“Employee engagement” is a hot-button phrase in the world of HR these days. But what does it mean, exactly? Employee engagement is the degree to which an employee is committed or attached to an organization and how that devotion translates into positive work-related behavior, performance and outcomes.
The benefits of having highly engaged employees include:
- improved organizational effectiveness
- increased job performance
- better attendance
- reduced turnover
- being both physically and mentally ‘in the game’
As you can imagine, when your employees are well engaged, it drives higher customer satisfaction rates and loyalty. Clients and co-workers alike can sense the positivity, energy and dedication that engaged employees feel.
How to tell if your employees are engaged: data versus insight
We all want our employees to be engaged, but how can you be sure they actually are? Employee engagement surveys (EES) can produce a certain measure of engagement, but that is just a data point. An employee engagement survey should not only produce a data point, but it should also provide actionable insight. The survey (or, technically, the analytics behind the survey) should help point to the critical high-leverage factor to focus on in order to improve employee engagement.
There are many issues that come into play when an employee feels engaged:
- Job Content
- Work Group Cohesiveness
- Work Role
- Relationship with Supervisor
- Top Leadership Perceptions and Interactions
An effective EES should identify the areas of opportunity that have a large gap between “current” and “ideal,” and it should be correlated to higher employee engagement. Highly correlated factors that have a small gap between “current” and “ideal” leave little room for improvement. Worse, working on a big gap that is not correlated to employee engagement is a waste of time and money.
Get the best ROI
An employee engagement survey should be able to provide insight into the most highly-correlated focus area that offers the most runway, or opportunity for improvement. This insight is critical for management to move the needle on employee engagement. When looking at your options for an EES, be sure to find a survey that is laser focused on actionable insights so that you are spending your time and money wisely, and getting the best return on your investment.