Haley Bucelewicz | 01.23.19

Employee engagement impacts everything from customer satisfaction, to productivity, and organizational costs. And with a field service workforce shortage looming, it’s more important than ever to make it a priority. But how do you know if your workforce is engaged?

In this post, we explain the steps you can take to measure employee engagement in your organization.

1) Define What Employee Engagement Means

Before you can begin measuring employee engagement, you need to define what it means to your organization. Unfortunately it’s an ambiguous term and there’s no singular definition. Some organizations define it simply as feeling happy or satisfied at work, and others as a commitment to organizational goals.

Though the exact definition will vary by organization, there are some common characteristics of employee engagement to focus on. Generally employees are more engaged when they:

  • Align with the organization’s goals and mission
  • Feel confident about the company and leadership
  • Receive regular feedback and recognition; have regular discussions about progress
  • Have a manager or supervisor who cares about them and encourages development
  • Feel a positive social connection with their coworkers
  • Have a sense of purpose and feel like what they do is an important contribution
  • Have opportunities for both professional and personal growth and development
  • Feel appreciated by the company; have a work/life balance
  • Know what’s expected of them and have the training and materials to do their job effectively

2) Measure Frequently

There are multiple ways to measure employee engagement, but the most important thing to remember is that it should be tracked on a regular basis. As new employees join or things change in the organization, so will opinions. You’ll want the most current and accurate view of employee engagement so you can act on it. Below are some common ways to measure engagement:

Surveys and Feedback

It’s a common practice at many organizations to distribute an annual employee engagement survey, but as mentioned these aren’t frequent enough. Pulse surveys are short and frequent questionnaires distributed on a regular basis—either monthly or quarterly. They track the same items over time, allowing you to check in and react regularly. If you haven’t done an employee engagement survey before, a good way to start is by sending out an initial one with a mix of qualitative, quantitative, and scaled questions with free response prompts to gather benchmark data.

Ensure that all feedback is anonymous and be transparent about the results. You might also want to compare your company’s results to those of competitors and others in the industry so you can see how you’re performing on a grander scale. 

Here are some agree/disagree statements you might want to include in the survey:

  • I see myself working at this company in two years’ time
  • The leaders at this company keep people informed about what’s happening
  • I have access to the learning and development I need to do my job well

Find more questions from CultureAmp or Gallup.

Employee NPS

As a service provider, you’re likely familiar with the Net Promoter Score (NPS), or the 1-10 scale that measures customer loyalty. The same scale can be used to measure employee loyalty. Instead of asking respondents how likely they would recommend your product or service, you’ll want to ask “How likely are you to recommend working at [your company] to a friend?” Be sure to follow up with an open-ended question like “What’s the reason for your score?” so you can get valuable feedback on how to improve.

One-on-One Meetings

A more informal and potentially more valuable way of measuring employee engagement is through regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings. These in person, private meetings are a great way to get a sense of what’s going through your employee’s head and how they feel about their job. It’s important employees feel safe about sharing details regarding issues or concerns they have. You can also use this time to talk about career development and professional growth.

Here are a few questions to help guide your conversation:

  • What’s on your mind this week? Any challenges?
  • How confident do you feel with where the company’s going?
  • What has gone well or not so well with you [over a period of time]?
  • What are some skills you’d like to learn on the job?

Find more questions here.

Stay Interviews

You’ve probably heard of (and practice) exit interviews, where you collect feedback from employees before they leave the organization. While they can be effective, the downside is that it’s probably too late to fix the problem for the employee at that point. With a stay interview, you can ask current employees why they continue to work for your organization. This will give you an idea of what’s going well, how you can improve, and most importantly, how you can retain your employees.

Here are a few questions you might want to ask in the interview:

  • How’s your relationship with your manager?
  • What makes a great day of work for you?
  • What’s one thing you would change with your role?

Find more stay interview questions from Officevibe.

3) Take Action

Remember that measuring employee engagement is only the first step. Once you’ve gathered your feedback and results, be sure to communicate it to the rest of the organization. That way, your employees know you’ve acknowledged their feedback and are planning to take the necessary steps.

Don’t be one of the 52% of managers who review survey results but don’t take action. Start with some key areas to improve upon and address them immediately. Most importantly, be sure to follow up with your employees regularly and repeat the process for continuous improvement.

Keep an eye out for more employee engagement content on the ClickSoftware blog. You can also check out some additional resources below.

Additional Resources

Measuring Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement Fundamentals (Culture Amp)

Employee Engagement: Seeing the Bigger Picture (Officevibe)

3 Simple Elements for Measuring Employee Engagement (Forbes)

Engagement, Recruitment, and Retention in Field Service

A Field Guide to Recruiting Millennials in Utilities

Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining a Home Healthcare Workforce