What Does Employee Engagement Look Like, and How Should We Measure It?

The following post serves as the second installment in our Employee Engagement Blog Series. This series will inform readers about the importance of employee engagement, and will provide best practices for how to boost both employee engagement and employee satisfaction. Read the first post here.

As discussed in our first post in this series, employee engagement occurs when an employee feels an emotional connection to an organization and its goals, and is therefore wholeheartedly invested in their work to the fullest extent.

As a result, engaged employees:

  • Collaborate on ideas to improve business processes and outcomes.
  • Feel empowered to come up with innovative solutions.
  • Are charged with positive energy which boosts morale and makes everyone more productive.

“Happy people are better workers. Those who are engaged with their jobs and colleagues work harder — and smarter.”- Aimee McKee, Teleos Leadership Institute

Research conducted by the Teleos Leadership Institute found that employees want three things when it comes to their places of work and their careers:

  • A meaningful vision of the future. Employees are most engaged when they are invested in the goals of the organization by which they are employed. In order to be invested in these goals, employees must have access to and understanding of what is to come in the future. Typically, this is communicated down from leadership.
  • A sense of purpose. Employees are most engaged when they understand how their role fits into the organization, and the impact that their role has on company goals.
  • Great relationships. Employees are most engaged when they genuinely feel included in a team larger than themselves. Camaraderie is essential.

In order to proactively monitor and boost employee engagement, an effective strategy must be implemented to monitor all three of the components listed above. Let’s take a closer look at how.

How To Measure Employee Engagement

Now that we’ve addressed the three foundational components of employee engagement, let’s dive into how to actually measure engagement.

It’s far too common that employers simply ask employees if they are satisfied with existing superficial perks and benefits, as opposed to positioning their inquiries to drill into the core influencing factors of employee engagement. Instead, these employers should be more transparent and straightforward, asking their employees directly what they need to do to keep them on board and motivated.

Oftentimes, organizations ask this question on rare instances of annual performance reviews or during exit interviews, for example. To gain more transparency into the current engagement state of your employees, consider a proactive approach by routinely asking  this question in employee surveys. This works best when done regularly, such as once a quarter.

This strategy can, and should be implemented as early as the stage in which candidates are interviewed for available roles. Knowing what motivates someone when hiring helps to not only identify the right candidates for an organization’s culture and structure, but it also keeps a finger on the pulse of employee engagement.

When surveying employees or candidates in regards to their satisfaction and engagement, it’s best to use an open-text question type rather than a closed-ended question type. You might be surprised to learn that employee satisfaction isn’t tied as strongly to wage or salary as much as one might think.

For example, while analyzing current employee engagement, Aflac Insurance found that a common pain point for their employees was difficulty balancing work life with child rearing. The company learned that an easy way to boost employee engagement was to build out an on-site child care program, and provide more flexible work hours.

What Else to Ask in An Employee Engagement Survey

If you’re unclear on which questions to ask in an employee engagement survey, don’t worry, TINYpulse has got you covered. See below for 20 employee engagement survey questions you might consider:

Workplace Satisfaction

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you at work?
  • Would you refer someone to work here?
  • Do you have a clear understanding of your career or promotion path?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your work-life balance?
  • Hypothetically, if you were to quit tomorrow, what would your reason be?

Feeling Appreciated and Valued

  • Do you feel valued at work?
  • How frequently do you receive recognition from your manager?
  • The last time you accomplished a big project, did you receive any recognition?

Employee Retention

  • Do you believe you’ll be able to reach your full potential here?
  • If you were given the chance, would you re-apply to your current job?
  • Do you foresee yourself working here one year from now?
  • Do you believe the leadership team takes your feedback seriously?

Organizational Culture

  • Do you feel like the management team here is transparent?
  • With eyes closed, can you recite our organization’s values?
  • What three words would you use to describe our culture?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how comfortable do you feel giving upwards feedback to your supervisor?
  • Do you feel like coworkers give each other respect here?
  • Do you believe we live authentically by our organizational values?
  • Does our executive team contribute to a positive work culture?
  • Do you have fun at work?

Of course, these questions are just suggestions. The questions you ask will vary depending on your corporate culture, and your current understanding of your employee engagement.

For a more efficient analysis, divide your questions into the three most important categories for employee engagement that we discussed earlier: future vision, sense of purpose, and great relationships.

Stay tuned for our next post in this employee engagement series, which will inform readers on how to implement an employee engagement strategy across their businesses.

How does your company measure employee engagement? Sound off in the comments or shoot us a tweet for a chance to win an Amazon gift card!

Join the Conversation