How to measure employee engagement

In a business landscape where retaining top talent is becoming increasingly challenging, discovering a dependable method to gauge employee engagement is crucial. As individuals fundamental to your business, ensuring that your employees are satisfied and actively involved in their roles is paramount.

The responsibility falls upon HR professionals to continually devise strategies to increase morale, and to quantify employee engagement to validate the effectiveness of these strategies. In this article, we’ll discuss the concept of engagement at its core and suggest several ways to measure employee engagement within your organization.

Unravelling the concept of employee engagement

Before diving into how to measure employee engagement, it is critical to grasp what the term truly implies. Employee engagement is a holistic term that encompasses not just employee satisfaction (which is undeniably crucial), but also the degree to which employees are committed to the company’s future growth.

On a day-to-day basis, an employee may be pleased with their job and the perks that come along with it, but what happens when a new opportunity arises? Would they be quick to jump ship or be open to discussions about how to enhance their current situation?

With the estimated cost of hiring a new employee standing at 20-30% of the job’s final salary (excluding the time factor), it’s not surprising that companies are striving to retain engaged employees rather than seeking fresh recruits – it’s a smart business decision.

Strategies to measure employee engagement

What are the ways to effectively measure employee engagement? Although a somewhat subjective concept, a wealth of data is available to help guide your actions and strategic planning, and the techniques to gather this data are quite straightforward.

1. Engagement Surveys

While it might seem like an obvious choice, there’s a reason why surveys are popular. Administering surveys to gauge employee engagement offers numerous benefits, whether conducted digitally or using traditional paper-based methods.

Opinions vary on whether these surveys should be anonymous, and the overall consensus is divided. Anonymous surveys often solicit more candid responses from staff who wish to voice grievances or general issues, but they can be skewed towards negativity.

If your organization’s culture is under scrutiny or there’s resentment towards the leadership, you’re likely to receive more critical than constructive feedback. Not that negative feedback is bad – it can provide clear areas for improvement. However, the inability to follow up on such responses and pinpoint where specific improvements are needed may render this method less practical.

2. Focus Groups

Focus groups can serve as an excellent medium to assess company-wide employee engagement, particularly if you wish to promote candid discussions. People tend to be more open about their opinions in groups of like-minded individuals.

Employee focus groups can instigate conversations that lead to collective ideas for changes that directly affect staff. Listening to these dialogues can provide valuable insight into your strategic direction, as they offer a broader and more comprehensive perspective.

3. Individual Interviews

If you’re noticing high attrition rates in certain departments or signs of disengagement, scheduling individual interviews may be a prudent approach. Besides being an effective method to gather employees’ opinions, these sessions also offer an opportunity to check on their well-being and overall job satisfaction on a more personal level.

Such interactions can make your employees feel valued and may foster more honest conversations in a confidential setting.

Interpreting your findings

Employee engagement is a subjective concept, so unless you’re conducting a survey with specific metrics (e.g., x% of staff know the company’s goal for the upcoming year), it might be challenging to leverage your findings to effect significant change.

Having clear engagement targets is a good starting point. These goals will help you create relevant questions or statements to ensure your efforts align with the company’s vision. A Harvard study found that individuals with clear goals were ten times more successful than those without.

Here are a few employee engagement objectives you could consider:

Keep staff absences under x% for the quarter

  • Maintain staff retention above x%
  • Ensure staff regularly open internal newsletters and communications
  • Maintain a positive company reputation on platforms like Glassdoor

With a clear objective, you can identify specific keywords and actions that demonstrate engagement, and your data collection methods can reflect these metrics.

Straightforward tactics to enhance employee engagement

With your findings and the specific metrics in hand, you can make changes that directly align with your objectives.

Addressing their concerns

If your employees have entrusted you with honest and specific feedback, it’s your responsibility to address any raised concerns or issues. Cultivating the belief among your employees that their voices are being heard is vital for the sustained success of your employee engagement initiatives.

Benefits and rewards

Once the important aspects have been addressed, you can explore additional benefits or rewards. Employees who feel valued and acknowledged are more likely to invest in the business’s success, making the task of measuring and maintaining employee engagement a rewarding process for HR teams.

A better workplace pension

Adding a pool table or arranging paid team activities isn’t sufficient anymore. Employees crave benefits that truly matter and that they can utilise.

One of the most desired benefits is a workplace pension. Given that financial security is a primary reason why many of us work, it can play a pivotal role in fostering a lasting relationship between staff and the company.

Penfold is an award-winning workplace pension provider designed to enable employees to take control of their savings and secure their financial future. Find out how Penfold helps HR teams engage, attract and retain the best talent.

Request more information today to see how businesses are providing great pension experiences for thousands of employees with Penfold.