How do you measure engagement? You know it when you see it, but it’s one of those elusive workplace concepts that’s hard to quantify. As the saying goes, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
It’s worth trying to capture this feeling, though, because engaged employees can directly affect an organisation’s productivity, efficiency and bottom line. An effective way to do this is through an employee engagement survey.
Bill McMurray, APAC Managing Director of Qualtrics, says that any survey worth its salt should measure four things: pride in the company, intention to stay, motivation of employees to go above and beyond, and the likelihood of recommending the company to friends or family. “Surveys provide the opportunity to collect valuable employee feedback and enable organisations make changes on their behalf if needed. If this is done right, it is possible to optimise engagement and improve organisational performance,” he says.
Another way to look at it is the head, heart and hand triad. Head is the extent to which an employee carries a positive frame of mind at work, including enthusiasm, belief in the importance of contributing to the business and resilience). Heart is an employee’s emotional connection to the work and level of pride in and commitment to the organisation. Hand is whether an employee will go above and beyond their job description.
Here are seven ways to get the most out of your employee engagement survey:
1. Involve key leaders when prioritising issues
As well as understanding what the company needs from the bottom up, it is important to know what it needs from the top down.
2. Develop an organisation-specific list of engagement drivers
Some popular ones to consider:
- Career progression
- Collaboration and communication
- Company leadership and supportive management
- Recognition, pay and benefits
- Quality of product/services
Every organisation is different, so while it’s good to see how others conduct their surveys, tailor yours to fit what you want and need to know about engagement levels at your business.
3. Define the questions
Once you’ve settled on your engagement categories, create between three and six questions per category. They should be comprehensive, but not vague. For example, instead of asking “Do you trust your boss?” a better question is “When you share work problems with direct managers, do they respond constructively?” The questions should attempt to measure different aspects of a theme (ie the company, the manager, the team, the individual), so that you get a new piece of information from each aspect.
4. Include necessary definitions
Not everybody understands certain titles and terms in the same way. Make sure everyone is on the same page by including definitions at the beginning of the survey or attached to individual questions, depending on the layout of the survey.
5. Know how to reach your employees
You can put together a great engagement survey, but the key component is getting employees to respond. You need to ensure you deliver your engagement survey in a relevant manner to encourage employee participation. Nowadays, it’s always a good idea to make sure they survey is mobile and tablet friendly.
6. Determine how break down and analyse the data
Consider integrating your organisation hierarchy and demographic data into your employee engagement feedback platform so you can breakdown the data and deliver it in managerial or departmental dashboards.
7. Action the employee feedback
Before you press end, make sure you have a plan and timeframe for responding to employee feedback. If you ask question but don’t do anything with the answers, respondents are less likely to trust that you will take their input seriously in the future. Show employees that you have listened and value their feedback.