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How to Measure and Act on Employee Engagement Data

How to Measure and Act on Employee Engagement Data

Employee engagement is a top priority for today's businesses, especially in light of drastic workplace changes over the last year. In this blog, we discuss the following related to employee engagement:

Definition of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is commonly described as an employee’s level of commitment, motivation, and passion for their work.

In a white paper by UKG, employee engagement is defined as "the emotional commitment that an employee has to the organization and its goals, resulting in the willingness to voluntarily put in discretionary effort."

Employee engagement is often compared to employee satisfaction. When an employee has an expectation from their employer, satisfaction is the fulfillment of that expectation. Compensation, benefits, training resources, and tools to do a job are all examples of expectations that lead to employee satisfaction. Different from satisfaction, engagement involves a relationship between the employee and employer where commitment and passion are felt.

Why Employee Engagement is Important

Employee engagement drives performance, leads to growth and innovation, and gives businesses a competitive advantage. Several studies have investigated this trend and have proven that an engaged employee population can lead to significant business outcomes:

  • According to Gallup, organizations with highly engaged employees experience 18% higher productivity and 23% higher profitability
  • Companies with above-average employee engagement achieve profit margins five points higher than their sector’s typical results
  • The ability to access and act on workforce insights is critical for organizations to plan for uncertainty and navigate new directions in a post-COVID-19 business environment

Employee engagement drives performance

Engaged employees see the bigger picture by understanding their purpose and how they fit into the organization's larger mission. Engaged employees are also clear on how their work is measured and what success looks like in their role. A sense of loyalty and connection to the employee's job is essential to maintaining productivity.  

Engagement is a key differentiator when it comes to growth and innovation.

Two key components of employee engagement include growth and autonomy. Employees who challenge themselves to grow will also advance the business with improvements and new ideas. Leadership within the organization is tasked with communicating the vision and end results while giving their employees autonomy to determine how to get there. This provides the team with space for buy-in, innovation and growth.

Engaged employees give businesses a competitive advantage

Employee engagement is a top priority for today's businesses, especially considering drastic workplace changes over the last year. How HR professionals measure employee engagement and leverage insights to make meaningful changes will determine whether organizations stay competitive as employers and as industry players. From an employer standpoint, an engaged workforce will perform better and yield more positive results in their work. From an industry standpoint, the proliferation of HR technology combined with shifting workplace demands means that companies striving to stay competitive are leveraging more sophisticated tools and resources to improve their understanding of employee engagement and satisfaction.

How to Measure Employee Engagement

An employee engagement survey is a common tool used to collect employee feedback related to engagement. Using this kind of survey will give HR leaders the data they need to gauge their employees’ level of engagement and determine a course of action based on the information they gather.

Important Metrics for Measuring Employee Engagement

Regardless of how you choose to distribute your survey and collect results, we recommend five key metrics you will want to monitor when measuring employee engagement. These metrics come from the book ENGAGEMENT MAGIC: Five Keys for Engaging People, Leaders, and Organizations by Tracy Maylett:

  • Meaning
    • The work has purpose beyond the work itself
  • Autonomy
    • The power to shape your work environment in ways that allow you to perform at your best
  • Growth
    • Being stretched and challenged in ways that result in personal and professional progress
  • Impact
    • Seeing positive, effective, and worthwhile outcomes and results from your work
  • Connection
    • Sense of belonging to something beyond yourself

Measuring these five metrics will ensure that you are asking actionable questions because each area has an influencer for action planning. The one influencer that runs throughout is communication. The action plan you create should include communication at all levels. For example, to drive purpose and meaning, employees must understand how their work contributes to the overall success of the organization. Leadership and management can influence Meaning by communicating the organizational vision and mission to employees, in addition to how those employees contribute to success.

HCMs and Employee Engagement

Taking advantage of a survey feature within a human capital management system (“HCM”) will keep your HR data centralized and further maximize your company’s investment in what can be an expensive technology.

If your organization does not use an HCM, consider a program such as UKG Pro from UKG, which offers a multitude of different modules designed to modernize and optimize your HR practices. For example, Mosaic Consulting Group uses a module of UKG Pro called "Employee Voice" which is built specifically to measure engagement.

Other ways an HCM can contribute to employee engagement are:

  • Eliminate manual tasks
  • Promote leadership
  • Standardize policies
  • Put employees in a position to win
  • Reducing employee absenteeism
  • Providing a clear career path
  • Empowering employees to make a difference
  • Creating freedom with self-service

[DEMO] How to Measure Employee Engagement Using UKG Pro

Mosaic Consulting Group’s Vice President of People & Culture, Krystyn Sadler, demonstrates how she utilizes the UKG Pro Employee Voice module to gather and act on employee engagement data. 

View the full webinar, Use UKG Pro to Amplify Your Employees' Voice, and follow along with the presentation slides for additional information.

How to Act on Employee Engagement Data

After collecting employee feedback, HR leaders need to develop and execute an action plan within a consistent timeframe.

Consider the following 30-, 60-, 90-day approach once you’ve collected survey results:

  • 30 days
    • Announce results to the organization. Within 30 days of your survey closing, announce the results to your organization. This will demonstrate a commitment to gathering and analyzing the feedback. Share what trends you discovered, including both positive and negative feedback. Acknowledging negative feedback is crucial because it demonstrates your ability to receive the information and will let employees know that they can be honest in their response.
  • 60 days
    • Communicate your action plan. By the 60-day mark, you should have communicated your intention to act on the results of the survey. Doing so tells employees that their voice has been heard and you, as the HR leader, are prepared to respond accordingly.
  • 90 days
    • Begin action plan. At 90 days from your survey closing, HR leaders should be prepared to execute their action plan. This is the most important juncture in the employee feedback measurement process because it is your chance to make meaningful improvements to organizational functions.

Employee Engagement Survey Best Practices from a VP of People & Culture

Minimum 80% response rate to internal surveys

An 80% response rate will ensure that a solid majority of your employee population's response is captured and indicates how people feel.


Anonymity in surveys is crucial to ensure that employees feel comfortable sharing candid feedback while also preventing HR leaders from being able to attribute comments to a specific person. Overall, keeping things anonymous will help you complete an unbiased analysis of your results.

Use neutral survey questions

Neutrality also prevents bias from creeping into your engagement practices. You don't want to unconsciously guide your employees to respond to specific questions in certain ways. The following are examples of positive-leaning and negative-leaning questions, with a neutral example as well.

  • Positive
    • “Tell us what we did great?”
  • Negative
    • “Tell us what we can improve on?”
  • Neutral
    • “Please share your feedback:”

Break down the survey over multiple pages

Some surveys are delivered with all questions on one page. Instead, break out your survey into multiple pages with a few questions per page. This will help the task feel less daunting and keep your employees focused on their responses.

Reuse the same survey

Being able to demonstrate results over time is a critical piece of an employee engagement strategy. Consider using the same survey year over year to measure your organization’s progress around metrics. This will allow for easy comparison and reporting back to your executive team.

Don't sweat the negative

Engagement surveys are meant to gather all feedback, not just the positive. Don't be alarmed if you receive negative comments as these are clear opportunities where you can make an improvement. All feedback is helpful to ensure that your employees feel heard and to help guide your efforts in maintaining an engaged team.

Pick your top 3 areas you want to improve and stick with them

Your survey may indicate multiple areas for improvement related to engagement. When planning your improvement strategy, determine your top 3 areas of highest priority to improve and focus on changing those first. 


As HR professionals, we are given the opportunity to influence the business and drive results as a partner. By focusing on engagement, you will drive connection, growth and loyalty while impacting business results through reduced turnover and higher productivity. Take your seat at the table by driving employee engagement!

Additional Employee Engagement Resources

In this webinar, Mosaic Consulting Group's Krystyn Sadler discusses employee engagement, how to measure engagement, and how to leverage tools such as UKG Pro Employee Voice to gather actionable workforce insights and ensure that HR is included as a strategic business partner. 

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