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Measuring Employee Engagement in the Workplace
A common mistake that business owners make is confusing employee engagement with employee happiness. While the two are related, they are not the same thing. For example, an employee may be happy in his or her position, but still may not be engaged.
Employee engagement refers specifically to the extent to which your members of staff feel motivated, involved, and committed to their job and your company— their level of engagement is imperative to the employee experience, the work environment and the company’s health as a whole.
The importance of employee engagement cannot be overstated, because it drives employee performance. You may not realize it, but around 51 percent of employees are considering a different job, which is why it’s important to know that employee engagement strategies can reduce turnover and can also increase efficiency and productivity.
Why it’s Important to Measure Employee Engagement
Engagement is vital for your organization’s success. It happens when your team understands your company’s goals and plays an active part in helping your business achieve those goals. If you don’t measure employee engagement, you are not going to know how your employees feel about their jobs or how they are performing. Some key factors to consider:
- Your employees should be aware of what you expect from them in their respective positions. They should also know that you will measure their performance.
- Your company should give your employees opportunities to develop their career by offering training programs and development opportunities.
- Your company’s managers and leaders should support personal growth in your employees.
How to Measure Employee Engagement
Many companies struggle with measuring employee engagement, but there are several strategies you can implement, which will help you to keep abreast of just how productive and committed your employees are. These include:
- Anonymous surveys: Anonymous surveys provide a good strategy and insights for measuring employee engagement since employees know that they will not be judged for any comments they make. They allow your staff members an opportunity to state their views and concerns honestly. Employees who feel that they have a voice in the workplace are more likely to be engaged and productive than those who do not feel so empowered.
Survey results can also help your company if you make sure they ask direct questions. This will make it easier for you to assess employee’s opinions on those topics. Your HR team can then use this data to increase employee satisfaction and can use the information to measure engagement over time. It’ll also give a foundation to implement strategies for overall improvement within the organization.
Bear in mind that some employees are concerned that these surveys are not truly anonymous, which may hold them back from expressing their true feelings. It can also be tricky to have the survey questions broad enough for all your employees to answer, while at the same time allowing them to express specific concerns.
- One-on-Ones: Having a one-on-one meeting with an employee can be helpful if you are noticing problems with a particular employee. Having regular, informal 30-minute chats with employees is a good way for you to gain insight into what is going on with them at work and in their personal life.
Because it is a private, confidential conversation, you will be able to pick up a lot of detail about each issue of concern and get honest employee feedback. It is also a good time to encourage and support employees about opening up. The information you gain from a one-on-one meeting will help you structure a plan for dealing with employee concerns, helping to improve employee engagement.
When you are setting up one-on-one meetings, prepare in advance by creating a list of questions that will allow and encourage employees to speak freely. Do not be judgmental about your employee’s responses. A good way to maximize time in these meetings is to prepare feedback in advance and take this opportunity to recognize their contributions to the company.
- Presence in the workplace: Absenteeism is an unavoidable challenge for any company. Monitoring presence and absenteeism is a good way to measure employee engagement. Take a look at which employees are frequently absent, and which ones frequently arrive late and/or leave early. Frequent absenteeism is a clear indicator that engagement is waning.
High absenteeism is also an indicator of low job satisfaction, which can quickly convert to high employee turnover. Turnover is another indicator of poor employee engagement. These factors combined can show you which employees you need to talk to.
Having a one-on-one meeting with employees who are frequently late or absent can help you to understand what issues they are dealing with. For example, they may have problems at home, financial issues, or ongoing health problems. Talking to them individually can help your HR and management team devise ways to improve employee physical, financial, and emotional health and thus improve engagement. Exit interviews can also give you a heads up on your employee turnover.
- Employee performance: Employee performance directly affects the running and profitability of your company. Signs that your employees may not be performing to their best capacity include:
- Poor productivity
- Dissatisfied customers
- Reduced customer loyalty
- Negative customer and past/ current employee reviews
- Poor brand image
Your HR team needs to address employee performance issues as soon as they arise. They should have a one-on-one conversation with the employee and express clear expectations of their role within the company. Employee development should be a top priority in these cases, and employers and managers should take immediate steps to improve employee morale to empower workers to do their jobs well.
- Employee Attitude: If an employee has a bad attitude with supervisors or other workers, this can be an indication of poor engagement. Your management team may notice this simply by being present in the workspace. However, on other occasions, it may be brought to your attention by a complaint from another employee.
In this case, don’t be tempted to simply write off the employee as having a personality problem. They could be dealing with large amounts of stress or personal issues at home — Use the situation to help make the employee part of the solution by giving him or her a safe space to discuss the issues at hand. Encourage the employee to discuss positive aspects of the company as well as negative ones. Work together to develop an action plan for change. If this does not produce results, always know when it’s time to let an employee go. You can’t always fix a bad attitude. If you have given the employee an opportunity to change, and this has not succeeded, then he or she may just not be right for your company.
There are numerous benefits to having these insights into your employee engagement, including:
- Helping to build a stronger company culture
- Keeping employees happy at work
- Developing wellness programs in the workplace
- Reducing employee turnover
- Improving employee productivity
- Increasing employee loyalty
There are many ways you can improve employee engagement in the workplace. One of the most important ones is to offer an employee financial wellbeing program. This can reduce employee stress and increase engagement and productivity, particularly when employees are facing an unexpected financial crisis. At TrueConnect, we offer safe and affordable employee loan solutions at no cost to the employer. Contact our team today to find out if your company is eligible.