What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement measures employee sentiment on things such as passion and pride – how passionate employees are about their work, how proud they are to tell people where they work, do they believe in the mission of the organization, and do they feel their work is valued and their talents are well utilized.
It’s also important to note what it’s not. Employee engagement isn’t a measurement of how happy employees are or even how satisfied they are with their jobs. While measuring employee satisfaction is important, it’s not the same as measuring employee engagement.
Why is employee engagement important?
Companies care about revenue, the quality of their products and services, and whether their customers are having positive experiences. Employee engagement is a proven driver of all three. Engaged employees are also more productive and creative.
Unfortunately, only about 30% of employees are actually engaged. Another 50% are disengaged – meaning they are basically just along for the ride.
Want to know the really damaging statistic? Approximately 20% of employees are “actively disengaged,” meaning they are hard at work tearing others and the organization down. Gallup estimates that they cost the U.S. economy half a trillion dollars a year. Disengaged employees are also more likely to steal from their employers, negatively influence co-workers and drive away customers.[i]
So whether you’re trying to improve engagement, or stem the tides of disengagement, it’s important to know where your organization stands, because you can’t solve a problem you don’t know about.
[i] Gallup, State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for US Business Leaders, 2013
How do you measure employee engagement?
Traditionally, employee engagement is measured through an annual employee engagement survey that goes out to the entire organization. The engagement survey questions generally ask employees to rate their agreement with statements such as:
- I would recommend this company to a friend
- My talents are well utilized
- I believe in the mission of the organization
- My work is recognized and valued
- I have a sense of my career path
Many organizations will also run small, more frequent “pulse” surveys. As opposed to comprehensive employee engagement surveys, pulse surveys are generally narrower in scope, e.g. given to a smaller number of employees or questions focused on fewer topics. They allow managers to get a quick snapshot of certain areas of the company to see if their efforts to improve engagement are working.
How is an employee engagement survey different from other surveys?
The content of employee engagement surveys is quite different from a regular employee survey as engagement measures a lot more than just happiness or satisfaction. But the biggest difference comes in reporting.
Reporting for employee engagement is sophisticated, primarily because managers need to identify engagement issues or successes to pinpoint where they are in the organization. They need sophisticated hierarchical reporting and individualized, interactive dashboards.
Hierarchical reporting lets managers drill down into the data – for example, comparing divisions, regions and teams. They can quickly see pockets of high or low engagement that allow them to discover whether something is pervasive or localized to a specific group. Hierarchical reporting also tells managers exactly which levers they need to pull to fix problems and create a stronger, more engaged workforce.
Individualized, interactive dashboards show managers only the results that are relevant to their piece of the organization. That means the CEO can see engagement results across the entire organization, while the VP of Sales sees results only for members of the sales team. Dashboards allow managers to slice and dice the data in a way that’s useful to them.
Qualtrics makes it easy to measure and improve employee engagement
Managers want to spend time improving engagement, rather than on administrative tasks like creating employee surveys and processing analytics. Employees want to know they’ve been heard, and a quick response to their issues goes a long way in building trust and credibility.
Qualtrics Employee Engagement simplifies the whole process to dramatically speed up the timeline from survey creation to report delivery. Not only is survey creation incredibly simple with our intuitive point-and-click interface, but all the analytics are also run automatically so engagement results are available to individual managers in real-time.
This lets managers know exactly what levers they need to pull to increase engagement for their own part of the business. When it comes to measuring and improving engagement, knowing what the drivers are in a timely manner is the key to helping managers develop action plans that will really move the needle.
Learn how Qualtrics Employee Engagement can help your organization today! Check out Qualtrics.com/ee