Employee Engagement: Four key considerations for measuring what matters most

What do you want your employee engagement activities and programmes to achieve for your business? Better employee retention (reduced churn)? Improved alignment with corporate goals? An increase in desired behaviours? Or simply better company results?

Measuring engagement and its’ impact begins with identifying meaningful KPIs; and it’s likely that you will have several, perhaps creating a ‘balanced scorecard’ that generates an overall measure that you can use to compare different areas of your business. Whatever measures you choose, here are four key considerations you’ll want to have in mind.

Consider frequency

As an alternative to the traditional ‘annual employee survey’, leading organisations now tend to favour frequent pulse surveys and continuous feedback to get a more timely, accurate, and actionable read on engagement.

For example, weekly pulse surveys ask just a few questions. You could start with something simple, like an Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) to determine how many employees would be willing to recommend your organisation as a place to work.  Asking “Why?” adds a further dimension and gives you better insight to work with. Occasionally repeating the question enables you to track changes.

Consider working relationships

It’s said that people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses. According to a Gallup survey of 1 million employees, a bad boss is the most common reason for leaving a job[1].  So it makes sense to understand the impact of managers on employee engagement in your business, and also the impact of employees on each other.

Retention rates – focus on measuring voluntary turnover.  Are there some areas which are better than others? How do your figures compare to the norm for your industry?

Engagement levels of employees by manager – using your organisation-wide averages, you can then set goals to improve engagement by department. Achievers’ recognition and engagement software can help you with the tracking and analytics.

Impact of disengaged employees – even just one disengaged individual can have an impact on others, and the more you have, the more departmental performance will be affected. Identifying problem areas or clusters is the first step to being able to address and improve any localised issues.

Consider individual performance

Good goals are meant to stretch the abilities of employees. If your measurement shows that 100% of goals are being hit, it’s an indicator that they’re probably being set too low – 60% to 80% achievement is much more realistic.

Set and measure stretch goals – these should take employees out of their comfort zone. Tracking incremental progress and recognising interim achievements keeps everyone motivated to hit important milestones.

Engagement level correlated to goal performance – you can track an employee’s engagement level and match it to their individual performance. Typically, high performers are also highly engaged, so you can address any inconsistencies.

Correlate individual performance results and organisational results   your performance and engagement can show you who the true leaders and champions are in your organisation, often visible as individuals whose performance resonates beyond their department.

Consider context

Bear in mind that engagement levels will show trend lines as your organisation goes through its own highs and lows. When you’re comparing current results with historical data, make sure you understand what was going on in the business at that time. For example, when the company is performing well, engagement surveys help you to understand the human factors which have driven that success. You may find that a policy or a change in a department was the key to your good fortune.

And because different areas of your organisation will show different results, it makes sense to use the data as a discussion starter to make sure engagement is on the right track, and to capture and share best practices. Even the best programmes are tools – and it’s how they’re used and applied that makes all the difference.

For more information, inspiration and practical resources, visit http://www.achievers.com/resource/

About Achievers

The Achievers employee recognition and engagement platform provides you with the tools and insight you need to change the way your business works. So if you’re interested in measuring engagement and using the results to improve business performance, we can help.

Find out more at www.achievers.com or get in touch with Mark Baldwin, one of our engagement professionals.
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +44 (0)7791 510037

[1] https://hbr.org/2016/09/why-people-quit-their-jobs

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