Employee Engagement Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement

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What is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement refers to the extent to which employees feel mentally and emotionally connected to the work they do, their teams, and to the organization as a whole. Employees who are engaged care about the work they do and about the way their company performs. On the other hand, employees who are not engaged may simply be working to receive their paycheck rather than to contribute to organizational goals and success. 

Employee engagement influences many different aspects of an organization including revenue, sales, profitability, employee turnover, customer service, etc. Organizations must therefore ensure that their employees and engaged and motivated so as to ensure organizational success.

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The Importance of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is important to all organizations as it affects so many different aspects of the business, especially those that are HR related such as employee retention and employee satisfaction which can both play a huge role in how smoothly a business is able to run. 

Advantages of Employee Engagement

To get an idea of the importance of employee engagement, let’s take a look at some of its advantages:

  • Decreased Employee Turnover: Engaged employees are less likely to look elsewhere from work; therefore high employee engagement leads to an increase in employee retention. 
  • Increased Employee Productivity: When employees feel more connected with their organization and its goals, they are more productive. 
  • Increased Customer Satisfaction: Happy employees make happy customers. When employees are highly engaged, they care more about their customers and their happiness, and therefore put in more effort into ensuring high customer satisfaction. 
  • Decreased Absenteeism: When employees are committed to their work, they show up to work. Studies have shown that engaged employees have been shown to have significantly lower absenteeism.

Types of Employee Engagement Drivers

Understanding what drives employee engagement will allow you to create effective plans and strategies to increase it. 

Let’s take a look at what drives employee engagement:

  • Organizational Drivers: Organization-wide drivers have a significant influence on employee engagement. 
  • Management Drivers: Good management can boost employee engagement. When employees have positive relationships with their supervisors or managers, they are more likely to be engaged.

How is Employee Engagement Measured

Before you can begin taking measures to improve employee engagement, you must know how to track and measure it. If employee engagement is not tracked, you can’t know if the measures you take to improve it are actually working or not. 

So how exactly is employee engagement measured? 

Employee engagement is tracked using employee engagement surveys. These surveys are designed to measure contributors of employee engagement such as competency, strategic alignment, performance, etc. If you’ve never conducted an employee engagement survey across your organization, you can use the other organizations’ scores in order to validate and benchmark your score. If you have conducted this survey in the past, you can validate and benchmark your scores by comparing your current score to an older score. 

Employee engagement surveys are generally short and contain just a few questions. Although these surveys help obtain data that is indicative of employee engagement, the data may not indicate the reasons for engagement or disengagement. This makes it difficult to pinpoint the causes for disengaged employees, due to which effective strategies cannot be developed. For this reason, it is integral to conduct comprehensive employee engagement surveys that contain 50 to 80 questions so that you can get a complete picture of engagement.  

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How to Create an Employee Engagement Action Plan

An employee engagement action plan will provide you with a clear idea of what steps need to be taken to effectively increase employee engagement. It must identify and expand on the key engagement drivers and commit to the actions that will create the most impact within the organization. 

Create an employee engagement plan using the following five steps: 

  • Conduct an Employee Engagement Survey

The first step in your employee engagement plan should be to conduct an employee engagement survey. Survey results will allow you to identify the strengths and weaknesses within your organization, as well as the opportunities for improvement. It is a good idea to share the results of the survey with your managers as well. 

  • Choose your Areas of Focus

The next step is to choose 2 or 3 key areas of focus that you believe requires further investigation. Select these areas based on the level of impact they have on employee engagement and the amount of effort that will be required to target the issue. 

  • Come up with Solutions

Once you’ve selected your areas of focus, it is time to think of solutions to target them. You can do so by creating docus groups that will be assigned to each issue. Focus groups will provide you will comprehensive insights on the data, as well as the possible challenges and solutions.  

  • Begin Creating your Action Plan 

The next step is to settle on the solutions and actions that best target your areas of concern and start building an action plan. This action plan should clearly outline all the measures and steps that must be taken to address the issue(s) effectively. 

  • Acknowledge and Communicate Progress

You must continue to track employee engagement even after your action plan is created and implemented. Follow up on your progress and identify which measures were effective and which were not. It is important to keep refining your action plan in order to ensure it is driving the most impact. 

Best Employee Engagement Practices

These are a few employee engagement practices that organizations can implement to ensure high employee engagement: 

  • Create an “Engagement Culture”: Create an organizational culture where the importance of employee engagement is acknowledged and prioritized. This should be done by creating action plans, continually monitoring progress, enhancing strategies and plans when needed, and celebrating any progress achieved.
  • Back Investments using Reliable Data: Employee engagement should be measured at least once every year. Survey questions must relate to the key aspects of an organization’s performance such as productivity and customer satisfaction. 
  • Make Engagement a Strategy: In order to successfully increase employee engagement, you must view employee engagement as a continuous strategy rather than a one-off project. Your employees should always feel heard and prioritized as their engagement levels have an enormous influence on the success of your organization. 

Employee Engagement Tools

Employee engagement tools should be leveraged by all organizations to ensure that their workforce is motivated and satisfied. The following are a few useful employee engagement tools: 

Surveys

Employee surveys gather information directly from the source. Your employees can provide you with very valuable insights about the issues they are facing within the organization so that these can be identified and eliminated. A few useful commonly used employee engagement surveys are: 

  • Employee engagement surveys
  • Pulse surveys
  • Employee Lifecycle surveys

Continues Performance Management Tools

These are the tools used by organizations at regular intervals to keep a check on employee performance:

  • Employee Feedback
  • Employee Recognition
  • Performance Revies

Analytics and Intelligence

Businesses can leverage analytics and intelligence platforms that allow them to identify potential risks, challenges, and opportunities within employee engagement and performance data. 

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Choosing the Right Employee Engagement Software

In order to be successful at employee engagement management, it is integral to select the right employee engagement platform for your organization. These are a few points you must keep in mind while selecting the best software for your organization’s needs: 

  • Understand where your Issues lie 

Before you can select a software that can successfully address your needs, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the business problems you are trying to address. The technology you employ will need to align with your key HR strategies and should support organizational goals and objectives. 

  • Ensure that the Right Stakeholders are Involved at the Right Time

While implementing an employee engagement platform, it is important to have the right people on board at the right time. This will make its introduction into your organization seamless and will allow you to make the most of the software. 

  • Keep ROI in Mind 

Employee engagement software involves a significant investment of both time and money. It is important to create the plans and forecasts required to ensure that the software will help you achieve a good return on investment and meaningful business outcomes. 

FAQs on Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is the extent to which an employee feels a mental and emotional connection to their organization and its goals.

The two main types of employee engagement drivers are organizational drivers and management drivers.

A few key employee engagement practices are; 

  • Create an engagement culture
  • Make employee engagement a strategy rather than a one-off project
  • Back investments using reliable data

The following are a few benefits of having engaged employees; 

  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Reduced employee turnover
  • Reduced employee absenteeism 
  • Increased employee productivity

Employee engagement is measured using employee engagement surveys. In order to gather the information that is actionable, employee engagement surveys should contain 50 to 80 survey items that also include some open-ended questions.

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Hindol Basu 
GM, Voxco Intelligence

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