Employee Engagement Metrics: Which Ones Should HR Be Using?

In Human Resources, employee engagement is an extremely important standard to aim for because it’s a catalyst for both business and professional growth. Engaged employees are typically more resourceful, enthusiastic, and passionate about their work. Since everyone in your company possesses different personality traits, expectations, and backgrounds, levels of employee engagement will vary. However, there are engagement goals you can strive for that will bring out the best in your staff.

The value of measuring employee engagement metrics is that it provides a meaningful feedback mechanism for identifying problem areas and making positive changes. When engagement levels are flagging, corrective action can be taken to provide employees with more challenging assignments, professional development opportunities, or an improved working environment. Keeping track of employee engagement is a relatively simple process, but consistency and follow-up is necessary for it to be effective.

Certain measurements, such as high employee turnover and poor retention are clear indicators that engagement is lower than it should be. Conversely, when retention is strong, there’s a good chance most employees are happy working for the company. 

Another potential red flag for a dissatisfied staff member is absenteeism. Employees who are engaged in their work and dedicated to the company are typically punctual, dependable, and consistently present.

The underlying truth about employee engagement is that more than half of U.S. workers surveyed consider themselves to be indifferent about their jobs and the businesses they work for. Gallup’s State of the American Workplace reveals that 51% of employees are not engaged in their jobs, suggesting a widespread lack of motivation among a large segment of the workforce. As a point of reference, Gallup defines “engaged employees” as “those who are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace.” This is significant since many in the business community agree that employee engagement is a necessary element of optimal company growth, productivity, and reputation maintenance.

Joyful diverse team in a collaborative group discussion.

Employee Surveys Provide Valuable Feedback

While metrics such as increased sales volume, online customer reviews, and robust productivity can all be signs of staff engagement, one of the most effective ways to shed light on employee attitudes and job satisfaction is by asking them directly. Surveys focus on factors like the quality of working relationships, career advancement opportunities, and whether they feel appreciated and supported by management.

The following questions address those key areas and can provide insight into how employees perceive the company, their prospects for growth in the organization, and the degree to which they feel challenged. Additional questions can be crafted that specifically speak to company culture, the employee’s job responsibilities, and aspects of their job that they find rewarding or frustrating.

  • Do you feel appreciated and valued in your current position with the company?
  • Does your relationship with your manager help or hinder you in your job performance and satisfaction?
  • Does your job give you the opportunity to fully use your skills, talents, and abilities?
  • Do you feel our business offers you a suitable career development path for advancement?

Job performance reviews: Annual and periodic reviews of employee job performance can speak volumes about job satisfaction, engagement, overall attitude, and dedication to the company. Depending on the nature of their job, evaluations can gauge the quality, quantity, and efficiency of their work. From a quantitative standpoint, metrics can focus on things like number of units produced, customers served, problems solved, or sales made. Time management also comes into play when gauging productivity.

Vital Employee Engagement Metrics

There are four key indicators that can keep you apprised of how you’re doing with employee engagement levels.

  1. Employee resilience: This metric focuses on job satisfaction, an employee’s perception of their work/life balance, their daily routine, and how they feel about the quality of their working environment and relationships. Responses to a few select questions can reveal a lot about prevailing attitudes. In addition to numerical ratings, perhaps on a scale of 1-5, the survey can also include a question about whether the employee needs help or has issues to discuss with management or HR.
  2. Absenteeism: Assuming employees do not have chronic health problems or frequent family emergencies, habitual lateness or absenteeism is often an indication of job dissatisfaction or other underlying issues. Possible causes for a high or increasing level of absenteeism could range from bad management to an off-kilter work/life balance. 
  3. Employee turnover: Keeping track of trends in employee turnover is especially important because increases are usually a sign of internal problems that need to be resolved. Whether it’s a toxic work environment, uncompetitive benefits, or inflexible working conditions, high employee turnover is a red flag indicating that change may be overdue.
  4. Net Promoter Score (NPS): Although this metric is often used to gauge customer satisfaction, it’s also a useful tool to show how employees perceive a business. Using a scale of one to ten, staff members are asked to rate the desirability of working for the company. Only those who respond with a “9” or “10” would be considered positive “promoters” of the business. Responses of “7” or “8” would fall under the category of “neutral,” and those who gave a lower score would be considered “detractors.” It’s believed that detractors tend to speak disparagingly about a company they currently or previously worked for, while those in the “neutral” category would neither praise nor berate their employer. The NPS score is the difference between the percentage of promoters and the percentage of detractors. 

Other indicators of staff engagement include the following information sources:

  • Positive ratings on Glassdoor.com and Google
  • An increase in favorable customer reviews about service or product quality
  • Measurable improvements in productivity, efficiency, sales, customer satisfaction, and innovation

By keeping close tabs on employee engagement metrics, you will be creating an “early warning system” that will help you identify trends that can impact employee morale, company productivity, recruiting and training costs, and retention. 

KnowledgeCity offers an extensive online learning library for human resources professionals and managers that includes courses on everything from team building and effective leadership to business communication skills and project management.

Sign up for a free trial of our Turnkey Learning Management System (LMS) to get access to KnowledgeCity’s more than 20,000 training videos. Whether you’re looking to expand your expertise in human resources skills, employee engagement metrics, business management, finance, technology, or compliance training, our learning library will help you design successful training programs, further your company’s growth objectives, and advance your career.

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