Many HR executives and top management officials are often concerned about employee engagement, or the extent to which employees feel passionate about their work and the organization they belong to. Yet recent studies show that there’s a lot to be done as far as improving employee engagement is concerned.
In a 2013 report by Gallup, it was revealed that a mere 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at work. According to Gallup, the study shows that only one in eight workers are committed to their jobs and will likely make positive contributions to the companies they work for.
Experts say that employee engagement is one of the key ingredients to the success of any organization. It is importance because an engaged employee can contribute more to a company, resulting to better customer outcomes, increased productivity, and improved bottom line. This explains why every year, most HR executives sit down to think of ways to measure employee engagement and improve the levels of engagement of their colleagues.
Tips to measure employee engagement
Companies usually measure employee engagement through surveys. It is recommended that employee surveys are conducted using a mixed methodology of paper-based and online surveys. The latter can enable the organization to save money. Responses are also collected quickly through online surveys.
Paper-based surveys may appear too tradition to some, but these are still essential in reaching out to workers who don’t have access to the Internet such as delivery personnel and warehouse employees.
To ensure that more employees will take part in the polls, promote the survey internally. This can be done through email notification, an announcement on the company Intranet or newsletter, and even by putting up notices on communal bulletin boards. Increase in response rates can be achieved by letting everyone in the organization know the benefits of participating in employee surveys.
Any poll, survey, or initiative to measure employee engagement should have the full support of the senior management team. It also helps if the leaders will take full ownership of the poll results. HR experts say that assigning an internal project manager who will communicate closely with the management team can ensure that senior management will be notified of the conduct and results of the employee engagement poll.
Moreover, the management should commit that they act on the poll results and communicate their plans to the employees.
Employees should also be aware that their responses will be kept confidential, so they will be encouraged to take part in the survey. This is where the hiring of a third party provider proves advantageous, as the employees will trust that their responses will be kept by another group or entity.
How to Improve Employee Engagement
In case a survey shows that employee engagement is low, what can a company do to improve it?
One of the best ways to do so is to reward and recognize employees. Management should regularly acknowledge and thank their employees for their hard work. Some companies even hold recognition day programs to celebrate the accomplishments and reward their best employees.
Another way is to do philanthropic activities. Companies that back philanthropic causes by involving the management and employees in volunteer projects usually see an increase in employee engagement and productivity. Employees will realize that their company isn’t just about making money but also helping out others.
Companies can also initiate more employee-related activities. They can sponsor a sports tournament, or host a monthly employee forum, and even fun activities like “dress up day” where employees can sport crazy outfits.
Employees are often referred to as a company’s best asset. It is thus only reasonable that companies take time to measure employee engagement and take actions to improve the levels of engagement of their workers.