Understanding Employee Engagement & How to Increase It

What is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement measures the amount of mental and emotional connection employees feel to the place they work. It measures how strongly employees feel about the company based on their perception. According to Gallup, only 34% of U.S. employees report that they’re engaged in their workplace. Employees can be labeled as highly engaged, moderately engaged, barely engaged, or disengaged.


Benefits of Increasing Employee EngagementBusiness owner engaging with employees

The immediate benefits of employee engagement are retention, recruitment, job satisfaction, and happiness. Yet, the benefits go beyond these. Some include:

Increase in Employee Productivity

Engaged employees are more productive since their workplace enables them to use their strongest skills. When you enable employees to do what they excel at, they’ll meet and exceed goals more easily. More employee productivity yields higher profits to companies. The Engagement Institute reported that disengaged companies cost companies between $450 and $550 billion a year.

[Related: Eliminating Workplace Distractions to Improve Productivity]

Decrease in Turnover

Less turnover happens when employees are engaged in their workplace. Engaged employees understand that they will be recognized for their contributions. These types of employees will see professional growth opportunities within the organization. According to a research study into more than 600 U.S. businesses with up to 500 employees, 63% of respondents said that retaining employees is more difficult than hiring them.

Increase in Innovation

Engaged employees are more likely to be innovative because they are aware that their opinions matter. An engaged organization provides educational resources and support to its employees to foster innovation within the company.

Employee engagement benefits the company as a whole. With happier, more satisfied employees, the company can increase profitability, improve customer service, and increase recruitment success.


How to Measure Employee Engagement

There are several ways to measure employee engagement using surveys. Types of employee engagement surveys include:

  1. Annual Engagement Surveys

This type of survey is conducted once a year to help company leaders understand engagement on an organizational level. Questions leaders should ask:

  1. Are employees happy with their jobs?
  2. Do employees feel like they fit in with the company?
  3. What do employees think of their leaders?
  4. Do employees feel a connection to your company’s mission and core values?
  1. Lifecycle Surveys

This survey collects feedback from employees during milestones of their time at the company. Lifecycle surveys can include:

  1. New Hire Survey – This survey answers hiring questions targeting the onboarding process, their perception over time from 30 days, 60 days, and 180 days at the company, and their outlook on the future.
  2. Stay Survey – This survey serves as a check-in with current employees. Stay surveys ask employees why they’re still working at your company, what could cause them to leave, and what could prevent them from leaving.
  3. Exit Survey – This survey is conducted when an employee has notified your company that they are leaving. This survey asks why an employee is leaving and what can prevent others from leaving for the same reason.

[Related: Conducting Employee Exit Interviews]

  1. Pulse Surveys

This survey gathers real-time feedback on any topic at any time of the year. It’s important to conduct these surveys during times of company transition, such as management changes, focus changes, and mergers.

Measuring employee engagement can come as a challenge. With multiple types of surveys, it’s important to focus on the purpose of the data your company is collecting. A few reasons why your engagement survey might yield unclear results include:

  • You’re not using the right kind of survey.
  • You’re not tracking results over time.
  • You aren’t sharing the results with the right people in your company.


Strategies to Increase Employee EngagementBusiness owner on the phone asking an HR company about how to increase employee engagement

There are multiple strategies you can employ to encourage employee engagement in your company. Several strategies include:

  1. Supply Employees with Tools for Success
  2. Give Employees Individual Attention
  3. Provide Additional Training
  4. Listen to What Your Employees Have to Say
  5. Foster a Positive Company Culture

[Related: Increase Employee Engagement To Increase Productivity]


Work with ESS to Increase Employee Engagement

If your company wants to increase employee engagement effectively, contact HR professionals at Employer Support Services (ESS). We can help assess your workplace and create a plan that makes a positive difference in your company.

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