“I don’t consider that high employee engagement drives productivity or customer satisfaction.”
Said no manager ever.
Instead, companies agree that employee engagement has a big impact on performance. That it’s crucial And spend a huge share of their budgets in an effort to improve it.
But what is “employee engagement” more exactly? Is improving employee engagement all about boosting productivity? Does “personal satisfaction” stand for employee engagement?
John might be very satisfied with his manager and still not give his best on his work.
And how do you measure employee engagement? What employee engagement metrics should you use to get an accurate big picture of where your company is falling short? Is the typical annual engagement survey, where employees rate their own levels of engagement, enough?
Does it provide you with enough 100% objective data to look into?
Let’s get you some answers…
- Employee engagement metrics help measure and understand engagement levels in a actionable way.
- Engaged employees impact business operations, profitability, customer service/satisfaction, productivity, and adoption of company initiatives.
- Key employee engagement KPIs include Employee Net Promoter Score, Turnover Rate/Retention, Customer Net Promoter Score, Employee Resilience, and Average Productivity.
- Employers should take a proactive approach to measure engagement and define desired impact before collecting data.
- Best practices for measuring engagement include engagement surveys, pulse surveys, and regular check-ins.
- Avoid common mistakes such as relying on culture/satisfaction surveys, surveying only a sample of employees, and not complementing pulse surveys with annual surveys.
- Employee engagement measurement should be part of a complete toolkit for improving engagement.
- Focus on a mix of quantitative and qualitative results, pairing data with open feedback from employees.
- Key metrics to focus on include employee net promoter score, work-life balance, new hire engagement rate, turnover rate, satisfaction with compensation, workplace relationships, and employee resilience.
What Are Employee Engagement Metrics?
Employee engagement metrics are employers’ tools for measuring how engaged their employees are.
And good engagement metrics are those that help you assess the actual levels of engagement. Not just the self-perceived ones.
With such data at hand you can:
detect, in due time, declining levels of engagement in the case of particular employees
identify the causes of these drops (or rises): what drives engagement among your workers
identify the gaps that need to be filled
design the most suitable interventions for influencing your employees’ levels of engagement
In short, employee engagement metrics are people analytics metrics that help you measure and understand your employees’ level of engagement in an actionable manner.
Why Is Employee Engagement Important?
Because it drives performance and retention.
As simple as that.
- are driven by the work they do (not to say “passionate” about their work)
- trust in the company’s leadership
- have a sense of purpose and belonging in the company
- are in good relations with their supervisors
… it impacts the business operations and overall profitability.
And speaking of benefits, here are some of the most valuable ones:
- Better customer service, better customer satisfaction
- Employees turn into your company’s more valuable advocates
- Increased employee productivity
- A higher adoption rate of the company’s initiatives
Why Measure Employee Engagement?
Understanding your team is crucial to creating a peak performance environment. Measuring employee engagement is critical to nurturing a productive work atmosphere.
Why does it matter?
Engaged employees boost performance and positively impact the company's bottom line. They also tend to stay longer, as they are satisfied and take pride in their work.
Insights from these metrics help improve workflows and resource management. High employee engagement enhances the organization's brand and attracts talent and customers.
Lastly, taking concrete steps based on these measures fosters alignment between individual and company goals, promoting synergy and overall growth.
How to Define Employee Engagement KPIs
Now you know the benefits of having engaged employees. But how do you know that your company’s on the safe side of statistics? So you can be sure to “reap” these benefits?
You start using quantifiable data to measure employee engagement across your organization.
But things aren’t as straightforward as they would be in the case of measuring your other business units. Like marketing or production.
So, what data should you use to measure employee engagement?
And benefits are the answer.
More precisely, since you already know that employee engagement impacts productivity and loyalty, this is where your industry's performance KPI can give you the benchmark for a more effective analysis.
So, what are your company’s main performance indicators?
With those in mind, here are the employee engagement KPIs you’ll want to monitor regularly:
Employee Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS is one of the critical employee engagement metrics you’ll want to track regularly.
“How likely would you recommend company X to a friend or a family member as a place to work?”
This is the ultimate question that’ll help you gain the insight you need to… anticipate and reduce the rates and costs of turnover.
How likely is it for your employees to turn into your company’s promoters?
Do you need to strengthen your employer's brand strategy
Who are the employees who quit your company?
Are you losing “A players” — high-performing employees who’ve been in the organization for a long time?
This is the most valuable indicator that you need to rethink your engagement strategies.
Otherwise, the cost of turnover will be significant: lower efficiency and huge holes in the budget caused by all those costs of hiring and training new people.
Customer Net Promoter Score
Is the score low? A decreasing employee engagement level might be the cause.
There’s a cause-and-effect relationship between employee satisfaction and the quality of customer experiences.
A low employee resilience score is another one of the crucial employee engagement KPIs you’ll want to measure.
And an indicator that certain employees are at risk of leaving the company: they’re not apt to adapt (quickly enough) to and manage an environment that changes frequently.
To adopt and cope with new and new initiatives that are being implemented regularly across your organization.
And the main indicators you’ll need to track to assess the level of employee resilience are social support, self-efficiency, and optimism about the organization’s future.
Employees planning to stay with the company for more than 1-2 years are usually more resilient than those who consider the possibility of leaving in less than 1 year.
Slowdowns in production or in sales (or lower performance) can be traced back to a decreasing level of employee engagement.
A disengaged workforce is a less productive workforce.
What Is the Best Way to Measure Employee Engagement?
First of all, go for a proactive approach to measuring employee engagement. Identify issues before (key) employees start to leave and problems scale up to the entire organization.
Secondly, start with the end: define the desired impact of your survey and work from there. Backward.
- Who’ll be in charge of following up on the results of your employee engagement surveys?
- Who will take action based on the data you will have collected?
- What kind of “action”? What will an intervention look like?
The answers to these questions will help you put together a more well-defined approach.
How to Collect Employee Engagement Metrics
Here are 4 key methods to you'll want to incorporate in your employee engagement strategy:
Conduct Onboarding and Exit Interviews
Collecting staff engagement metrics starts right from day one during onboarding. Initial impressions count greatly in shaping employees' future involvement and dedication levels.
As the name suggests, exit interviews are conducted when employees leave the company. Here, you gain honest feedback about your organization's strengths and weaknesses toward improving overall staff attraction and retention rates.
Run Engagement Surveys Twice a Year (And Pulse Surveys In-Between)
Why this “combo” when traditionally companies would conduct (just) one engagement survey per year? The annual survey?
Because that’s no longer enough. With workplaces becoming increasingly dynamic, you’ll want to monitor those fluctuating levels of employee engagement. And measure engagement constantly.
In this case, biannual employee engagement surveys provide you with the benchmark you need to determine what new tactics to implement for increasing engagement.
While frequent pulse surveys help you:
Get a real-time and holistic view of your employees’ level of engagement
Track progress in their levels of engagement
Compare results to those you get from your biannual surveys
Identify micro trends happening at key points throughout the year (e.g. maybe the engagement level is higher after the annual team building)
Tips to consider when running pulse surveys:
Ask specific questions during your pulse surveys, that help you identify the drivers of engagement
Be ready to intervene, with concrete actions, based on the feedback you get from your employees
Monitor Peer-to-Peer Interactions
A very productive employee who isn’t actively interacting with his teammates can be a disengaged employee.
You’ll want to monitor the state of connectedness in your workplace. Are your employees:
ready to help their colleagues when needed?
respectful to their peers?
sharing their ideas in real-time?
sharing feedback and recognition for their peers?
ready to share their knowledge and resources with the rest of the team?
inclusive and accepting?
ready to intervene, when needed; to advance with various key projects?
Knowing what’s going on between employees will help you:
anticipate who’s at risk of becoming disengaged
detect opportunities to better motivate the teams and each individual
Pro Tip! Don’t rely solely on historical data, but use AI to track the level of connectedness at your workplace. It’ll help you identify the impact of various workplace factors (e.g. performance review periods) on your employees’ level of engagement.
Have Regular 1:1s
Informal 1:1s with your employees is another effective way to measure employee engagement.
they’re in-person: employees feel more confidential and safer, so you get more detailed feedback on various aspects influencing their level of engagement
they’re usually longer (hour-long), so employees have more time at their disposal to open up to you so you can get a real sense of what’s going on with them
Measuring Employee Engagement Without Surveys
In some instances, you might want to understand the level of engagement within your team without directly seeking their opinions via surveys. Here are some practical ways to do so:
1:1 Meetings & Team Check-Ins
Engagement is often best measured directly through 1:1 conversations or in group settings where employees express themselves openly.
Regular one-on-one meetings between managers and employees can yield precious bits of information. During these private dialogues, an employee, if given a reciprocal atmosphere, may share concerns about work-life balance, lack of motivation due to unclear career progression, or even valid suggestions for improving work processes.
Team check-in sessions also play a crucial role in portraying the team engagement metrics. Here, shared experiences among colleagues about recent successes or challenges offer valuable insights into group dynamics and overall morale at work.
Stay interviews offer another proactive approach to gauging your employees' engagement with their roles and the company. These discussions involve meeting incumbent workers to understand what keeps them tied to their jobs and learn what could be improved.
By focusing on why they're choosing to stay instead of why others are leaving (exit interviews), stay interviews can help identify key leverage points for enhancing employee satisfaction and commitment - both paramount elements of measurement for staff engagement metrics.
Voluntary Employee Turnover Rate
Analyzing patterns in voluntary turnover - when an employee chooses to leave the organization – helps expose hidden disengagement issues among your workforce.
If talented individuals voluntarily part ways from your business, that indicates persistent dissatisfaction or perhaps a more enticing opportunity elsewhere, suggesting potential underwholesome productivity levels within the existing environment.
Employee Absenteeism Rate
Absence from work doesn't merely translate to physical illness. It may also hint at a disinterest in the job or dissatisfaction with workplace conditions.
Frequent absences could imply an employee's reluctance to join the team, representing a notable indicator for your overall employee engagement metrics analysis.
Remember, some degree of absenteeism is inevitable and perfectly normal in any business. However, increased rates without attributable reasons cause concern; this sign possibly tends to undercover disengagement, affecting employees' emotional health.
Things To Avoid When Measuring Employee Engagement
As you’re putting together the best employee engagement measurement strategy, it’s equally important to know which are the “wrong ways” to measure employee engagement.
Here’s a list of “don’ts” to consider:
Don’t Stick to Companies Culture Surveys
Or “satisfaction” surveys.
But if you do want to stick to your culture surveys, make sure they contain the essential employee engagement metrics.
And don’t do it like too many organizations do, that run satisfaction surveys that lack these key metrics. That is merely measuring employees’... opinions on issues with too little impact on their engagement.
Don’t Survey Just a Sample of “X” Employees
You’ll only compromise your survey results.
A thoughtful employee engagement measurement strategy should include surveys run on ALL the employees.
For, not only will you get inaccurate results, but by surveying just a selection of them you communicate to them that your company doesn’t care equally about all of its employees.
Don’t Rely on Pulse Surveys Only
You’ll want to pair them with annual (or bi-annual) surveys instead.
pulse surveys will only get you lightweight, real-time feedback on specific topics.
whereas annual surveys help you track key trends over time; help you see the bigger picture.
Frequent pulse surveys are valuable, there’s no denying it. They’re quicker and help you measure your employees’ levels of adaptability in real-time.
But you shouldn’t turn them into the foundation of your employee engagement measurement strategy.
Make sure you always complement them with annual surveys. They’re the ones helping you identify bigger trends over larger periods of time.
Don’t Rely on Surveys Alone
Instead, you’ll want to have a complete “toolkit” for improving employee engagement.
In other words, don’t stop at the measurement part: surveys alone won’t improve employee engagement.
It’s the follow-up actions your managers will take (after the surveying and data analysis part) that will help you improve engagement across the organization.
The tech they start using to encourage those specific habits that drive engagement.
Don’t Go for Quantitative Results Only
Instead, pair them with qualitative feedback. With open-ended comments.
For running an engagement survey is also about collecting opinions. Not just about collecting data, analyzing HR KPIs for employee engagement, and determining “a final score”.
Pair the collected data with employees’ open feedback about various topics and issues and you’ll get a clearer picture of the next steps to take for improving engagement across your company.
Employee Engagement Metrics Every HR Manager Should Watch
Now that we’ve cleared the “don'ts” out of our way, your key question remains: “How to measure employee engagement… the right way?”
So you can detect issues and intervene with smart workforce management decisions early enough.
What are the key engagement metrics that you should focus on? Metrics that’ll help you collect relevant data only?
Here are the top 10 employee metrics you’ll want to track regularly:
1. Employee Net Promoter Score
This metric — expressed as a score (or percentage) — will help you assess employee satisfaction and commitment to the company.
And it’s a great indication of:
how likely it is for your employees to recommend your organization to their peers.
how likely it’ll be for you to get a cultural-fit hiring thanks to these valuable referrals
2. Work-Life Balance
This metric measures employees’ levels of prioritizing work and personal activities.
It’ll also help you assess to what degree activities related to their job are present in their after-work lives, too.
Stressed-out employees, who can’t strike a work-life balance, stand a higher chance to get disengaged. And less productive, more likely to make mistakes.
It may not be the easiest metric to measure — you can even ask employees themselves — but it sure is worth the effort. This way, you'll know what are the best workplace practices to implement to help them achieve a better balance.
3. New Hire Engagement Rate
A metric that measures new hires’ job/position satisfaction.
Stats show that 20% of newly hired employees leave their job within the first 45 days. And 40% of them within their first 6 months with a company.
This makes it one of the critical employee engagement metrics you’ll want to track by running new hire surveys within their first month, 2, and 3 months.
4. Employee Turnover Rate (ETR)
It’ll help you assess the company’s probability to retain its employees. And how long they remain in the company.
You’ll want to detect those factors that impact retention decisions and rely on them to predict employee retention scores.
Pro Tip! You’ll get some really valuable insights tracking new hires’ levels of satisfaction. The number of people that remain in the company long after their probation period is a great indicator of how effective your onboarding process is.
5. Employee Satisfaction with Compensation
How satisfied are the employees in your company with their compensation compared to the current market rate?
It’s one of those valuable employee satisfaction metrics that’ll help you detect, in due time, signs that they might want to leave the company for better offers.
6. Workplace Relationships
Meaningful workplace relationships have a significant influence on employees’ levels of engagement.
It’s something you’ll want to monitor, regularly:
How frequently do they communicate with management?
Are employees developing positive professional relations with their co-workers?
7. Employee Resilience
A high employee resilience score indicates:
Enthusiasm for the company’s future
Reliance on support
A company’s success depends on how its employees respond to problems. On how they interpret “problems” and how quick they are to adapt to changing environments.
To the new initiatives that are being implemented across the organization.
8. Employee Satisfaction with Leadership
Measuring employees’ level of satisfaction with management will help you predict retention, engagement, and performance scores.
And to identify those managers who set themselves apart as true “leaders”. Who manage to retain people around them and within the company.
9. Workplace Recognition
Employees who get acknowledged for their results, for going the extra mile, get more engaged with the company.
And more motivated to continue to do their best work when involved in future projects, too.
This is what makes workplace recognition one of the employee engagement metrics that’ll help you assess how productive and engaged people in your company are.
And to measure how effective your rewards programs and employee recognition efforts are.
How do you measure workplace recognition? You use levels of productivity, employee retention probability score, and company turnover as baselines to compare your collected data to.
Micromanagement and employees’ sense that they lack control over their own tasks kill employee engagement.
Whereas employees who feel they’re given enough autonomy at work are more likely to develop resilience and self-reliance. To feel more trusted and competent in their roles.
But how can you measure employee autonomy?
You ask managers key questions like:
“How free do you feel about making your own choices in your role? About managing your own time and responsibilities?”
Or you come up with specific opportunities for them to take leadership over certain tasks (e.g. a monthly meeting) and keep track of their performance.
With this list of key employee engagement metrics at hand, measuring your employees’ job satisfaction, their wellbeing, their sense of commitment to the company, and connectedness to their colleagues gets more precise. More strategic.
Just curious now: which 3 engagement metrics are the most important for your organization?
Creating an Action Plan Based on the Results of Metrics Analysis
Generating an action plan based on your results garnered from employee engagement metrics is essential. How to do it?
- Analyze and understand employee engagement metrics thoroughly
- Design targeted solutions based on identified issues
- Assign roles and create timelines for task implementations
- Regularly evaluate success factors post-changes
- Stay adaptable in strategy implementation
With these points, one can optimally harness the value of employee engagement metrics in fostering an environment conducive to business growth and a vibrant work culture!
Common Questions on Employee Engagement Metrics
Navigating the complexities of employee engagement metrics can stir many questions. We are here to answer them.
What Is the Employee Engagement Index?
The employee engagement index is a comprehensive quantifiable measure that encapsulates the overall rate and intensity of staff involvement within a particular organization.
This vital metric is calculated using survey data that assess various factors such as job satisfaction, workplace relations, and sense of purpose amongst employees.
Simply put, it's a numerical representation of your team's commitment to their roles and responsibilities—effectively influencing productivity, retention, and business growth.
What Is the Best KPI for Employee Engagement?
Identifying a single optimal Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for measuring employee engagement isn't prudent, given that this multidimensional concept necessitates different perspectives.
Nevertheless, certain pivotal KPIs can provide invaluable insights into workforce dynamics.
- Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS): It gauges an employee's willingness to recommend their workplace to someone they know, providing critical insight into their overall experience at work.
- Individual Performance: Tracks changes in each individual's performance over time. A boost signals improved engagement onboard.
- Absenteeism Rate: Engaged employees are rarely absent without genuine reasons. A higher absenteeism rate often indicates lower levels of worker involvement.
Deploying multiple KPIs for comprehensive evaluation ensures you capture the complete picture when evaluating staffer interactions and experiences.
What Are the 5 E’s of Employee Engagement?
The '5 Es' serve as pivotal pillars underpinning effective measurement techniques for gauging workforce attachment levels:
- Enthusiasm: Concerned with employees' passion for their roles or any specific ventures they undertake.
- Empowerment: Reflective of how adequately equipped employees feel in influencing business outcomes.
- Engagement: Measures voluntary effort contributed towards achieving business objectives beyond the call of job necessities.
- Enablement: Captures how optimally employees are provided with suitable resources for timely fulfillment of tasks.
- Energy: Corresponds to the dynamism exhibited by employees at work.
How Engagement Metrics Can Be Misleading
Despite their usefulness, employee engagement metrics aren’t foolproof, and relying solely on them may yield misleading results. Many factors could contribute:
- Voluntary employee survey responses mainly consist of extreme feelings – either highly satisfied or disgruntled ones leading to skewed feedback.
- Surveys often struggle to isolate extraneous situational influences from responses, rendering measurement ambiguous.
- Long-format surveys lead to respondent fatigue, causing superficial completion ranging from mindless ticking off to even leaving questions unanswered.
Thankfully, interpreting these metrics with context-based practical wisdom and complementing usual analytics with personalized interactions such as 1:1 meetings or stay interviews will give you a more balanced perspective necessary to improve your workplace environment constructively.