Having a highly engaged team is a dream for every leader who wants to see their company succeed. However, building a team of engaged employees and keeping them engaged is one of the major challenges leaders face.”
Employee engagement is the emotional commitment and investment an employee has toward their organization and its goals. It includes the employee’s passion, motivation, and alignment with the company’s vision. Employee engagement is not merely job satisfaction or happiness at work. It goes beyond just enjoying their role or being content where they are.
Oftentimes, it is easy to spot engaged employees. They are typically more productive, loyal, and invested in the success of the business. You can also see the signs of low employee engagement within your team. Employees who are not engaged usually lack enthusiasm, have a bad attitude, or do not participate in events or speak up at meetings.
For any leader who wants to get the most out of their team, improving employee engagement should be a priority. However, the best way to have employee engagement is to pay attention to employee engagement metrics that will let you know that there is a problem.
Employee Satisfaction Surveys
One of the most direct ways to gauge employee engagement is through employee satisfaction surveys. These surveys offer a platform for employees to voice their opinions. It also gives them a chance to really share their feelings and concerns about the company, management, and their jobs.
By periodically administering these surveys, leaders can see how their employees really feel about their jobs. Leaders can use this information to identify areas for improvement. They can also track the impact of implemented changes over time.
For instance, let’s say a recurring theme in the survey is that employees feel there are inadequate training resources. Management can give out surveys at the beginning of the year and then again at the end. If the scores around training resources are the same despite management’s efforts, then they know that what they’re doing isn’t working. At some point, leaders can go back to see what went wrong and try new strategies to correct things.
Most leaders recognize that employee turnover is a major problem. Not only does it impact team morale, but it also impacts customers, productivity, and possibly sales. High turnover has been shown to cost employers one to two times an employee’s annual salary.
The turnover rate is the percentage of employees who leave a company within a specified period. The reason why they leave can be because they quit, retired, were terminated, or other reasons. However, one of the major causes of high turnover is employee dissatisfaction. All of which can begin with low morale and employee engagement.
Although turnover rates vary by industry, having a rate of 10% or lower is a good indication that you have a more stable team.
Occasional absences are natural. However, frequent or prolonged absenteeism can be a sign of deeper issues. Some of the causes for absenteeism could be employee burnout, dissatisfaction, or health concerns. This is why your absenteeism rate is an important employee engagement metric to pay attention to.
Absentee rates refer to the frequency or percentage of days employees are absent from work over a specified period. This includes missing their regular shifts due to illness, personal reasons, or unforeseen circumstances. The average absence rate for all full-time wage and salary workers is 3.2% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That means that, on average, 3.2% of the workforce is absent from work on regular workdays. Some industries such as healthcare, emergency services, and customer relations have higher rates somewhere between 6%-11%.
Having high absentee rates can really affect employee morale. There is always a challenge in trying to lower absenteeism. One of the reasons is that some industries, like the ones we mentioned earlier, tend to be more stressful and naturally have higher rates.
However, that shouldn’t stop leaders from doing what they can to lower these rates and deal with employees being absent frequently. The absentee rate is not just a numerical value but a reflection of organizational health and employee well-being. This makes it an indispensable employee engagement metric.
Employee Net Promoter Scores (eNPS)
Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is a metric which gauges employee loyalty. It is another great way to find out how your employees truly feel about the company they work for. Instead of asking customers how likely they are to recommend a product or service, eNPS asks employees how likely they are to recommend their workplace to others. Typically, respondents are categorized as Promoters (score 9-10), Passives (score 7-8), and Detractors (score 0-6). The eNPS is then calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.
Knowing and keeping an eye on employee engagement and organizational health is important for leaders who want to better employee engagement. A high eNPS suggests that employees feel positively about the company. This is not only about engagement, however. It is also about commitment and overall satisfaction.
On the other hand, a low eNPS can signal underlying issues. Most likely it could mean that employees are not happy with leadership, growth opportunities, or the workplace culture. Needless to say, all of these can dampen employee engagement. By keeping track of eNPS, companies gain a direct insight into employee sentiment and can pinpoint areas needing attention.
Engaged employees are more likely to be Promoters. They will be more likely to champion their organization to others.
The relationship between productivity and employee engagement is deeply intertwined. Many leaders tend to miss this connection if they are not paying close attention. Engaged employees are typically more productive. They are more efficient, produce better work quality, and are more involved in the problem-solving process. In fact, when employees are happy and engaged, productivity is 147% higher than in industries or companies where engagement is low.
Conversely, when employees are disengaged, they may lack the motivation to optimize their work output. They tend to do the bare minimum required to keep their jobs and stay out of trouble. This leads to reduced efficiency and potentially compromised work quality.
By consistently monitoring productivity levels, you can indirectly gauge employee engagement. If productivity dips without any apparent external factors, it may suggest issues with morale, motivation, or engagement
Employee Health Index
The Employee Health Index (EHI) is a metric that assesses the overall well-being and health of a business’s workforce. It includes factors like physical health, mental well-being, workplace stress levels, and even job satisfaction. A positive EHI means that employees are thriving, both mentally and physically. However, a low EHI might indicate prevalent health issues, higher stress, or general dissatisfaction.
The connection between the Employee Health Index and employee engagement is a profound one. Engaged employees often feel a stronger sense of well-being. This may be because they are more aligned with their roles, feel recognized for their contributions, and experience a sense of purpose at work.
This alignment and sense of value can lead to reduced workplace stress and better mental health. On the flip side, when employees are disengaged, they might feel alienated, stressed, or undervalued. All of which can negatively affect their overall health and well-being.
By regularly monitoring the EHI, organizations can not only track the health and well-being of their employees but also gain insights into levels of engagement. If the EHI is declining, it might be indicative of broader issues related to engagement.
Companies like Johnson & Johnson have employed comprehensive health and wellness programs, which have reportedly saved them millions in healthcare costs. These programs involve regular health screenings, stress management workshops, and even fitness challenges. By tracking the Employee Health Index, businesses can not only address immediate health concerns but also forecast potential future challenges and preemptively introduce interventions.
External Company Reviews
Another great way to gauge employee engagement is to read for yourself in an honest, unfiltered review. Websites like Glassdoor or Indeed allow users to share their experiences, rate companies, and offer insights into overall satisfaction.
Monitoring these external reviews is essential for businesses. That is because these external reviews offer a perspective on how the company is perceived. A multitude of negative reviews for your company can signal issues with employee engagement. On the other hand, positive reviews can enhance a company’s reputation, attracting top talent and boosting customer trust.
By keeping an eye on external company reviews, businesses gain a clearer understanding of their strengths and areas for improvement. External company reviews serve as a real-world pulse check on a company’s reputation and performance.
Customer Satisfaction Scores
While not a direct employee engagement metric, customer satisfaction can be a reflection of employee engagement. The link between customer satisfaction and employee engagement cannot be overstated. Engaged employees are more likely to be committed, passionate, and driven to go the extra mile in their roles. This will directly influence the quality of service or product they provide.
When employees are engaged and believe in the company’s mission, they often create positive interactions. Customers tend to notice these things and reflect that when they take surveys. On the other hand, disengaged employees might not put in the effort required to meet customer needs. If you’ve had bad service in the past, you may have also given a poor review even if the employee did their job correctly.
Regularly evaluating customer satisfaction can shed light on employee engagement in so many ways. If customers consistently express discontent about service quality or interactions, it may hint at underlying issues with employee morale or engagement. Customer satisfaction and employee engagement are two sides of the same coin. One influences the other in a continuous feedback loop.
There are many reasons for low employee engagement. Each company and industry has specific working environments that can help or harm engagement. As a leader, use some of these employee engagement metrics to help pinpoint engagement within your team.