Engaged employees are those who are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace. To create an environment where people flourish, employers need to understand what it means to be an engaged employee and how to manage people for engagement in their workforce.
Employee engagement is about individual and organizational performance. Employees who are engaged based on key workplace elements predict important organizational performance outcomes. Gallup’s Employee Engagement Index is based on worker responses to 12 workplace elements with proven links to performance outcomes. The index provides high-level insights into the workplace by displaying the percentage of engaged, not engaged, and actively disengaged employees overall.
The obvious benefit of successfully surveying and measuring employee engagement is to increase or maintain that engagement level at your company. However, there are several other key benefits that sit at the heart of such an endeavor. Let’s review.
Employees need a forum or channel in which they can feel heard. Receiving the honest opinions of your employees is the only way in which you’ll truly improve turnover, engagement, fix communication breakdowns, and establish further trust and transparency.
Engagement surveys give employers, managers, and other interested departments insights that they most likely don’t have from their everyday interactions with their employees.
Managers and People Operations Specialists often receive information from employees that employees feel comfortable sharing. Depending on the level of transparency and trust at your workplace, your staff might not be telling you all of their frustrations for fear of upsetting others.
The high-level engagement data provided from asking appropriate questions will give you insights into department-level communication breakdowns, perceptions of management, and to what extent employees feel supported (or not).
Recommended Reading: 6 Easy and Effective Ways to Measure Employee Engagement [+ Reporting template]
The act of simply conducting employee engagement surveys presents a psychological benefit. By providing an initiative like this, you’ll be showing your team members that you care about their well-being and satisfaction while they’re at your company. Showing your staff that you care goes a long way to ensuring employee satisfaction.
The following are some of our favorite engagement questions for employees. In addition to the questions, we’ve laid out why they’re important to ask. Feel free to use these as you continue to build out the right template for your staff.
One study found that 57 percent of employees are not motivated by their company’s mission and values, and only 40 percent know what the company’s vision is. A good way to find out if the company’s mission and values resonate with employees and drive engagement levels is to first ask how well employees understand them. If survey results suggest that employees only loosely understand the company’s mission and values, then it makes sense to commit to a renewed communication effort and demonstrate how employees can build their understanding and support the company’s mission and values.
A good way to determine how satisfied employees are with the company’s culture and the degree to which it impacts their engagement is to ask if they would recommend the company to others. If employees would recommend it, they believe it possesses desirable qualities that other people would value. Saying they would not recommend it implies there are aspects of the company culture that they find undesirable. Subsequent survey questions can help you pinpoint the specific areas that affect an employee’s willingness to recommend the company.
To grow in engagement, employees need to understand where the company is going and how they fit into the company’s overall strategy. If employee survey responses suggest a need for more consistent or frequent communication, it makes sense to introduce tools that help leaders communicate and connect with employees. The company intranet, internal social networks, and an interactive org chart that supports internal networking of teams with company goals are examples of tools that support better communication.
One study found that trust in leaders is the No. 1 driver of employee engagement. To be engaged, employees need to see company leaders as honest, authentic, and consistent in delivering on commitments. Without trust, employees can’t become fully engaged. If employees’ responses to this survey question fall high on the Likert scale, then you likely have a company culture that supports and encourages accountability and trust. If responses suggest room for improvement, follow-up focus groups may be a good way to probe and understand what’s causing employees to rate leaders as less trustworthy.
Research reveals that 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement is owed to the actions of managers. If employees don’t have the support they need from managers, in the form of clear expectations and balanced feedback, then employees are less likely to feel engaged. Creating opportunities for employees and managers to communicate can go a long way toward improving employee engagement levels. For example, regular one-on-one meetings to discuss an employee’s career goals and aspirations provides managers with a good opportunity to demonstrate their support.
Given the sheer amount of time people spend working, it makes sense that interactions with coworkers are a key driver of employee engagement. A good way to understand team dynamics is to ask how well team members communicate and collaborate. If communication is poor, helpful engagement strategies can include team-building activities, cross-functional projects, and an interactive org chart that integrates with collaboration software such as Slack.
It’s hard to become committed to company goals without the necessary resources to perform. Even employees who are already engaged can get a boost in engagement when they have access to tools that can make them even more effective at work. Responses to this question can guide decisions to adopt additional tools that support employee engagement such as collaboration software, an interactive org chart, or project management tools.
Employees are more likely to be committed to the company when they see that the company is also committed to their growth and development. If employees respond that they could benefit from additional learning and development opportunities, you can consider training, coaching, and mentorship programs that will help employees see how committed the organization is to their growth.
Sometimes the simplest questions can be the most telling. Although happiness is subjective and manifests itself differently in each person, answers to this question can help you identify areas (perhaps something you haven’t addressed in another question) that affect how happy, and engaged, employees feel at work.
One study found that employees are nearly five times more likely to feel empowered when they feel their voice is heard at work. Providing employees with an outlet for making specific suggestions empowers employees and helps them see how their input influences the workplace around them.
If you want to accurately measure engagement levels, an employee engagement survey is a great place to start. Enjoy using our free template to gain powerful insights into what drives employee engagement and impacts the overall employee experience.
The following are some of the best practices that we’ve seen companies use when implementing an employee engagement questionnaire. From privacy to follow-up, you’ll want to use these three tips.
When properly executed, a staff engagement survey should give employees an anonymous, trusted space to voice their concerns at a company.
This requires giving your staff a physical place that is quiet and private while they fill out the survey questionnaire. It also means that they should be able to submit their survey responses with anonymity - no attached names, email addresses, or other personal details.
You’ll want to follow up with employees that participated in the survey so that employees know they were heard and their time was not wasted. By following up, you’ll be acknowledging your appreciation for their valuable input. It can be helpful to signal that you have read through some of the results in your initial follow-up to demonstrate that you’re invested in the feedback you’re gathering.
Once you’ve gathered all the results and bucketed them into categories, try creating a simple, visually appealing way to share aggregate survey data back to your employees. This will give them an idea of how their coworkers responded to the survey, demonstrate your continued efforts to analyze the data, and continue making your staff feel heard.
Once the survey results are in and management has had time to review all of the responses, an action plan should be created to ensure that employees understand that there are practical steps being taken to solve company-wide issues.
Employees will then have the ability to assess the effectiveness of those actions prior to the next engagement survey.
On a scale of 1-5, where 1 is “none/never/not at all” and 5 is ”a lot/all the time/extremely,” please answer the following questions:
How well do you understand our company’s mission and values?
How likely are you to recommend the company as a great place to work?
How well do company leaders communicate the company’s strategy and goals?
To what degree are company leaders trustworthy?
How supportive is your manager?
How well do members of your team communicate and collaborate?
To what extent do you have the tools and resources you need to be successful in the company?
How often do you have opportunities to learn and grow in the company?
Are you happy here? Why or why not?
If you could give company leaders advice about what changes or improvements to make, what would it be?
For more helpful templates and employee engagement information check out some of our other helpful articles.