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Measuring the Unmeasurable: Employee Engagement (+KPIs)

Measuring the Unmeasurable: Employee Engagement (+KPIs)

To develop effective employee engagement strategies, you must first understand the current level of engagement within your company.

Measuring the Unmeasurable: Employee Engagement (+KPIs)

Happy employees will come to work on time, attend after-hour company events, and do great work. Yet, if they don’t feel like they’re part of the company’s success and aren’t emotionally connected with its mission, they may not feel engaged with the company and the work they do. 

But how do you know whether your employees are engaged with their jobs and the company? Most importantly, if employee engagement is an emotion and a sense of connection, how can you accurately measure it? 

The truth is, you can’t. But there are practices you can use to get an approximate idea of how engaged your employees really are. We’ll cover these practices in this article.  

How to Measure Employee Engagement 

To develop effective employee engagement strategies, you must first understand the current level of engagement within your company. 

You can use a combination of these qualitative and quantitative ways to find this out.  

How to Measure Employee Engagement 

Conduct surveys

Employee engagement surveys are the most common method of measuring employee engagement. There are 3 types of surveys you can use: 

  • Deep surveys,
  • Pulse surveys,
  • eNPS surveys. 

With deep surveys, you can get the bigger picture of the level of engagement as they ask questions on employee job satisfaction, their perception of leadership, and general well-being. 

These surveys allow you to determine whether your employees trust the company, are committed to their coworkers, and feel supported during challenging times.

Pulse surveys provide quick, regular check-ins on employee engagement. They allow you to gauge how employees feel about their work, team, and the company's overall direction.

Lastly, eNPS surveys allow you to determine the employee Net Promoter Score - how likely your employees are to promote your company to others. With simple questions like “On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to suggest this company as a good place to work?” you can get a precise employee engagement number. 

The questions you ask in employee surveys should go beyond basic job satisfaction. It's important to ask if they're happy in their roles, but it's even more important to ask about their work-life balance, growth opportunities, outlook on company culture, and how well they feel their contributions are recognized.

Organize 1:1 meetings with employees

Setting up 1:1 meetings with employees, whether online or in person, is an opportunity to get to know them better and determine their engagement level. 1:1 meetings allow you to ask deeper questions that go below the surface and explore what your employees really think and feel further. 

This is your opportunity to discover why they may feel a certain way and put yourself in their shoes. Talking to your employees 1:1 can help you understand where they're coming from and notice issues you might have missed.

During these meetings, it’s important to create a psychologically safe environment where your interviewees are not intimidated into saying what you want to hear but encouraged to share their honest feedback. 

Here are some questions to ask during 1:1 meetings with your employees:

  • What aspects of your work do you find most fulfilling or enjoyable?
  • If there was one thing you could change in how things are done around here, what would it be?
  • What’s the main thing about your role or the company you feel the most satisfied with?
  • Describe any obstacles or challenges that affect your job satisfaction or productivity.
  • Do you feel that your professional development needs are met? If not, what skills or areas would you like to work on further?
  • How would you improve communication and collaboration within the company?
  • Do you often feel recognized and appreciated at work, and what form of recognition do you prefer?
  • How well do you think your skills and abilities are being used in your current position?
  • Gather employee engagement data from your digital tools

    Whether you're using an idea management tool or an employee recognition platform, you can analyze your digital tool stats to measure employee engagement levels. 

    These numbers help you understand how well your employee engagement strategies are working and whether everyone is actively participating in them.

    Your internal email campaigns are also a great indicator of how engaged your employees are. Those who feel connected to the company’s mission are more likely to read internal newsletters. Your open and click-through rates can give you an idea of how interested your employees are in company updates and events. 

    Collecting data from your idea management platform can help you measure the level of innovation in your company. A strong innovation culture means that employees are engaged in ideation, actively coming up with new ideas, and looking toward the future.

    Observe new recruits

    Checking in on newly hired employees will give you more accurate intel on engagement levels within the company. New employees are unbiased and can provide a fresh perspective on issues that existing employees have become used to and barely notice anymore. 

    Although existing employees may be used to these issues, it doesn't mean they don't impact their engagement. For example, long-term employees might have adapted to an inefficient idea management process. They may not realize it's a problem, but a new employee can highlight this inefficiency, leading to improvements for all.

    Plus, observing how engaged the new recruits are will help you address any issues early and prevent them from becoming more significant in the future. This way, you can improve retention and productivity right from the start. 

    Consult HR for employee engagement metrics

    Since HR departments are responsible for collecting personal data and trained in employee management, you can leverage their expertise to learn about your employee engagement trends. 

    Looking at employee engagement KPIs, which we’ll discuss in the next section, can help you drive conclusions and explore these trends through 1:1 interviews and employee engagement surveys. 

    Necessary KPIs to Measure Employee Engagement 

    Employee engagement is an emotion and a state of mind, which makes it challenging to measure accurately. 

    That's why to estimate employee engagement levels, you’ll need to look into more quantifiable KPIs of the employee experience within the company, such as the turnover and retention rates, NPS score, and engagement ROI.

    Here are some KPIs worth measuring. 

    Necessary KPIs to Measure Employee Engagement 

    Turnover and retention rates

    A clear giveaway of low employee engagement is a high turnover rate. When employees leave the company shortly after joining, it’s a strong sign that they are disengaged. 

    On the other hand, a high retention rate means that most of your employees stay with the company for the long term, which can indicate that they’re happy with their jobs. 

    However, while long-term employees are likely content with their jobs, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re engaged with the company’s culture. Some might be “quiet quitting” - psychologically disengaging from their work while remaining with the company. 

    Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

    Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) measures how likely employees are to recommend their workplace to others. It's a simple way to assess overall satisfaction. 

    Higher NPS scores mean your employees would generally recommend your company as a good place to work to their family and friends, which is a clear indicator of high job satisfaction and engagement levels.

    You can find out what your eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score) is via NPS surveys, with simple questions like "On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company as a place to work?." Their responses are then categorized into promoters (9-10), passives (7-8), and detractors (0-6) to calculate the eNPS score.

    Promotion rate

    According to APA's Work in America survey, 91% of employees value continuous learning opportunities, and 94% seek a sense of accomplishment. Allowing employees to move up the corporate ladder can satisfy these desires, leading to higher engagement rates. 

    A higher promotion rate also means employees prefer to grow within the company rather than look for growth opportunities elsewhere. This is a strong sign of their engagement and commitment to the company. 

    Employee absenteeism

    When employees are engaged and satisfied with their jobs, they’re more likely to show up to work regularly and on time. Conversely, a high employee absenteeism rate is a clear indicator of disengaged employees.

    High absenteeism may suggest that employees feel unsatisfied with their jobs, disrespected, and unappreciated - all of which leads them to miss work more frequently, even without a legitimate reason to do so. 

    Company Production Rates

    Research states that employees who are engaged in the work they do and satisfied with their jobs are up to 22% more productive. When employees are happy, motivated, and committed to their jobs, they work more effectively and efficiently, leading to higher company production rates. 

    On the other hand, low company production rates may be an indicator of disengaged employees, quiet quitting, and loss of interest in the company’s success. 

    Although low company production rates can't be blamed solely on employee engagement, it's important to look at it together with other KPIs to get the bigger picture. Employee engagement can highlight many issues and show you where to look, but it's not the only piece of the puzzle.

    Ready to engage your people?

    Do you think your company could be doing more to engage employees?

    If you're looking for an all-in-one solution for your innovation, look no further than Ideanote! With our flexible platform you can do everything from collecting ideas, engaging your crowd and analyzing your innovation performance.

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