Employee engagement is one of the most powerful influencers of your success. Why is this so important? Well, if your workers aren’t meaningfully engaged, they’re less motivated to make a consistently positive impact. Their level of engagement can have direct links to productivity, turnover, and innovation.
Taking the time to regularly assess engagement and make relevant changes to support it is an investment in your success. Workify has found that utilizing frequent, scientifically-backed employee engagement surveys is an effective and agile approach to this. However, as a business leader, you certainly aren’t alone if you’re not entirely certain about how best to use this tool.
Let’s take a closer look at how to effectively use an employee engagement survey.
What is Engagement?
Before you issue a survey, it’s important to understand what employee engagement is. At Workify, we define engagement as a motivational construct contributing to the level of involvement an employee has at work: physically, cognitively, and emotionally. It can be helpful to think of it as a measure of how holistically connected workers are to your company.
Engagement is also not a static element. It’s not something you achieve and then independently continues to be a feature of your organization. It can shift throughout not just the changes in and growth of your business, but also throughout each employee’s journey with your company. As such, it’s an element that requires frequent assessment.
Why is a Survey the Right Medium?
Given how vital engagement is to your business, using the right method of assessment is key. There are certainly other metrics that may suggest your company has issues with employee engagement. Data on productivity drops, growth slowdown, or increasing employee turnover could point in the direction of workers losing their connection to your business. But there can certainly be other reasons for these issues. Your best way to assess engagement is to gain perspectives directly from your employees.
It’s also important to recognize that there can be various contributing factors to engagement. Other metrics might provide you with an inkling that there are issues within your company, but they don’t tend to give you actionable insights into potential causes. Well-designed employee engagement surveys tend to be a more agile tool. They help you identify and address multiple areas of organizational change and provide you with powerful business intelligence to make more informed decisions.
What Aspects Should a Survey Measure?
To use an employee engagement survey effectively, you need to be clear on the most relevant information you can gather. This can certainly vary depending on the specifics of your business. Which is why it is so important to adopt an approach that is flexible enough to meet the unique needs of your businesses while also being reliable.
We’ve developed a scientifically grounded methodology that homes in on capturing data from employees that meets this criteria. Our Workify Culture Model is constructed from 6 indicators that we’ve found measure the clear direct drivers of employee engagement.
These key factors/indicators are:
This surrounds how effectively information flows around an organization. If employees don’t feel as though they’re in the loop or there are regular miscommunications, this tends to result in discord, disconnection, and dissatisfaction. This element is not just about how well workers speak to one another, but also whether workers know how to get the information they need and can rely on consistent access.
This section revolves around the propensity for your workers to consider your company leadership to be effective in demonstrating and embedding the values, strategies, and goals within the organization. Importantly, there must be a sense that your leadership is active in creating a clear sense of purpose for your employees’ contributions to your company.
The measure of resources comes down to the employees’ perspectives on how well your company is able to provide tangible sources of support. This largely involves tools, incentives, and encouragement your company utilizes to empower your workers to perform at the highest levels and achieve their full potential.
Your company’s managers are the key liaisons between your employees and your organization. As such, it’s vital to recognize that your workers’ relationships with these figures play a role in the level of engagement they have. As such, your survey needs to measure how positively your workers and management interact.
Employees’ dedication to their role within the organization is a contributor to their current state of engagement. When measuring this aspect, Workify’s Employee Engagement Surveys gauge not just employees’ loyalty to the business and commitment to their own work. There’s also a focus on dedication to the colleagues and customers around them, the mission of the business, and the values that inform the company culture.
If your employees don’t feel adequately challenged by their work, there is little to keep them interested in the company mission or able to grow. Therefore, the extent to which your employees feel challenged must comprise part of the engagement assessment. This includes understanding how motivated they are by their position, how valued they feel their suggestions are, and their views on whether they’re issued tasks that develop their skills.
These are the areas we’ve established to be those most relevant to establishing employee engagement. However, they’re not the only important factors to measure. To perform a full and actionable analysis of your workforce, Workify includes assessment of 2 other vital question areas alongside the key indicators. The first of these is employee advocacy (eNPS), which determines your workers’ willingness to recommend employment at your company. The other is retention risk, which provides a metric to establish the current length of time your workers intend to stay at your company. Together, these 3 elements provide solid insights into whether and to what extent there are areas for concern or further focus.
What Types of Questions Should You Ask?
The 6 key factors/indicators we’ve provided a brief overview of aren’t just important aspects to measure. They also provide practical categories around which to build relevant questions. It tends to be less helpful to ask direct questions such as “does communication flow well?” or “do you have sufficient resources?”, as these can have multiple interpretations and feel ambiguous to your workers. As such, it is more effective to populate your survey with questions that are clear enough for employees to answer and also help to build a more accurate picture of engagement in your workplace.
Some examples of questions in each indicating factor include:
1. Communication between managers and employees is good at [Company].
2. Communication between senior leaders and employees is good at [Company].
3. There is alignment between the information I receive from my manager and the leadership team at [Company].
1. The senior leadership of [Company] has communicated a vision of the future that motivates
2. I see a clear link between the work that I do and the mission of [Company].
3. Different teams within [Company] are aligned around a consistent set of goals and outcomes.
1. I am fairly rewarded for the work that I do.
2. I am able to maintain a balance between my work and personal life.
3. I have the flexibility to do my work in the way that I desire.
1. I get the information I need from my manager to be effective in my role.
2. I have confidence in my manager.
3. I would seek out the opportunity to work with my manager again in the future.
1. I rarely think about leaving [Company] to work somewhere else.
2. I try to embody [Company]’s values while at work.
3. I understand how my work contributes to [Company]’s goals.
1. I am encouraged to come up with more effective ways of doing things at work.
2. The expectations of my role are appropriate based on my capabilities.
3. In the past year I have had opportunities to develop my skills at work.
How Should You Proceed Following a Survey?
An effective employee engagement survey should provide you with actionable data. Your next step is to analyze the responses. Workify’s Employee Engagement survey approach includes built-in analytical tools that allow you to quickly understand what aspects are driving engagement in your business and where any areas of drain are.
From here, it’s important to be proactive in addressing points of concern and leaning into the elements that enhance employee engagement. Be open about your actions here. Communicate with your staff about how important engagement is for everyone’s success and that you’re keen to create a workplace culture in which they feel supported. Invite further suggestions either through direct conversations with leadership or via anonymous feedback channels.
Employee engagement is a key influencer of your business’ success. When your culture supports full engagement, there are opportunities for valuable collaborations, productivity, and innovation. However, when engagement drops away, inefficiency and turnover tends to follow. As such, it’s important to utilize scientifically-grounded employee engagement surveys that effectively assess the drivers and drainers within your current operations. This includes focusing on relevant areas of assessment and questions that empower workers to inform you of the primary influencers of their engagement in the business.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can utilize Workify Employee Engagement Surveys to better understand engagement within your company, you can download our PDF or book a free 30 minute employee engagement consultation.