Why Should Leaders Measure Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement means different things to different people. Gallup defines employee engagement as “those who are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work.” Harvard Business Review defines employee engagement as people who “want to come to work, understand their jobs, and know how their work contributes to the success of the organization.” At 15Five, we define employee engagement as “those who find work and life consistently energizing, inspiring, and meaningful because they are leveraging their highest strengths, values, and passions.”
Whichever definition you prefer, it’s evident that employee engagement is tied to business outcomes. Gallup reports that organizations in the top quartile of engagement have 10% higher customer ratings, 17% higher productivity, and 21% higher profitability than those in the bottom. A 2017 Jacob Morgan study showed that companies who invested in actual employee engagement had 4x the profit and 2x the revenue than companies who just focused on improving employee engagement numbers.
The bottom line is this: employee engagement is a critical driver of business success in today’s competitive marketplace. However, in order to reap the rewards of a highly engaged workforce, companies first need to know where they’re starting from.
Benefits of Employee Surveys
One of the best ways to understand your employees’ engagement levels and where you can improve is to utilize employee engagement surveys. From there, you can then develop an employee engagement strategy that takes your workforce’s strengths and weaknesses into consideration.
Employee engagement surveys allow you to see what your employees truly think about your organization in a multitude of areas in a safe and comfortable manner. Because the engagement surveys are anonymous, employees can also freely give their honest feedback without fear of retribution.
Typically, companies take an annual engagement survey approach, but this cadence is usually just to get a general view of the company and not dig any deeper. By measuring employee engagement on a quarterly basis, companies can actually start to identify trends within their organization and be proactive in addressing issues before they arise. Through regular back-to-back surveys, leaders can get to know their employees on a much closer level and make effective, faster changes throughout the fiscal year.
Putting Data Into Action
Engagement measurement is only productive if something is done with the results. It may be overwhelming at first to know what to do with all the data after an employee engagement survey. If you feel stuck, it may be beneficial to enlist the help of an engagement survey consultant to help unpack the survey results and roll out an action plan tailored to your organization.
Then, arm your managers with the knowledge and resources needed to further support their team. Many times, the success of an employee engagement strategy depends on these people leaders. If you are proactive in helping managers be proactive, you will be one step closer to a more productive and happier workforce.
Check out 15Five’s employee engagement feature Engage to learn how you can boost the type of engagement that drives performance.