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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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!
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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