Employees are the cornerstone of any company’s long-term success, and how engaged your employees are can significantly impact your business's bottom line.
But what exactly is employee engagement, and how do you measure it? In this guide, we'll go over employee engagement, what it is, and other frequently asked questions you may have. Let’s get to it.
Employee Engagement Definition
The definition of employee engagement can vary depending on the source, but two factors define employee engagement. The first is an employee’s commitment to their organization’s goals and overall success. The second is their emotional connection with their work, their co-workers, and the company as a whole. An employee who is highly committed to their organization and emotionally connected to their work could be defined as highly engaged.
Why Is Employee Engagement Important?
Based on the definition above, it’s clear why employee engagement is important. Employees are the backbone of every business, and highly engaged employees can be your company’s greatest asset. Having strong employee engagement can benefit your employees and your company as a whole in several ways.
Engaged employees who are satisfied with their work are more likely to be energized and efficient, which not only improves their own mental health but that of their colleagues too. This, in turn, improves company culture, reduces employee turnover, and makes for more positive interpersonal engagements.
What Are the Benefits of Employee Engagement?
Studies show that engaged teams can benefit your business in many ways. Here are some of the key benefits of employee engagement:
- Increased employee retention and employee well-being
- Improved commitment to professional growth and development
- Greater customer satisfaction
- Higher profits
- Reduced likelihood of workplace injuries and safety incidents
- Less employee absenteeism
- And more
How to Measure Employee Engagement
Unfortunately, measuring employee engagement isn’t as quick and easy as using a tape measure. While there is no one definitive solution for how to measure employee engagement, there are several methods you can use. Each of the methods below provides different insights, and you can gain a better understanding of employee engagement by using multiple simultaneously.
Employee Engagement Surveys
Employee engagement surveys are one of the most effective ways employers can measure engagement throughout their organization. A good employee engagement survey asks questions that can measure how committed employees currently are while also identifying how engagement can be improved in the future.
For example, you might ask employees to rate how much they agree or disagree with the following statements:
- I would recommend this company to others as a great place to work.
- My work is challenging and engaging.
- There are opportunities for career growth and development at this organization.
- My coworkers and supervisors are supportive of me and my work.
- I am paid fairly for the work I do.
For best results, send out employee engagement surveys every six months or even quarterly - but, ultimately, the best cadence will depend on your business. You can supplement annual engagement surveys with more regular pulse surveys to get feedback on any timely issues that arise.
Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)
The Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) goes hand in hand with engagement surveys. The eNPS is measured based on employees' responses to the following question: “On a scale from 1-10, how likely are you to recommend this organization as a place to work?” Employees can then be categorized into three categories based on their scores: promoters, passives, and detractors.
Promoters are employees that responded with scores of nine and ten and can be considered highly engaged. Passives are those that respond with a seven or an eight and may be slightly engaged with their work but aren’t fully committed to the organization and its goals. Employees who respond with a six or lower are considered detractors and are not sufficiently engaged or satisfied with their work.
One-on-one Meetings and Reviews
Periodic one-on-one meetings and annual reviews are also great ways to measure employee engagement, though it’s a less quantitative approach. If you have regular one-on-one meetings with your employees, use these as opportunities to learn more about how engaged your team is with their work. These can be more informal chats to see how employees are doing with their day-to-day responsibilities and if they have any issues that need resolving.
Annual reviews can be more formal discussions about an employee’s performance and future career goals. What you learn in annual reviews can give you a better sense of an employee’s engagement. For example, if an employee regularly struggles to meet sales goals and doesn’t express interest in advancement at the company, these are likely signs of low employee engagement.
Calculating Employee Absenteeism and Turnover Rates
Two indicators of low employee engagement are high absenteeism and turnover rates. High absenteeism and turnover can be related to several workplace issues like poor work-life balance, lack of support from management, no career advancement opportunities, and many others.
If your organization is struggling with high absenteeism and turnover, using the previous methods - in addition to exit interviews - can provide you with feedback to implement any changes needed to boost employee engagement.