Employee engagement matters – here’s how to measure it

The term “employee engagement” is used almost as often as the office coffee maker. These two words are tossed around in discussions regarding performance, productivity and profitability.

But what exactly is employee engagement? How do you measure it? And why should you care?

Defining employee engagement

Employee engagement is the degree to which an employee is committed to and satisfied with their work. It typically falls under one of three categories:

Engaged

The employee believes in the business, wants to improve their work and the work of those around them, is willing to do what it takes to help the organization succeed, and is motivated by their leaders. Efficiency and enthusiasm are tell-tale traits of the engaged worker.

Not engaged

The employee does little more than the bare minimum, doesn’t show much passion for their job, and only works for a steady paycheck. Disengaged workers are often engaged workers who’ve lost their zeal for the job for one reason or another.

Actively disengaged

The employee dislikes their job and makes their dissatisfaction known wherever they go. They readily broadcast their negativity, which can hamper attitudes across the organization and drag others down with them.

A study by Dale Carnegie Training and MSW Research revealed that of the more than 1,500 employees surveyed, 29% of the workforce is engaged, 45% is not engaged, and 26% is actively disengaged.

0 %
Engaged
0 %
Not Engaged
0 %
Disengaged
Some degree of disengagement 71%

With 71% of the workforce displaying some degree of disengagement, this is an issue burdening most companies.

Measure employee engagement

The most effective way to measure employee engagement is by asking questions. Consider conducting one-on-one interviews or deploying a survey developed specifically to measure employee engagement. A few sample survey questions might include:

  • My manager effectively communicates my goals as they relate to the larger goals of the company.
  • I know what my manager expects of me to successfully perform my job.
  • The company provides me with the tools and equipment I need to successfully perform my job.
  • I receive timely, constructive feedback
  • I have easy access to training, support, feedback and coaching to improve my performance.

By rating responses from, 1-5, you can capture a quantitative measure of employee engagement. In the same vein, regularly scheduled performance reviews add a degree of accountability, ensuring that all employees are aware of the expectations regarding their work.

Cultivating engagement

We know that companies grow because of the people in them, and employees who are engaged are more efficient and enthusiastic. They lift up the rest of your staff, and can have a positive ripple effect on your company’s culture. An engaged staff is a powerful force for growth. 

Boosting employee engagement means cultivating it. Regularly checking your employee engagement pulse is important. Things happen (or not), attitudes change, people burn out, and so on. By caring whether your employees are engaged or not, you’ve taken the first step to becoming a more engaged employer! 

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