Most organizations that are interested in driving employee engagement measure the current state through an annual employee survey. While these surveys are valuable and can provide information that’s both accurate and usable, measuring once a year isn’t adequate. Consider the value of brief, one- or two-question surveys delivered weekly. They can help an organization evaluate the impact of every decision instead of the sum of everything that occurred over an extended period.
Here’s an example: An organization that planned for months to manage culture in the wake of an upcoming layoff, for example, can determine how effective its strategy was in maintaining positive company culture and employee engagement despite the need for the layoff. Job cuts can cause diminished job security, increased fear, a decline in loyalty, and a decrease in engagement. Understanding how employees respond to the event enables the organization to better prepare, communicate, or act in the future.
Knowing metrics in real time makes identifying the cause of a peak or a dip in engagement simple, which makes taking action a breeze. Some key metrics to track and know include:
- Ratio of work time during business hours to work time after hours
- Average employee professional network size
- Average one-on-one time between employees and their supervisors
- Average one-on-one time between employees and senior leadership
- Ratio of highly engaged employees to disengaged employees in the organization
- Engaged vs. disengaged ratio for each team or department
- Percentage of time employees spend in meetings
- Short-term turnover and retention rates
It’s critical that the metrics being measured reflect meaningful data; when metrics don’t reveal something new and useful, they become busywork that bogs down leaders and distracts them from what really matters. One way to ensure that metrics are useful is to compare them to the five key drivers of engagement discussed earlier. Do they directly or indirectly measure one of these components? If not, select something more meaningful.
Once you know your metrics, it’s imperative that you dive deeper into them to drive change in the organization. This is called continuous improvement. Just as an organization would evaluate why it wasn’t meeting their productivity goals before laying off staff, it’s critical to understand how a single action, comment, or decision impacts the “pulse” of your organization.
When engagement is measured frequently, it becomes easier and easier to identify the culprit when engagement plummets. However, without working to determine the root cause, we still may just be looking at the tip of the iceberg.
Consider how the metrics listed above might help explain a surge or drop in employee engagement. If engagement decreases and the data show that employees are working after hours more than ever before but the rest of the metrics haven’t changed, it’s easy to pinpoint the culprit and begin brainstorming potential solutions.
- Content Strategy
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- Employee Engagement
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