What is Employee Engagement?

Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement in a Nutshell

We know, engaged employees lead to a higher performing, more pliable organization. This is a state which most organization aim to achieve. But, do you know that the global employee engagement scores are stagnated at a surprising 32% in 2018 (Gallup). Startling right? So what exactly is employee engagement?

Employee engagement represents the levels of enthusiasm and the emotional connect that employees have with their organization. It is a measure of how motivated are the employees in an organization and show signs of commitment they are to staying in the organization.

Many organizations would want to promote greater levels of employee engagement to improve employee performance, employee retention, and similar traits. Using an employee engagement survey is a good way to measure employee engagement within the organization and help drive action over a period of time.

Learn more: Employee Safety Survey Questions + Sample Questionnaire Template

Employee Engagement Survey Questions

Employee engagement can be measured by asking one most important question in the survey, “On a scale from 0-10 how likely are you to recommend our organization to your family and friend as a place to work?”

This question is the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) questions that not only helps organizations measure employee engagement but also employee loyalty and employee satisfaction.

The Employee Net Promoter question is a solid start because by measuring the responses received to this question you can determine the willingness of the employees to stay in the organization. Based on the responses the employees can be divided into 3 distinct categories much like how Net Promoter Score works:

Detractors– Those who rate the organization between 0-6. They will spread a negative word of mouth that will possibly do damage to the organization’s reputation.

Passives- Those who rate the organization between 7-8. They are neither emotionally attached to the organization nor are they distracted.

Promoters- Those who rate the organization between 9-10. They are the most engaged employee and certainly spread a positive word of mouth.

Because, it’s just one question, you can begin to correlate it to other drivers in your organization. For example, if everyone who responds to that question with a 9 or 10 (Promoters) also say they experience a lot of open and honest communication, then you should probably figure out ways of promoting better communication channels within the organization.

Learn more: Employee Wellness Survey Questions + Sample Questionnaire Template

Measuring Employee Engagement

One of the simplest yet one of the most accurate methods of understanding employee engagement is to deploy an employee engagement survey. Because employee engagement is an outcome, you can use questions in your survey that will help you measure the levels of employee engagement in your organization. Each organization is bound to have its unique level of employee engagement. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you measure employee engagement:

1. When you deploy a survey to measure the engagement levels of your employees keep the survey to the point and accurate.

2. Employee engagement driver analysis gives you an idea of the grey areas and suggestive actions to remove those.

3. Benchmark the data you have obtained by deploying the survey, benchmarking gives you relevant content for your survey results. It is important to have an internal year on year comparison for your survey data as well as external benchmarking.

Learn more: Happiness Survey for Employees + Sample Questionnaire Template

Why Should You Measure Employee Engagement?

You may feel, mine is a small organization, why do I need to go through the painful process of creating and deploying a survey to collect data and analyze it when I can simply ask my employees how engaged they feel at work in the corridors or even in the smoking area, think twice! Here are some of the reasons you need to measure employee engagement.

1. When you systematically measure employee engagement it gives your Human Resource department to draw meaningful actions that will help your employees perform better at work.

2. Collecting timely information can help you reduce the damage. If you know your employees are not engaged enough, you can find the root cause of the problem early on and take corrective measures. This is called damage control.

3. Employee engagement survey helps collect meaningful feedback from the employees. Feedback is the key as it is the collective voice of the employees rather than just a few loud voices.

Learn more: HR Effectiveness Survey Questions + Sample Questionnaire Template

Benefits of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement has become the point of focus in today’s fast-paced work environment, because organizations are finally beginning to grasp that, “happy employees build happy customers.” On the other hand, disengaged employees cost over $550 billion in the U.S alone.

Engaged and motivated workers have higher levels of employee satisfaction and the benefits of employee engagement can be summed up as follows:

1. Higher levels of Employee Satisfaction: Employee Satisfaction is the key to a happy workforce and this stands true for any organization. If employees are not satisfied they lack the enthusiasm and ownership for any work they are assigned to carry out. This poorly reflects on them and on the company’s growth.  

Not to mention a disengaged or employees with poor levels of job satisfaction costs dearly to the organization.  On the other hand, satisfied employees are more likely to produce quality work that will positively affect the organization.

2. Lower levels of employee attrition: High levels of employee attrition speaks poorly of the organization’s image. Employees who are not engaged enough in their work tend to quit their current jobs and move to an organization where they think they will be able to perform better. The hiring and onboarding of new employees can be very expensive and time-consuming. A higher level of engagements will help you retain your best performers.

3. Better productivity: An engaged workforce works faster and more accurately than their counterparts. When employees are motivated and engaged in the activities that they are performing, they end up performing better. According to a study carried out by Gallup, engaged employees are 17% more productive at work. Furthermore, engaged employees set an example for their peers to put in their best efforts.

4. Increase in company revenue: Employee who are more engaged at work, work harder than the others, to produce quality work that in turn makes the customers/clients and of course, it no-brainer happy customers are returning customers. Returning customers are eventually loyal customers and this certainly impacts the revenue of the organization in a positive way. It’s a simple strategy to increase your company’s revenue and profitability.

5. Less number of absent days: Engaged employees tend to take less number of sick days precisely, 41% reduced leaves. The issues with disengaged employees are they don’t feel the sense of responsibility towards the organization they work in as compared to the engaged employees who have no issues showing up at work as they feel they are an integral part of the organization.

Finally, it is an undisputed fact that an engaged workforce can go above and beyond of what they are asked to do for the organization and this is every organization’s dream to employ people with such high levels of commitment. In return an organization can offer the following benefits to keep its employees happy:

  • Annual holidays: Promote annual holidays, for employees to achieve a better work-life balance.
  • Gym membership: Both physical and mental health is important if you want an engaged workforce. Promote the importance of good health and mental well-being amongst your employees.
  • Free and healthy food options: Have your canteen serve healthy food to help your employee eat good and stay healthy.
  • Easy transportation: Offer employees transportation facilities at an optimum cost, promote carpooling, cab services at a subsidized cost, so they don’t have to worry about the tensions caused by driving and as an organization you can promote effective measures to control pollution.