With an increase in the awareness of HR best practices, Senior and Mid-level managers have realized the significance of employee engagement and accepted its influence on productivity. It is the driving force that enables a workforce to work towards the company’s mission and vision. If you have begun thinking about ways to boost employee engagement, then there are two prerequisites that you are missing out on — assessing and monitoring employee engagement.
Even before you start implementing employee engagement strategies, you must have the necessary protocols in place to assess and monitor employee engagement. That’s because you need to know where you currently stand and where you are heading. Also, you must monitor and assess employee engagement after implementing each strategy and track its progress.
Monitoring employee engagement can seem like rocket science at first, but if you stay with us until the end, you’ll figure out that it isn’t as complicated as it seems. However, one must choose assessment and monitoring techniques depending on the size of an organization, nature of the business, and certain other inherent factors.
Why Assess Employee Engagement?
Did you know that close to 33% employees plan to keep their jobs and work for the same organization while only 18% are engaged in what they do? While this 18% also plan to stick to their jobs, they are likely to be more productive because they are engaged. They are not a victim of circumstances pressing them to keep their jobs, nor do they wish to cling on because they lack opportunities. Instead, this 18 % wish to stay because they are eager to contribute to the organization’s success.
That explains why it is imperative for businesses to work towards boosting employee engagement, but before doing that they need to know where they stand. Thereafter, repeated assessment of employee engagement is essential to evaluate which HR strategies are working and which aren’t. Based on this data, the organization can make key financial decisions such as whether or not to continue a particular HR policy.
So, if the town halls are conducted way too often and are resulting in loss of productive time, then a suitable decision can be made. Likewise, if bi-weekly team outings can be reduced to monthly outings as things improve and the team becomes well-acquainted with one another, then it can help cut back expenses. Since both time and money are of the essence, it is essential to measure the effectiveness of employee engagement strategies from time to time.
How to Measure Employee Engagement?
The easiest and most cost-effective way to measure employee engagement is through surveys. However, for higher precision, you need to lay down metrics based on which you would be conducting the study.
You can do this by seeking answers for a variety of questions, such as goal-oriented or satisfaction-based questions. Goal-oriented questions are the ones that let you evaluate whether the employee is working towards the company’s mission. On the other hand, satisfaction-based questions tell you about how an employee feels about the company or his job profile.
For a more quantitative study, you need to take into account absenteeism and average hours worked. The idea is that an employee has higher attendance and puts in more hours at work only when the employee is engaged. If you run a small business, then you can also measure employee engagement based on conversion rates. So, as it is evident, there are both qualitative and quantitative aspects that must be taken into account while measuring employee engagement.
Also, employee engagement has a direct impact on employee productivity as such professionals are driven towards excelling at what they do. So, measuring employee productivity from time to time is something that you must not neglect.
If you are thinking of designing yet another survey to measure productivity, then you don’t have to. That’s because measuring and monitoring productivity is as easy as installing a software application like EmpMonitor on the employee’s system. Once you’ve done that, then you can easily pull out monthly reports based on data such as keystrokes, application-wise usage, and more.
The best part is that you can automatically compile and download the report as a PDF document, at the click of a button. You can do this for individual employees or for an entire team to assess and evaluate how your engagement strategy is working.
Let us now discuss some scientifically proven and effective ways to monitor and assess employee engagement.
Sample Group Assessment
Microsoft has a total of 151,163 employees, Apple has around 1,37,000, and Google has 114,096 employees. Now, these are not the only companies that hire thousands of employees across tens of departments. That explains why interviewing each and every employee may not be feasible to assess employee engagement. That’s where sample group-based testing comes handy, which makes use of the time-tested research technique which involves creating and evaluating a sample group.
So, in the case of a very large organization, it only makes sense to choose a department-wise sample group. This involves creating a separate group for every department. Smaller organizations can create a single but diverse sample group with employees from various departments.
However, make it a point to limit the group to a maximum of 12 members to get the best results. Once you have shortlisted candidates and formed the sample group, then have a one-on-one conversation with each employee. Try to frame questions that let you find out how satisfied the employees are with their jobs, whether they trust their immediate managers, and if they have access to the tools and training required to outperform in their job roles.
Measure Impact on Productivity
According to statistics, a lack of employee engagement costs businesses up to 605 billion dollars each year. That’s a good reason to have a reliable yardstick to measure employee engagement. After all, highly engaged employees are found to be more dedicated to the success of an organization. As a result, they are more productive in their job roles. So, it only makes sense to use productivity as a yardstick to monitor employee engagement. You can measure productivity with employee monitoring and tracking software like EmpMonitor, which quantifies the data into a simplified report.
Use Utrecht Employee Engagement Measurement Scale
One way of measuring employee engagement is by using the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES), which is widely used by businesses across the globe to determine how engaged their employees are. This scale makes use of three key indicators — Vigor, Dedication, and Absorption — to assess employee engagement. Each of the three indicators is measured on a frequency scale of 0 to 6.
- Vigor refers to mental strength and resilience while at work, which is justified by one’s persistent attempts to complete complex tasks against all odds.
- Dedication refers to how important and valued employees feel and how much pride they take in what they do for an organization.
- Absorption refers to concentration level or how engrossed employees are in their work.
So, if your company has a good number of workaholics who put in extra hours at work, then chances are that your employee engagement is high.
Evaluate the Health of Your Employees
Employee engagement is all about employees taking pride in what they do, and that won’t happen if you have a bunch of employees that are stressed out. So, if your employees have been experiencing regular health concerns, especially those linked to stress and mental health, then it is time to take some necessary decisions.
Running a pulse survey or a sample survey along with a quick peep into the productivity reports will indicate the problem areas. Sometimes there could be more such cases coming from a particular department, especially when there are fewer resources as compared to the workload.
In that case, there is a need to restructure and hire more resources. So, although you may have set out to assess employee engagement, there’s much more information out there that can help the overall growth of an organization.
According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, there is a direct relationship between employee engagement and employee retention rate. So, a quick study of an organization’s retention rate gives a clear picture of its employee engagement status. Therefore, organizations operating businesses that require highly technical and competitive skills must strive to increase employee engagement. Doing that allows you to get the most out of your existing employees and eliminates the need to hire new talent, which is often more expensive.
Conduct periodical pulse surveys
Pulse surveys are gaining rapid popularity as an efficacious employee engagement tool. It involves gauging employee satisfaction with regard to their job role and other factors that influence their performance.
Ideally, organizations must conduct quarterly pulse surveys because that’s the whole idea behind this type of survey — to know the pulse of the employees. Therefore, it is best conducted more frequently than other types of traditional surveys, which are either annual or bi-annual.
Pulse surveys can also be conducted to gauge the pulse of the employees when a new HR policy is rolled out to boost employee engagement. It tells you if that’s truly working as intended or needs another gentle nudge. The questions could be as simple as asking employees how likely they are to recommend the company to a near one, or something about the company’s mission statement.
However, the answers are invaluable because it helps you figure out how the employee feels about the organization. To make things easier, always stick to asking objective type questions with responses collected on a scale of 0 to 10.
Companies with strong leadership are likely to draw more employee engagement than others. That’s because the employees have the satisfaction of working under someone they look up to and probably even idolize. According to a study conducted by Psychologists Kim Peters and Alex Haslam, employees tend to look up to leaders who do not shy away from working shoulder to shoulder on regular projects.
So, if you are in a leadership role and there’s someone struggling with a complex issue that your expertise can solve, then go for it. That will not only inspire your subordinates but will also compel them to work harder.
The above mentioned are some of the most trusted methods that you can use to monitor and assess employee engagement effectively. If you are unsure of which method to choose, then the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale would be your best bet. Whichever method you choose, executing it successfully with absolute precision is half the battle won. That’s because when you monitor and assess employee engagement from time to time, you are in a better position to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each strategy. Unless there is a way to measure success or failure, one may never know the consequences of one’s actions.
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