First Things First - What Is Employee Engagement?
There is a major difference between employee satisfaction and employee engagement. An employee can be satisfied with a job without being engaged and whilst being content or satisfied with your job is usually enough to stop your employees looking around it isn’t necessarily enough to ensure productivity. They may simply be satisfied that the job is simple, they can forget about it at 5:30pm and they get paid each month.
An engaged employee is different. An engaged employee is usually very satisfied but also has a real emotional connection with the company and is likely to have the best interests of the company at heart which translates to real service excellence and high levels of productivity.
Why Should You Measure Employee Engagement?
Wouldn’t it be great to have each and every employee having the best interests of the company at heart? A group of people who are 100% committed to its success and who are proud to say that they are part of it. All this is possible with a little work on employee engagement research.
By incorporating employee engagement research into your HR strategy, you can gain insight into the level of engagement of each and every one of your team and find the answers to help improve it. Not only will increasing engagement have an impact on employee retention, your customers can also notice the difference.
What Questions Should You Ask?
Whilst annual surveys are a valuable tool for insight into the general satisfaction and engagement of your teams, there are a lot of factors that can affect their answers. Have you just performed, or are you about to perform a salary or performance review? Is it the end of the year? Getting the timing right can make all the difference.
Although a full survey is the best way to start developing an employee engagement strategy , there is a better way for the long term.
By using a pulse method, the survey then forms a conversation and the insight you gain is more likely to be honest and transparent. A pulse engagement survey strategy involves sending out a couple of questions every week or every other week and whilst that may seem like a lot more work than an annual survey, it really is quite simple.
There are a lot of companies offering software to make your survey process automated. SurveyMonkey even offer a free account option and for most SME’s this is more than adequate and certainly worth a look.
Regardless of your decision, we strongly advise that you make your responses anonymous so that employees can be honest without any fear of repercussion.
Here’s our advice on which topics will give you the right engagement insight.
Pride - Would you employees be proud to say that they work for your company? Those that are, are more likely to be proud of their work too and driven to achieve the very best results for themselves, their colleagues and the company.
Colleagues – We all know the phrase about spending longer with your colleagues than your partner and it’s important to check on the working relationships between your employees as this can have a considerable impact on moral and contribution. In fact, women who have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged compared with women who say otherwise.
Leadership – Everyone likes to be recognised for a job well done and not having that can have a detrimental impact on future work levels. You can’t keep a watchful eye over every manager in your business and some will operate differently than others. It’s therefore important to ascertain how your employees relate to not only their own line manager, but all levels of leadership. You may find that there is a manager who is particularly strong at recognition or motivation and once you know this, you can even tap into their expertise to help across all your teams. Respect for senior management is a key motivating factor for employee engagement – we are sure you will have seen the posts on social media about people leaving managers not jobs and there’s a strong reason for that.
The Tools To Do The Job - When was the last time you asked your employees if they had everything they needed to do their job fro the best of their ability? There may be a frustration about a complicated system or an old-fashioned process and using a survey to identify these frustrations will help make your employees feel valued and that their input really does matter. What you are actually doing is asking them what they need to be more efficient and you can also find out of the position is challenging them enough, or if they could take on additional responsibilities. Like many employee engagement initiatives, it's a win-win.
Career Development - It's unlikely that everyone in your teams are as ambitious as the next, but using an employee survey to help identify the career goals of everyone as individuals will help increase engagement. Ambitious people who have a goal to aim for are usually the most motivated and productive. Internal promotions will also go some way to motivate the rest of the team as they will see that there is a career path available to them should that be their goal now, or in the future.
Using The Results
Conducting employee engagement research is only half of the story. It’s what you do with the results that makes the real difference.
Before you send out your first survey, it is important that you communicate with your employees to let them know why you are conducting the survey and what will happen with the results – and then stick to it!
If you conduct a large survey to start with then you will suddenly be faced with all this data and what may seem like an endless list of things that need improvement. To help prioritise, try and identify a couple of key areas that you can action and also try and find a quick win that you can action immediately to show to your employees that you are serious about listening to and acting on their feedback.
Communicate the findings with your employees with timescales for action. Once you have made the necessary adjustments, you can find out if they have been positively received by conducting another survey.
The key to success is communication and continuation. Keep these in mind and you can’t go far wrong.
Is this has started you thinking about how best to start improving your employee engagement and you would like some help, get in touch for an informal chat. We are a small team of experts in recruitment, marketing, technology and employer branding and will have the answer you are looking for - 01244 567 967