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How to Measure Employee Engagement (+4 Tools)

by Arthur Zuckerman

Only 21% of workers are engaged at work globally. Before the pandemic, these numbers were rising, but they are stagnant now. 

Business leaders need to find ways to increase and improve employee engagement in their organizations. But to improve anything, you have to first measure it. You need to know if your existing strategy is working or if changes are needed.

This article highlights the metrics and strategies for measuring employee engagement, plus tools to help you track your progress. 

Employee Engagement: What It Is, What It’s Not

There’s no clear definition of what employee engagement is. Some organizations say it’s happiness, some say satisfaction. Others call it commitment to goals. 

Well, it isn’t as simple as that.

Employee engagement involves your employees’ mental and emotional commitment to your organization. It indicates whether they are fully vested in the company’s success, hold its core values high, and if they’re ready to do their best even when no one’s watching. 

Employee engagement is not just job happiness. An employee happily attending all company parties doesn’t mean they are working hard and productively. 

Employee engagement isn’t simply work satisfaction either. A satisfied employee may show up for work daily without complaint but may not go the extra mile for the company’s success. 

Engaged employees know their contribution is critical to their team’s success. They work towards their company’s goals and values and look for ways to grow in their role. In fact, employee engagement statistics show companies with highly engaged employees have 24% less chance of turnover and outperform their competition by 147%. 

To know how engaged your employees are in the organization, you have to measure employee engagement.

Benefits of Measuring Employee Engagement

The first step to improving engagement within your organization is measuring it. 

It helps you:

  • develop strategies to optimize the gains within the organization
  • identify the areas to target for improvement
  • gain insight into what your employees think about your organization—whether your company has an friendly or toxic work environment
  • identify potential problems and tackle them before they become obstacles 
  • apply employee feedback to build trust and show them that you care about their opinions
  • share employee engagement data to build a data-driven company culture

Top Employee Engagement Metrics to Measure

Engagement metrics tell you what you need to measure to learn how engaged your employees are. Based on your findings, you can then identify areas that need intervention and improvement. 

Here are the top metrics to use:

1. Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

Net promoter score is a crucial and one of the most popular metrics used by HR to measure employee engagement. It helps the organization know what their workers think about employee referral and is addressed by a straightforward question: “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend our company to others as a place to work?”

Employees who are willing to recommend are called Promoters. They respond with either a 9 or 10, indicating they are satisfied. A score of 7 or 8 shows that the employee is neutral, that is, neither happy nor unhappy. These employees are called Passives. Detractors are any employees that give a score from 6 and below, simply indicating that they’re unsatisfied with the company. 

2. Employee Turnover Rate 

Employee turnover rate (ETR) refers to the percentage of employees who leave your organization after a period of time. It’s an essential metric to track as highly engaged employees are less likely to resign from the company. Employees who are supported, have good relationships, and feel challenged are likely to stay longer in an organization.

3. Absenteeism

It may not seem like it, but absenteeism is one of the most crucial engagement metrics to track. A high absenteeism rate shows issues with employee engagement resulting from poor working conditions, bad leadership, and lack of work-life balance. High absenteeism leads to a greater workload for other employees resulting in reduced job satisfaction.

4. Customer Satisfaction

How satisfied your customers are is an indication of your employee engagement with the customers. Employees that are determined and go the extra mile to meet customer expectations are employees that are engaged at work. 

5. Employee Performance

Employee performance metrics are also vital to measuring employee engagement. Highly engaged people are likely to perform well in their jobs, so this is a top metric to track. Employee performance metrics are usually measured in four categories: work quality, work quantity, work efficiency, and organizational performance.

6. Employee Retention Rate

This is similar to the employee turnover rate. It’s the ability of a company to keep its employees over a period of time, which in turn indicates their employee engagement. A good retention rate enables you to build and develop the same group of people.

5 Effective Strategies to Measure Employee Engagement

Measuring employee engagement is a subjective experience. It’s more about obtaining feedback, so you need to pay attention to qualitative and quantitative data. 

Here’s how to go about it:

1. Set Specific Outcomes

Start by defining what engagement is for your company and set goals to achieve them. This will help you choose the specific metrics to track and use the data to implement strategies for improving employee engagement. 

Here are some examples of outcomes you can set for your company:

  • Employees feel their opinions matter at work
  • Average eNPS is 9 and above
  • Low absenteeism 
  • High level of employee performance and retention over a pre-defined time period

2. Use Pulse Surveys

Pulse surveys are short surveys that employees can complete in a couple of minutes. They are a regular way to ask questions about how your employees feel and if there’s anything they’d like to change. 

Pulse surveys also help you maintain engagement during remote work. You could ask your employees questions like how they are finding remote work, how your company has supported them, and what the company can do to develop remote employee engagement.

3. Talk to Your Employees One-On-One

Managers should make time to have one-on-one conversations with employees. These meetings should be less formal so the employees can be relaxed and as honest as possible. 

Doing this will help you learn detailed in-person feedback on issues. Make it clear the meeting isn’t to play the blame game but to find ways to facilitate, drive and improve employee engagement.

4. Calculate Your eNPS Score

We’ve already discussed the importance of employee net promoter score. But how do you measure yours?

Here’s the formula to calculate your employee net promoter score:

eNPS = (promoters – detractors)/total respondents

A good eNPS score is between 10 and 30, while above 30 is an excellent score, according to Qualtrics. Note if your eNPS score is low, don’t ignore it. Actively seek out reasons why your employees wouldn’t recommend you, and find ways to improve.

5. Stay/Exit Interviews

Exit interviews are excellent for getting candid feedback, where the goal is to find out what you could’ve done better to improve employee engagement. And while this is great, it’s too late to do anything as the employee has already taken the decision to leave the company. 

That’s why we recommend conducting stay interviews, as they help you determine why an employee is still sticking around. They give you the chance to have frank conversations and find out your company’s strong points and recommendations to improve it further.

Tools for Measuring Employee Engagement

Employment engagement is not easy to track, but these tools are helpful.

1. HR Software

Using HR software is an excellent way to measure and track employee engagement. 

Platforms like Arcade give you the quantitative metrics you need to understand your employee engagement and areas to improve upon, helping you maximize results. The fact that these tools collect feedback while allowing you to manage your employees and the engagement data in a centralized place is another advantage.

2. Survey Tools

Survey tools help you easily incorporate pulse surveys into things like weekly employee newsletters to help you get regular feedback on employee engagement. ContactMonkey’s pulse survey tool, for one, is an excellent example.

3. Reward and Recognition Programs 

Employee referral, reward, and recognition programs help you boost engagement and give you a method for measuring it. The level of participation in the program is a good indicator of how engaged the employees are. 

4. Social Media

The advancement of social media has given companies a powerful medium for measuring employee engagement at their fingertips. 

Glassdoor ratings and reviews, for instance, are based on employee feedback. They are a leading authority reviewing workplace satisfaction which tells organizations a lot about how their employees feel working for them.

What’s Next?

So far, you’ve learned how to measure your employee engagement and the tools you can use to simplify it as much as possible. What comes after is using the data to create a solid plan of action. 

Reach out to your employees with the findings. Work with them to improve gaps. Then continue following up to build a truly engaged organization. Remember, measuring employee engagement isn’t a one-time thing—it’s a continuous process that helps you repeatedly identify opportunities to align and motivate your employees for a better, stronger workforce.

Take your first step to engage employees. Use CompareCamp to find the right software to measure employee engagement that meets your exact needs.

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