It is a fact; employee engagement is one of the key success factors for companies. Strategically relevant, engagement reflects the employee’s sense of belonging to his or her company through motivation, championing the company’s values, initiative-taking, and more. Even so, what are the indicators and mechanisms for measuring the level of employee engagement?
Which indicators to use?
First and foremost, HR managers rely on social indicators:
- Absenteeism rate. The total number of hours of absence in relation to the total number of hours to be worked. Some absences are justified (illness, accidents at work, etc.) and some are not, which may suggest that there is a sense of dissatisfaction at work or a lack of motivation. For the record, the average absenteeism rate reached 5.11 % in 2019, according to the 12th Ayming Barometer on Absenteeism.
- The employee turnover rate. The number of employee exits and hires divided by the number of employees at the beginning of the period. Just as for the absenteeism rate, a high level for the employee turnover rate may mean a lack of recognition by the company, poor development opportunities, a salary perceived to be too low, among others.
Of course, these two indicators must be placed in their proper context, taking into account the specifics for jobs and assignments, along with the company’s strategy.
Performance indicators also provide valuable information on employee engagement, particularly:
- Business volume of the company. A growing volume of business may be the outcome of effective collective performance.
- Employee productivity. According to the 2019 study on productivity at work by Oxford University Saïd Business School and British multinational telecoms, happy and engaged employees are 13% more productive.
- Customer satisfaction. Employee engagement is an important aspect for customer satisfaction (re-purchase intention, recommendation rate, etc.).
- Participation rate of employees in the training programmes offered by the company.
How to track employee engagement?
Thanks to continuous formal or informal feedback, key information is transmitted regularly (weekly, monthly, etc.). The areas for improvement can be implemented quickly, with no need to wait for the indispensable annual interview. Even so, the interview remains a privileged moment between the employee and his or her manager, helping employees to take stock of their careers, to express their wishes and expectations on possible training, to evaluate their achievements, etc.
The questionnaires and/or surveys can also be sent by e-mail or through an internal platform where each employee can:
- Express how they feel about the work environment
- List their ambitions and wishes for career development
- Request specific training
- Give their opinion on the management style implemented and the quality of the tools available
- Assess the quality of communication in the company
- Discuss their remuneration, etc.
All the data collected should be analysed to assess employee engagement and monitored regularly (fortnightly, monthly, etc.) to become a proper factor for improving HR services, while HR must be attentive to what employees are saying and adapt to their expectations whenever possible.
Finally, it is useful to analyse the quality of the employees’ lives at work: are the conditions offered optimal?
- Is the equipment (computer, mobile phone, etc.) adapted to the job and the assignments?
- Is the environment healthy (noise, risk prevention, safety, hygiene, etc.)?
- Can employees organize their working day with their personal lives in mind?
- Is the physical and mental health of employees taken into consideration and can they express themselves freely?
Reinforce employee engagement. Yes, it can be done!
Measuring employee engagement involves the identification of the areas for improvement. In the current digitalization era for companies, there are numerous tools that can be used to reinforce engagement for each employee:
- Corporate social networks that facilitate communication between all employees, including top management.
- Technology solutions for project management that simplify cooperation, encourage teamwork, centralize information, makes it possible for miscommunication to be avoided, etc.
Generally, all these tools promote transparency and understanding of the assignments to be done. Employees feel involved and have a clear vision of what they have to achieve. But what other actions still need to be taken?
- Identify each employee’s skills in order to propose tailored assignments and training programmes, as well as relevant career opportunities.
- Organize team events to assess collective engagement, promote informal dialogue, encourage socialization and assimilation, strengthen ties between employees, etc…