It’s no secret that engaged employees generate better results. It’s been proven time and time again that companies who prioritize engagement see greater profitability, increased retention rates, and stronger employee wellness.
You most likely understand the long-term benefits of engagement, but what about the short-term ones for you and your People Ops team? Below are five advantages to measuring employee engagement, all of which help you take action on insights, transform your company culture, and prioritize your employee experience.
On the surface, employee engagement surveys determine the degree to which your people are invested in their role and your company. But your employee engagement results can provide so much more, as they help your People team better enhance the employee experience and create long-lasting, positive outcomes for your people and your company.
You therefore need to habitually take a pulse on individual, team, and company-wide employee engagement. Essentially, your collected data helps leaders determine which employees are engaged or need additional support. If your engagement trends are consistent across your organization, you’re either doing something right (and can dive deeper into data to pinpoint those strengths), or you have a potential risk on your hands that needs to be addressed quickly.
Ben Harman, Chief of Staff at Owl Labs, discusses his own managerial strategy if he finds employee engagement lagging: “I take an approach to say, ‘Take some time if you need it.’ Try to create flexibility and acknowledgment. Being real and being human is the starting place.”
Harman’s approach to respecting his people and their needs is backed by data; 56% of people feel like they belong at work when they’re respected, which in turn drives employee engagement, productivity, and motivation.
Therefore, diving deep into employee engagement data to see how your people are doing – and what they need to perform better – provides valuable insights for your people and your organization.
The ability to filter employee engagement by department, age, ethnicity, and more allows you to pinpoint any trends and respond appropriately.
As a leader, you need to be compassionate, but you also need to get work done.
Rich Fernandez, CEO of SIY Leadership Institute, encourages “compassionate management,” where you “seek to understand how you can be of service and benefit to employees while balancing the need to keep them on task.”
To do so, you’ll want to collect and analyze employee engagement data so you can determine the best approach to address every employee’s needs. That’s because when you have metrics at your fingertips, your decisions become data-based, not gut-based. For example, looking at metrics will help you determine if your response should be a company-wide initiative or a one-person conversation.
This, in turn, increases employee satisfaction, as people will feel validated that their concerns were heard and leaders responded appropriately. Creating the right response also results in better prioritization of your time and resources, so you can adequately respond to needs while continuing to drive toward achieving business goals.
As you begin collecting employee engagement data, you’ll find some metrics are more useful than others. It’s crucial to start pinpointing which data is the right data for you to collect.
Part of this process is coming to terms with what data you can actually act upon. For example, if you poll employees’ interest in flexible working spaces – but don’t have the budget to make it happen – the process comes to a deadend (and can result in disappointment and frustration). Alternatively, if you’re working on next year’s budget, and common 1:1 feedback is the desire for flexible work spaces, you could survey your people to gauge interest before making a decision. As always, the right data to collect will be metrics that bring awareness and allow for followup.
And for the best data reports, choose a people analytics platform that filters and overlaps data to display any intersectionalities or trends. For example, the report below cross-references employee net promoter score (eNPS) with gender, ethnicity, level, and generation. Ultimately, choosing the right data, and viewing it in a way that provides valuable insights, will set you and your company up for success.
Collecting eNPS data, like in the example above, gives you a quick pulse check for engagement levels across your organization.
By viewing your data over time, you can see your company progress to determine if initiatives and responses were successful. Looking at your engagement metrics will also help you discover current needs and trends.
For example, let’s say Tasha, a People Ops Manager, always sends out a quarterly eNPS survey. However, she just read APA’s 2021 Work and Well-being Survey, which found that prioritizing mental health has become more important to 59% of employees since 2020. Knowing this, she decides to include survey questions on the current effectiveness and use of company wellness benefits. With this timely feedback, she and her team can start prioritizing needs and further advocating for their people to help drive engagement.
Consider the last time you incorporated a new survey to gain further insights, and in turn help support your employees. It may be time to add another measurement into your rotation to help drive employee engagement and help your people feel supported and heard. Luckily, a dynamic people analytics platform that allows you to easily add, remove, and adjust survey questions can make this process effortless for you and your People Ops team.
People don’t wake up in the morning and look forward to a disengaged day at work. But unfortunately, clunky processes and unrealistic expectations – many of which surfaced when companies switched to remote and hybrid work – often get in the way of your people doing their best job and lead to burnout.
However, these insights may not surface unless you collect employee engagement data. For example, you may discover that the majority of your Engineering department has a low engagement score. Or you may find that every direct report under Cathy in Sales has higher-than-average absenteeism. When you continuously collect metrics, you’ll notice any inconsistencies and can then follow up with employees with more specific feedback to help create future action items.
Sarah Diegnan, VP of Customer Experience at ChartHop, advises that to address employee engagement and burnout, leaders should be empathetic and have honest conversations with reports about mental bandwidth and workload. She advises, “Don’t think the schedule you had in the office is your same schedule working from home.” With that comes problem solving – whether that’s shifting schedules or KPIs – so employees feel confident working towards their goals. Diegnan often focuses on her team’s wellbeing, stating, “As a manager, I don’t want my people to leave.”
Alternatively, Textio, a company that provides language insights, notes companies that ignore employee input are seeing the consequences: “People are leaving their jobs and searching for work that aligns with their values, excluding companies that don’t match their own beliefs on diversity and inclusion, and looking for a flexible work environment that fits their lifestyle.”
By taking a proactive approach to employee engagement, you’ll better spot broken processes or inaccurate expectations that are contributing to low employee engagement.
You need to meet the needs of your people to not only increase employee engagement, but to also retain your talent.
With an average engagement rate of a measly 36%, businesses need to consistently measure and address employee engagement. When you collect this data, your people and your company benefit. Furthermore, your People Ops team can use specific metrics and dynamic reports to help gain insights into what is working and what needs prioritization.
And when you continuously track your employee engagement, you’re not only understanding if your initiatives are working; you’re signaling to your people that their work and wellbeing is valued.
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