Measuring employee engagement is a tricky subject. If you overdo it, you can come off as overbearing and lose the motivation and trust of your employees. Even more, companies often get lost in what they should actually be measuring, business coach Cheryl Stein says. “Don’t tell people that they scored a 1.618 on their performance scorecard. Aside from being particularly meaningless, numbers like this aren’t actionable. Use words to let a person know how they are doing.”
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The important thing is to focus on the outcomes you want to achieve and reduce the complexity of what you measure. These five key metrics will give you a better idea of what promotes engagement while not alienating your employees.
1. The Operations Efficiency Gap
This is a key metric that will give you information regarding measuring employee engagement
. Employees that meet their deadlines, always show up to work, and work well with their co-workers are not only engaged employees, but also great assets. This can be measured by checking attendance, performing team assessments, and measuring the use of company resources by employees. It can be a difficult balance between being a manager and overbearing watchdog.
Dan Enthoven, CMO of Enkata, has a good way to think about this, “People's productivity has peaks and valleys, and everyone has days when they have a hard time getting things done. Improvements come from identifying and changing problematic patterns of behavior, not from triggering alarms every time someone does something out of policy.”
2. Ongoing Workforce Training and Educational Opportunities
A recent Gallup poll
found only 13% of employees are actively engaged at work and most employees lack the motivation to try to achieve goals. By using an employee engagement app and giving employees the resources and tools they need to achieve those goals will increase motivation and give you insight into how well they are doing their jobs. This can lead to employees taking on more responsibility as well. Invest in your employees, offer training that they will be able to use to enhance their careers and they will invest it back into the company.
3. Measure Internal Communication
This can be a difficult metric to measure but it is based more on frequency and the information gathered from conducting it. Check in with employees, as individuals and in a team setting. Find out where they see themselves in the future of the company and what their goals are. In addition to in-person meetings, consider using an employee app to digitally collect and gauge
employee feedback. When you can align your goals with theirs it will contribute to everyone’s happiness and therefore improve employee culture.
4. Invest in Workplace Benefits
Taking care of your employees is an easy way to increase the total amount of engaged employees in your company. But, as some companies have seen, perks are great but don’t always add up to the most engaged employees. Dr. Jim Harter, Gallup’s “engagement Jedi”, says of measuring employee benefits
against employee engagement, “When people work too many hours, don’t have enough vacation time or are expected to look at emails after normal work hours the data shows their stress levels increase significantly. But we’ve discovered that employees who have the right work environment, and who are truly engaged in their work, really manage that stress.” Harter says offering employees flextime or the ability to do work from home is a great way to relieve stress and increase the amount of engaged employees.
5. Evaluate and Encourage Optimal Work Quality
Quality of work is directly linked to the effectiveness of an employee. This can be measured by the amount of rejected or incomplete work an employee produces. When employees are engaged, their quality of work are always at high levels. It’s important to make sure your employees know their work is important and that quality matters. KPMG, a big four accounting firm, found a great way
to increase employee engagement through showing their employees how KPMG affected historical events, which showed them how important their work really was. They immediately saw increases in their employee engagement and improvements to their employee culture.
While these metrics and numbers can tell you a good amount about an employee, don’t rely on them to make all of your managerial decisions. Management consultant and author Dick Grote says about measuring employee engagement, “Don’t get hung up trying to find quantitative metrics to support every judgment in a performance appraisal. Remember what Albert Einstein said: “Not everything that counts can be counted. And not everything that can be counted counts.” Always get the whole story to be able to make the most effective employee engagement decisions your company.
To learn more about improving employee engagement, download our 15 Best Practices for Employee Engagement eBook.