Kylie Thomas, Managing Director of DreamStoneHR, has created this article as part of our Locimo Experts series.
Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organisation and its goals.
By now, it is no secret that highly engaged employees make a dramatic impact on organisational success.
Employee engagement is a catchword or buzzword for a reason: Human Resource managers and businesses alike have figured out that an engaged workforce translates to everything from a better customer experience to increased productivity to greater profitability. The question these days isn’t if to focus on employee engagement, but how.
Employee engagement reflects the involvement and enthusiasm in their workplace.
This emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company. They don't work just for a paycheck, or just for the next promotion, but work on behalf of the organization's goals.
Businesses should prioritize their employee’s connection to their work and each other, A Gallup Study has found that “Engaged employees are more present and productive, they are more attentive and attuned to the needs of the business and customers. They are more observant of processes, standards and systems” State of the global workplace: 2021 Gallup report.
As former Campbell's Soup CEO, Doug Conant, once said, "To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace." Employee engagement is the key to activating a high performing workforce.
How to measure employee engagement
The simplest and most accurate way to understand and measure employee engagement is by using an employee engagement survey. Because employee engagement is an outcome, you can use a survey to ask questions about different factors that affect employee engagement to see which ones are hurting and helping the most at your organization.
That’s what an engagement survey can show you - what’s driving employee engagement in your unique organization.
In other words, asking a handful of questions on a specific topic will give you a more reliable and clearer picture of what’s going on rather than just asking, “How satisfied are you at work?”
Here are five things you should know before measuring employee engagement:
- It takes more than one question to understand employee engagement.
- Strategically choosing survey questions that give you an accurate view of engagement in your company.
- Employee engagement driver analysis gives you better insight on where to take action.
- Knowing the common drivers of employee engagement is helpful for understanding overall trends of engagement
- Benchmark data gives you useful context for your survey results
Employee engagement is about drawing out a deeper commitment from our employees so fewer leave, sick absence reduces, accident rates decline, conflicts and grievances go down, productivity increases.
One of the most common mistakes companies make is to approach engagement as a sporadic exercise in making their employees feel happy -- usually around the time when a survey is coming up.
It's true that we describe engaged employees as "enthusiastic." And surveys play a big role in measuring employee engagement. But it’s not that simple.
People want purpose and meaning from their work. They want to be known for what they're good at.
Employees need more than a fleeting warm-fuzzy feeling and a good paycheck (even if it helps them respond positively on a survey) to invest in their work and achieve more for your company.
People want purpose and meaning from their work. They want to be known for what makes them unique. This is what drives employee engagement.
And they want relationships, particularly with a manager who can coach them to the next level. This is who drives employee engagement.
One of Gallup's biggest discoveries: the manager or team leader alone accounts for 70% of the variance in team engagement.
WHAT EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IS NOT!
Employee engagement cannot be achieved by a mechanistic approach which tries to extract discretionary effort by manipulating employees’ commitment and emotions. Employees see through such attempts very quickly and can become cynical and disillusioned.
Kylie Thomas is the Managing Director of DreamStoneHR. They are an agile HR Consulting Services dedicated to providing commercial solutions to growing businesses. Kylie’s background is quite varied with close to 20years of experience within the generalist HR space. Reach out to the team at DreamStoneHR to find out how you can have a strong focus on engagement and truly how this leads to positive business outcomes.