact with your employees.
8. Elements Of Satisfaction
We have already reiterated earlier how money is not the only source of motivation for people in the workplace. When salary is no longer an issue, there are other things that employees (read people) consider close to their hearts. Adding such benefits to their work life makes a lot of difference to them. People value the ability to share their minds and work-life balance as important concepts in their life. Businesses need to be educated about the aspirations of its employees.
Here are some of the ways in which you can keep your employees motivated:
- Provide ergonomic furniture to keep them away from any injuries
- Allow them to take time for themselves when they are down
- Provide clarity with regards to their job roles
- Give them access to tools that make their job easier
- Provide them with the right resources to do their work
- Allow them the space to talk their minds
- Do not create hierarchical divides
As a business that wants to be successful, your job is to make sure there is no fear in the workplace to ensure they are in a sound and safe environment. Set meetings often with the employees to ensure that the expectations of their job are similar to your expectations from them. Measure the results they have given instead of the amount of time they spend in the office. In short, do all that is possible within your power to keep your employees satisfied.
9. Do This After Measuring Employee Engagement
Haven’t we heard time and again how honesty is the best policy and when you are dealing with the aftermath of measuring employee engagement, it pays best to be open with them. Since you have asked for their opinion about how they feel about working at the company and assuming that they had suggested changes, it is imperative that you tell them what the action plans are based on their feedback.
Here is what you can do based on the employee engagement exercise.
- Share The Results With Them
Once you have sent out a survey, thank them for their time and once you have the results from everyone, it is time that you share the results with them and inform how you are going to make things right by making changes based on their suggestions. The team leaders and project managers should interact with each of its employees in person and tell them the follow-up steps that are going to be taken.
- Identify Areas That Need Improvement
While there might be a lot of things that were suggested, do not put pressure on yourself by wanting to change everything that was told. Take two or three pressing matters that need an immediate overhaul and affects the company and the morale of the employees directly. Form a small team and discuss the following:
- Parameters based on which the changes will be made
- Timeline to complete it
- Personnel who are taking responsibility for them
- Preparing milestones
- Rinse And Repeat
Once you start seeing a spike while measuring employee engagement based on the action taken in the previous engagement session, it is imperative that you not stop with that alone. Keep asking for feedback from your employees at regular intervals so that they feel valued. The process should be repeated over and over again. Remember this, engagement needs a lot of initiative and it is important to keep yourself on top of things so that your employees don’t stray and lose focus.
While some of the things might be overwhelming, do not feel that way because the results that you get from implementing some of them is immense. Start small and scale slowly once you see the effects of your previous work. Give time for your employees to make themselves better and invest your time and effort in making them achieve their best self. After measuring employee engagement, the subsequent steps that you take will go a long way in creating a culture of happy, healthy and highly motivated employees.
Implement all of the changes that were suggested by the employees, see the kind of change in the engagement that you see, put your plan into action and see if it gave results. Regularly survey your employees to keep track of the changes that happen. When you are making some changes in one department, there might be cracks that appear in another, you need to be able to tackle them as well. Measure the success of the survey by seeing the contribution that has been made by the employees for the success of the business. Use an online survey tool like Survey Sparrow to measure employee engagement.