While we all want to hire and retain top performing employees, how do we know the degree to which they are engaged? Engagement can mean the difference between having those superstar employees maintain the status quo and driving customer satisfaction through the roof. In today’s competitive market, where unemployment is low and competition is high, it’s important to know what your employees are thinking. Read on to learn why measuring employee engagement is one of the best investments you can make in your business. Learn how working with the right third-party survey vendor will make yours an effective and painless process.
Why Should You Measure Employee Engagement?
With fierce competition for high-performing employees, and big price tags associated with acquisition and on-boarding of new staff, more and more employers are investing in engagement as a strategy for workforce success. When engagement is low, expect a big impact in your culture. A business can only excel with thriving employees, which is why employee engagement is so important and needs to be measured. Important measures such as productivity, creativity, and even customer service can suffer in an environment with low levels of engagement.
1. Identify Surfacing Problems Sooner Rather Than Later
By regularly measuring engagement and soliciting feedback from your staff, you’ll be aware of developing issues so you can take action to improve before larger problems arise, such as turnover. Addressing problems, such as poor leadership, lack of communication, or inadequate technology, can steer the ship back on course.
2. Retain Valuable Employees
Finding talented and hardworking employees can be a long and difficult task. Retaining these top performers is even more challenging. Career-oriented employees want to work in a place that has an uplifting and positive environment, where their work and opinions are appreciated. When those talented and hardworking employees are engaged, the impact they make can elevate from simply doing good work to making an impact on the business.
This is one of the most important reasons why the best employers invest in their workplace culture. Happy, hardworking employees are brand ambassadors; they are evangelists. They are the architects of the best customer outcomes and increased employee retention.
3. Boost Morale With Collaboration
Is it important to be heard and for your ideas to be considered? Of course. Nearly every employee feels just like you do. They want to be heard and to be part of the growth and development of your organization. The gesture of conducting regular employee engagement surveys shows your employees – through action – that you value their feedback and ideas. According to Harvard Business Review, when employees feel empowered at work they perform better and are more committed to their employer.
4. Discover Opportunities for Improvement
Opportunity awaits! You’ll find that gaining an eagle-eye perspective of engagement and satisfaction at your organization will uncover opportunities for improvement. Perhaps your organization has room for improvement in the areas of development or leadership. Once you’ve uncovered this in your employee feedback data, you can address it. A new training and development program could make a valuable impact, reaching many areas of your business. Bridge survey data finds that offering career training and development would keep 86% of millennials from leaving their current position!
5. Capitalize on Your Strengths
It’s not all about negative feedback. Conducting an employee engagement survey will also illuminate areas in which you’re head and shoulders above the rest. These strengths should be celebrated! Tell stories to share examples of these strengths and know that your employees will share those same stories with new and prospective staffers, as well as customers and prospects.
Consider working with a survey provider who can deliver benchmark reporting, so you know just how much you excel in this area. It’s powerful to compare your own employee feedback data – and HR practices and policies – against the competition; in your location, industry, or both.
How to Measure Employee Engagement
Employee surveys can be powerful tools, indicating exactly what your employees think. You can identify problems like poor supervision, communication breakdown, and mounting plans to leave your company before expensive turnover affects your business.
1. Always Work with a Third-Party Survey Vendor
One of the most effective ways to gather employee feedback data is ask your employees questions about what it’s like to work for you. While that seems simple enough, it can be difficult for employees to offer honest feedback to their employers because their livelihood is on the line. If an employee suspects that his identity will be connected to his feedback, he will not be able to be completely candid. For this reason, it’s important to use a third-party survey provider to protect confidentiality.
The right survey provider will offer you not just the protection of confidentiality, but also an easy and affordable process along with actionable data reports; so you can improve over time. When interviewing prospective survey providers, talk about how you’ll use your employee feedback. Specifically, it will be essential to organize reports by hierarchy, department, length of service, and perhaps other work groups as well.
2. Identify Goals Prior to Launching Your Survey
It’s important to discuss goals and objectives with your survey vendor, because this will determine aspects of the survey design. For example, do you need to know which departments have weak supervisor relationships or which locations have work environment issues? If so, work with your survey vendor to set up your reporting groups and then pre-assign those work groups in your employee file. When you designate each employee’s demographics on the back end of your project, you’ll shorten the survey, calm the nerves of your employees, and ensure the accuracy of reporting. Identifying your goals for conducting the survey will also help you to outline your plan of action in response to the survey results.
3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Communicate– before, during, and after your employee engagement survey. Generate excitement and awareness, assure your employees of confidentiality, and communicate the results of your survey project.
4. Understand Your Employee Feedback Data
After you receive your employee feedback reports, complete an analysis call with your survey vendor. In this call, your survey provider should tell you what 2 or 3 things you can do to increase employee engagement at your organization. Armed with that knowledge, you can now close the loop with your employees. Tell them that you’ve received the results of the survey and you’ve heard them, loud and clear.
5. Take Action to Improve
This is when the real magic happens. Do yourself a favor by building in time to focus on and respond to your employee feedback data. In your reports analysis call, you will have identified areas for improvement most likely to increase employee engagement. While it can be tempting to take on any number of areas that indicate a need for improvement, focus instead on just those that will increase engagement.
Instead of developing grandiose plans, keep it manageable. For example, if supervisor relationships in the sales department indicate a need for critical feedback, enroll sales managers in training for just that. After 4 -6 months of action, use a Pulse Survey to measure your progress against just those goals.
6. Rinse and Repeat
While a single survey project will provide you with valuable insights and actionable data, your organization is an evolving organism and needs your long term investment. As new employees come on board, and as you implement those action plans for improvement, engagement metrics will surely shift and – if you’re doing it right – improve. Most of our customers (whose goals include increasing engagement) survey their employees at least twice each year: once with the full Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey and again, 4 -6 months later with a Pulse Survey to measure progress against their goals.
Benefits of Using an Employee Survey to Measure Engagement
1. Data is Protected and Confidential
Using a confidential employee engagement survey makes it possible for employees to offer honest feedback to their employers. If you want actionable data about the state of your organization, assure employees of their confidentiality. Share our video, so they understand why we take privacy so seriously.
2. Easy to Prioritize Initiatives
Surveys facilitate ongoing communication, improving employee engagement. The best employee surveys not only provide feedback, but are actionable so that you can improve over time. Your employee engagement data will help you to prioritize improvement areas so you can focus on what’s most important, first. Your key drivers of engagement can even tell you which areas of your business are most likely to influence engagement at your organization. Having that kind of information makes it easy to prioritize.
3. Helps Design or Re-design Benefits Packages
Learning what types of benefits employees appreciate most — as well as the types of benefits they would like to have — can help you restructure your employee compensation package to retain existing employees and attract more long-term employees. You can readily include questions about your benefits packages in your employee survey.
4. Reveals the Truth About Work Environment
Despite the fact that managers within your organization may be working hard to create ideal working conditions for your employees, you won’t really know whether your efforts are effective until you receive feedback from your workforce. Before you commit to a survey tool, determine whether it includes a section about workplace conditions.
5. A Verified and Tested Tool
An employee survey is a diagnostic instrument that indicates the strengths and weaknesses of an organization. With knowledge of daily work process, employees can provide useful information about day-to-day operations and how they can be improved. Some HR professionals may be tempted to conduct an employee engagement survey on their own, but it may become overwhelming or fall short. A survey vendor specializing in the collection of employee feedback has likely perfected and modified survey questions, the process of set up and administration, as well as the reporting and analysis you need to take action, so you can get to work making the most important improvements within your organization right away.
Best Employee Surveys | Measuring Employee Engagement
Our customers work with us to survey their employees, using our proprietary engagement and satisfaction survey tool. Our easy and affordable process yields actionable response data reports after only five weeks from set up to reports delivery. And we have a ton of data. As the research firm that creates ranked lists for Best Places to Work programs, such as Best Places to Work in New York City and Best Places to Work in Healthcare, our customers are able to compare their own data to the best of the best.
With more than 15 years of experience and collected data, our customization options ensure that your organization is capturing data in the most effective way for your reporting needs. Because we survey about 6,000 companies and their more than 800,000 employees each year, you can feel good about using our extensive database as a comparative benchmark for your results; it is of the highest quality and is also used to support trending analyses and ongoing research performed by a number of scholars, authors, and presenters worldwide.
It’s powerful to know what your employees think! You can identify problems like poor supervision, communication breakdown, and mounting plans to leave your company before expensive turnover affects your business.
When you’re ready to learn more about employee survey timelines, process and pricing, schedule a time to meet with one of our employer coaches. We’ll get all your questions answered.