Measuring employee engagement: top tools and tips

How can you tell if people are genuinely committed to your organization or just putting in the hours? Knowing if employees are engaged should be more than just guesswork. Here’s how to measure employee engagement in your business in the immediate post-COVID landscape and into the future.

Many things are easily quantifiable – like how many cups of coffee you drink in a day, or how long you spend commuting over a year. But employee engagement? Not so much.

That’s partly because it’s more about attitudes and emotions, so a range of factors can influence it. It’s also because employee engagement isn’t an easy concept to pin down - you’ll be looking at employee motivation, team engagement, engagement with work itself, and a whole host of other things.

But it’s a challenge that organizations need to overcome. Why? Because highly-engaged employees are generally more productive, proactive and creative, and they put in the extra effort to make a massive difference to the bottom line for your organization.

Work engagement post-COVID

As the world transitions to different ways of working after the coronavirus pandemic, it’s more important than ever to know if people are still feeling connected to the organization.

Many of them have experienced change - moving to remote work after the familiarity of the workplace 9-5. Now they’ll be dealing with uncertainty. No one knows what the world of work will look like in the near future. And while this is exciting - people have the chance to shape what work will be - it can also be scary. You need to know whether employees are engaging with the process of change, or whether uncertainty is causing them to mentally check out.

It’s vital to gauge how people are feeling as work transitions to the new normal. Managers will have been doing regular check-ins with people while they work remotely. Organizations may now want to survey attitudes on returning to the workplace, identify issues and find ways to deal with them. Once people are back in the workplace, you’ll need to keep checking in with both one-to-ones and pulse surveys every month to pick up on any new problems.

How to measure employee engagement

Employee engagement is multi-faceted, and you can’t measure it with a single tool or process. How do employees feel about the organization, their work and company culture? How does their level of engagement shift over time and with other changes like remote working? And how do varying degrees of engagement show in the way people behave? To find the answers to these questions, you can use a range of tools and measurement methods.

Creating a culture where you ask people about engagement can be positive in itself: people who feel their voice is heard at work are nearly five times more likely to feel empowered to do their best work. But just getting feedback isn’t enough. Before you start trying to measure engagement, think about these critical questions:

  • Who will be responsible for following up on the results of your surveys, interviews or research?
  • Do you have the right tools to analyse your findings?
  • What action will you take in light of the findings?
  • How will you put this action into practice?

Get these things nailed down, and you can start to turn your engagement findings into positive improvements.

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Apr 25, 2021

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