From the quality of your product or service and the strength of your marketing, sales and support teams, to customer happiness with your brand, there can be many factors, which influence your ongoing business success. Similarly, your employees’ happiness and motivation are equally important, yet don’t often get the same level of attention.
Why employee engagement matters
Employee engagement refers to how much staff feel involved in and valued for the work that they do. According to a recent Gallup State of Global Workplace Report more engaged staff make their organisations 17% more productive and 21% more profitable.
While there’s plenty of debate among HR professionals, recruitment agencies and other professional bodies about the exact mix of factors that can affect employee engagement, ultimately the crux of the matter is how invested staff feel to the success and mission of your company.
Why employee engagement surveys are an effective measurement tool for your business
From capturing feelings from staff about their employee job satisfaction, to their perceptions about whether their feedback and ideas are appreciated, employee surveys can provide you with powerful insight to drive change in any business. Employee engagement surveys can measure much more than staff happiness, they can provide a crucial barometer regarding the health of your business, highlighting any areas you need to improve.
Five key areas that your employee engagement survey should measure
To maximise the value you can obtain from your results, it’s important to include the right employee survey questions that will provide insight into key areas of your business such as:
1) Views on the performance of your senior managers
Leadership behaviour can make or break your employee engagement. It’s not just about how well senior managers treat your staff, but how effectively they communicate your company’s values and goals. A manager who can effectively articulate these ideas is more likely to drive positive engagement levels and inspire greater workforce performance. Ultimately an employee engagement survey can help you to identify your best leaders, or those that require extra support to improve their performance and the output of those around them.
2) Staff satisfaction with their roles
Most employees prefer to be challenged and tested in their roles. And when staff are clearly shown where the efforts of their work are making a difference it can be extremely motivating. By using your employee engagement survey to find out how challenged your employees feel, it’s easier to identify if there is any correlation between theirs and your company’s performance.
3) Views about opportunities, training & career development
Ambitious employees who are focused on their career and advancement are good for your business, as they will be typically more self-motivated and productive. But they need to be given clear goals and a pathway for moving forward, otherwise they may decide to move elsewhere. Running an employee engagement survey will highlight how supported your staff feel concerning this and whether you need to provide them with more help – either through further training and career development or giving them additional responsibilities.
4) How strongly your employees identify with your organisation
It’s easy to spot staff who are proud about where they work. Typically, they set very high standards for themselves in the quality of their work, as they believe in your mission and want your business to succeed. However, with the correct mix of questions an employee engagement survey can reveal just how focused, committed and ready an individual is to tackle any challenge that might come their way.
5) Strength of staff relationships with their colleagues
Staff members don’t work in isolation and need to work effectively with their colleagues to meet your company’s goals. Therefore, it’s very useful to find out more about these working relationships in terms of how your employees interact, view each other’s abilities and rate their strengths and weaknesses. With the right employee engagement survey questions you are better able to measure how well your employees are interacting and any fresh processes you need to put in place to improve this.
Using Surveys to Develop an Effective Engagement Strategy
Given the findings from a Corporate Leadership Council research study, which highlighted that highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their companies than their less engaged counterparts, it makes sense to not just measure, but use and act on the results of your employee survey. If you are responsible for your company’s HR or personnel, knowing what is working well and what needs improving can help you to develop a stronger strategy to increase employee engagement levels going forward.
Tips to make your employee engagement survey strategy work
Our handy checklist guide will help you to create an effective strategy.
√ Be clear about what to study
This can depend on whether you have previously run employee surveys and how many. Employee survey veterans may prefer to focus in on just a few areas, such as management performance and how that is affecting employee engagement following the results of previous survey findings.
However, those newer to the survey process would be better off adopting the widest possible approach. There could be many potential areas affecting your staff engagement levels, which you need to be aware of and develop effective employee engagement initiatives to counteract, if you are to generate the results you need to achieve.
√ Prioritise areas for action
Having run your survey and analysed its results, you may see lots of areas you need to improve and want to address simultaneously. But given the resources likely to be available to you, particularly with regards to management time, this is probably not feasible and would be unlikely to generate the results you were hoping to achieve should you try it.
You would be better off focusing on a smaller number of priority areas, which were more resource efficient and would generate a greater impact on employee engagement levels following their improvement.
√ Communicate your plan
Whatever priority areas you have identified, it’s essential to communicate your plan of action to your employees, so they know exactly what you are doing, why you are doing it and when you will be carrying it out. Keeping your objectives SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely – will ensure you are best able to achieve your desired results.
√ Keep testing your strategy
The best way to examine if your plan is having a positive effect is to keep surveying your employees for their feedback. Consistency and frequency are key. The more it is measured, the more likely you are to improve your employees’ engagement levels.