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How to Measure Employee Engagement

Dec 12, 2017

Written by: Tricia Mikolai
(View Author Bio)

It’s easier than you think to measure employee engagement; the challenges are staying consistent in your measurement approach and acting on your results to improve.

Why measure engagement

Engaged employees do good work because they want to, not because they have to. These employees are “intrinsically” motivated – and have proven to be more productive, safer and customer-centric. The more of them  you have, the greater success your organisation will achieve. If you’re not measuring how motivated your employees are, you can’t change their mindsets from “have to” to “want to.”

Formal measurement

There are many formal tools you can use to quantify engagement: annual surveys, employee Net Promoter Scores, performance reviews and exit interviews. Each of these methods provides a snapshot in time of how engaged your employees are. While beneficial, these tools primarily provide insight regarding how the employees feel at the time of responding. Because our attitudes change daily, much less quarterly or annually, these once or twice per annum snapshots may not give you the complete picture.

Informal measurement

Informal measurement can be difficult to document, but it is valuable because it’s more frequently gathered and can normalise any extreme but inconsistent high and low attitudes. For example – an employee is having a really bad day, and responding to an annual survey on that day is going to skew the data. That single response is not a good overall insight into the employee’s regular level of engagement. Informal measurement tools can provide a more accurate picture, such as pulse surveys, one-on-one meetings, recognition program activity, personal leave used and goals achieved.

Next steps

Once you have a measurement plan, it’s time to communicate. The single most important driver in successfully measuring and improving engagement is for employees to understand what you’re asking. Share your goals, your reasons and how you’re performing. Communicate and measure consistently and take action based on your measurement results.

Tricia Mikolai

Managing Director BI WORLDWIDE - Oceania

Tricia Mikolai is the Managing Director of BI WORLDWIDE – Oceania region. With almost a decade of experience in behaviour change programs, Tricia is responsible for leading multiple successful initiatives to help Fortune 1000 companies drive performance improvement. She is committed to sharing her knowledge and experience with business leaders to help them drive and sustain business results.