Employee engagement measurements: What to track and how to define success

Employee Engagement
Team office working together

Disengaged employees cost US companies a total of $450-500 billion dollars per year. With remote workers making up a greater percentage of the workforce, companies are more concerned than ever about ensuring employees are engaged, motivated, and performing.

But how can you gauge employee engagement?

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into 6 key metrics you need to know to measure employee engagement. Stay tuned to learn how to measure them – and how to improve if you’re falling short.

What you’ll learn

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is the level of emotional commitment and investment in your company and its mission that an employee has. Unlike employee happiness or satisfaction, engagement measures how much employees care about the company’s goals – not how happy they are at work – although these two can certainly overlap.

Engaged employees are those that are most connected to their work and their company in a positive manner. Engaged employees go above and beyond for their companies, which is not only great for business but helps to build a strong company culture, keeping motivation high.

Why does tracking employee engagement matter?

Employee engagement tracks your employees’ commitment to the company’s overall mission. It shows their level of investment in both their work and the company’s success. This can look like an employee doing a great job not just for their job satisfaction or in the hopes of a promotion, but out of dedication to something larger than themselves.

Companies with highly engaged employees can benefit from 6% higher net profit margins, as well as shareholder returns that are five times higher than their less engaged counterparts. Engaged employees can lead to increased quality, profits, and productivity.

With these benefits in mind, monitoring and improving employee engagement becomes a top priority. Let’s take a look at how you can do just that.

KPIs to measure employee engagement

Now that you know why you should track engagement, let’s take a look at how to measure employee engagement by looking at some of the most common KPIs.

Employee turnover

According to a 2018 Jobvite study, 28% of new hires quit within the first 90 days and turnover like that is not a sign of a high level of engagement. If you’re seeing high turnover every year, it’s a sign of an unengaged workforce. Some questions to ask yourself in this situation include:

An answer of “no” to any one of the questions above can lead to higher rates of turnover in your workforce.

Employee turnover is a crucial metric to track because once you know how many employees are leaving, you can begin to figure out why.

Employee job satisfaction

While it’s true that an employee can be satisfied without being engaged, employee satisfaction isn’t a metric to ignore entirely.

While job satisfaction isn’t the same thing as engagement it can be a part of it because your most engaged employees are, in turn, likely to have higher job satisfaction. Think of satisfaction as the first step on the path to engagement because, at the bare minimum, an engaged employee must be satisfied.

Job satisfaction is closely linked to the other metrics we’ll list below, and noticing that your employees are satisfied is a great start. However, satisfied employees can become complacent if their work is boring, repetitive, or doesn’t engage them emotionally. Satisfaction without engagement can occur when employers over-focus on employment perks (without prioritizing creating meaningful work), engage in under- or overcompensation, or fail to offer advancement opportunities, leading to career stagnation.

Employee productivity

According to a Gallup poll, companies with higher levels of engagement have 22% higher levels of productivity. With stats like that, the link between engagement and productivity is practically indisputable!

While high productivity doesn’t automatically mean you have high engagement, low productivity means you don’t have the engagement you want. Simply put, you can’t have high engagement without good productivity – and that makes it worth measuring.

Workload balance

Of all the metrics to measure employee engagement, workload balance may be one of the most important. An important key to producing a high engagement level is ensuring your employees feel like they have control over their work life. But what does this mean functionally?

Employees should feel neither like they’re so overwhelmed they’re burning out nor so slow they’re bored. It should mean that they’re seeing results from the work they put in, which is more about how your teams are managed and whether the organization’s structure as a whole knows how to make good use of its resources.

Workload balance goes further than work-life balance – it’s about making sure the work employees do feels purposeful and well-used, and that they understand how it contributes to the organization as a whole.

Employee absenteeism rate

Employee absenteeism is a tricky employee engagement measurement to track because monitoring it too closely and pedantically can actually negatively affect your workforce to the point of tanking engagement.

That’s because while keeping an eye on employees that routinely call out last minute, fail to request time off and then don’t show up, or show a pattern of explicitly and regularly calling out at inopportune work periods is important, it’s easy to overstep.

Avoid micromanaging employees’ time off – this can breed resentment, frustration, and a lack of faith in the company. It can even discourage employees from taking time off that’s rightfully theirs. That said, speaking candidly with managers, making sure managers know to trust their employees based on their full view of their experience, and focusing more on troubling patterns than one-off behaviors will do wonders to help you understand if your workforce is disengaged.

Remember: you want your employees to take the PTO and sick leave they’ve been given as part of their contracts!

Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

Your company’s employee net promoter score (eNPS) is a relatively simple way of measuring how your employees feel about the company. Your eNPS asks one simple question: “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend this company’s products and services to others?”

Employees that answer 9–10 are promoters, 7–8 are passives, and 1–6 are detractors. The more promoters you have, the better.

A high number of promoters is a good sign for an engaged workforce because it suggests they believe in the mission of the company if they’re willing to recommend it in earnest. Likewise, a low eNPS can suggest anything from low employee morale to poor management to issues with the product or service itself.

Ways to measure employee engagement

While there are many ways to measure employee engagement, it will likely be a combination of several different methods that best serve you.

Some of the most essential ways to measure engagement are through 1:1 discussions and focus groups. Speaking to employees in person will allow you to have more of a dialogue than a simple survey – but that doesn’t mean you should skip those!

You can also utilize:

Keep your finger on the pulse of employee engagement with Zoomforth

Zoomforth is at the forefront of microsite creation and hosting and we’re one of the best ways you can organize the surveys and tools you need to start tracking employee engagement. Every Zoomforth site has real-time analytics, giving you a wealth of data to study. This means you’ll be on your way to optimizing your strategy in a flash.

Not only that, but Zoomforth makes it easy to keep all of your pages on brand and there’s no limit to how many pages you can create. So you’ll never have to worry about running out of space. Don’t wait — request a demo today.

Stay in the know

Subscribe to our newsletter for design inspiration, tips and best practices. Get event invitations, free resources, and details of upcoming feature releases.

You might also like