Shortly after my last article was posted (February – The Month of Engagement), I received a call from a colleague asking a very important question: ‘How can I measure the level of engagement in my organization?’ My answer, of course, was: ‘conduct an Employment Engagement Survey’.
An Employment Engagement Survey is a quick and easy way to measure the extent to which employees are committed to their work and the organization. According to Dale Carnegie & Associates Inc.: “Employees personalize their work through emotions felt about the company’s actions as a whole and about their immediate supervisor in particular. Those who emotionally connect in a positive way with an organization feel a sense of ownership and are more likely to stay with it, delivering superior work in less time and reducing turnover costs”. In other words, retaining a superior workforce depends on efforts made by an employer in terms of best practice, affirmative action and employee engagement.
My first suggestion is always to look at, and assign weights to, all of the following areas within your organization:
- Productivity and morale
- Absenteeism and turnover
- Sales and customer satisfaction
Assigning weights to these areas will help ensure you develop questions that revolve around changes you want to observe in the future. Note: for some, these outcomes may weigh the same.
One caution I am adamant about, however, is this – it is possible an Employment Engagement Survey will yield a different result than you expect. For example, you may believe absenteeism and/or turnover is of greatest concern but soon discover morale is the bigger issue, according to employees. For this reason, it is wise to start with an equally weighted survey. Remember: you can always modify your survey.
Once weighted, you can start developing questions that dive deeper into the perceptions and emotions employees have on their role, colleagues, performance, pay, and organization. If you need help developing questions, Survey Monkey offers a free and simple template you can modify as you see fit.
After analyzing results from your survey I strongly suggest organizing focus groups to learn more about the responses employees provided. Focus groups are also a great way to reassure employees that their constructive feedback is welcomed and free from reprimand. Of course, you should make it clear that any constructive feedback given at a focus group be voiced with respect and remain factual.
Finally; another question posed by my colleague, with obvious concern, was: ‘How do I reassure my employees that their feedback will remain confidential and protect their identification?’ Simple – at the beginning of the survey, include a Statement of Confidentiality explaining just that. Or, you may consider a Third Party provider. Nonetheless, be sure it is clear to your employees why you are conducting the survey and how the information will be used. This will help minimize their possible concern for reprimand.