The importance of employee engagement and how to measure it
By Julie Goh (9 Feb 2023)
Employee engagement is a term every HR practitioner has been hearing way too often, but what exactly does it mean and how do you measure it.
Employee engagement refers to the emotional and intellectual commitment of employees to their work, their colleagues, and the company they work for. It refers to their level of enthusiasm and involves feeling a sense of purpose and connection to the company, as well as being invested in its goals and values.
Why is employee engagement important?
1. Increased productivity: Engaged employees are more productive than disengaged employees. They take fewer sick days, are more focused on their work and are more likely to go above and beyond their job duties.
2. Improved customer satisfaction: Engaged employees are more likely to provide excellent customer service, which leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
3. Reduced turnover: Engaged employees are more likely to stay with their company, which reduces the cost of recruiting and training new employees.
4. Increased innovation: Engaged employees are more likely to share new ideas and suggest improvements, which can lead to increased innovation and competitiveness.
How employee engagement can be measured?
1. Employee retention: Employee retention is a good indicator of employee engagement. A high turnover rate may indicate that employees are disengaged and not satisfied with their job.
2. Surveys: Surveys are one of the most popular ways to measure employee engagement. They can be conducted on a regular basis and can include questions about job satisfaction, commitment, and motivation.
3. One-on-one interviews: One-on-one interviews can provide valuable insights into employee engagement. These interviews can be conducted by managers or by HR and can cover a range of topics - such as job satisfaction, motivation, and opportunities for growth.
4. Feedback: Feedback is a crucial aspect of employee engagement. Employees should be encouraged to provide feedback on their job, the company and their colleagues. This feedback should be taken into consideration and acted upon. Non-action on feedback will only lead to further disengagement.
5. Observations: An observer can keep an eye on employee engagement by observing how employees interact with their colleagues, how they approach their work, and how they talk about the company.
How to improve employee engagement?
1. Communication: Regular and transparent communication is essential for keeping employees engaged. Employees should be kept informed about the company and/or the department's goals, plans, and progress.
2. Recognition and rewards: Recognising and rewarding employees for their hard work and contributions is important for keeping them engaged. (Refer to previous article on this subject)
3. Opportunities for growth: Providing employees with opportunities for growth and development can help keep them engaged. This can include training, mentoring, and leadership development.
4. Involvement: Involving employees in decision-making and giving them a sense of ownership can help keep them engaged. Encourage employees to share their ideas and suggestions, and make sure they are heard.
5. Employee feedback: Encourage employees to provide feedback on their job, the company, and their overall work experience. Act on this feedback to show that you value and care about employee opinions. Regularly ask for feedback and act on it to show that you are committed to continuous improvement.
6. Work-life balance: Encouraging employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance can help keep them engaged. This can include flexible work arrangements, such as remote working, and providing support for employees to manage their mental and physical well-being.
7. Create a positive work culture: A positive work culture can help improve employee engagement. This includes fostering a sense of community among employees, promoting a culture of respect and inclusivity, and encouraging collaboration and teamwork.
There is no denying that employee engagement is critical to a company’s success. However, it is important to regularly measure employee engagement and take action to improve it. By improving employee engagement, companies can benefit from increased productivity, improved customer satisfaction, reduced turnover, and increased innovation, which in turn will produce better results, financially.
The author is an award-winning HR Sifu with Kakitangan.com, who has made significant improvements in how HR operates in multiple retail and high-volume/fast-paced companies. Complimentary consultation sessions with HR Sifu are available for all paying Kakitangan.com customers.
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