Engaged employees are your greatest asset, but do you know how engaged your people are, or even why you need this intel?
There are plenty of questions around employee engagement and how to address it, which is why we have asked Employment Office’s resident expert Eliza Kippen to answer some of the frequently asked questions on the topic.
Here, Eliza addresses how engagement differs to other forms or employee measurement, what the benefits of understanding it are and where to go from here.
Let’s get started.
I know about employee satisfaction. Isn’t that the same as employee engagement?
Some confuse the two, but satisfaction is not a strong enough indicator of how driven an employee will be in their role or how committed they are to the organisation.
For a long time, there has been a focus on measuring ‘satisfaction’, but this really only gives you an understanding of how much enjoyment staff derive from performing the functions of their role. A satisfied employee could be happy with things like their pay and their working conditions, but it doesn’t mean they will also be engaged, which is when you will get the most out of them.
Understanding employee satisfaction isn’t enough for long-term strategic planning either as fundamental issues affecting staff, and therefore your organisation’s performance, may not be revealed if the focus is only on how ‘happy’ or ‘satisfied’ people are in their role.
It’s also important to remember how an engaged employee differs from one who is simply satisfied. An engaged employee will be more productive, is likely to be an advocate of the business and willing to put in extra effort because they want the organisation to succeed. Satisfied employees are unlikely to display these tendencies and your organisation will therefore not perform at its best.
Should I be worried about the engagement of my workforce?
You should only be worried about how effectively you are measuring engagement. Once you understand the state of play you can take the necessary steps to improve or nurture employee engagement and set your organisation up for success.
So, what’s the advantage to knowing how engaged they are?
Organisations with an aligned workforce of engaged employees have higher retention rates, are more productive, have more satisfied customers and strive for innovation and high quality. But to get there, you need to benchmark your current levels.
Assessing employee engagement means you can identify issues and potential setback, strategically plan for the future and foster engagement through high-impact, relevant initiatives. The advantage is that these next steps are based on the honest feedback of your entire workforce so you know what issues to tackle and the strategies to focus on for the greatest gain.
What can I do to get to grips with the engagement of our people?
As mentioned, it’s important to benchmark your performance, and ideally, revisit this each year to monitor results year-on-year. An employee engagement survey is your best bet to capturing the anonymous feedback of your staff for an understanding of engagement levels. Surveying the entire workforce will provide a powerful and holistic picture that you can use for future planning and as a measurement tool.
And where do we go from there?
The key is to get started!
The questions included in your engagement survey should be tailored to your organisation, and it’s important to have some know-how to analyse the data post-survey. For example, you’ll be able to survey things like motivation, leadership preferences and organisational passion, but what counts is how you interpret the results and what you do with that information. At this stage, it can be particularly helpful to have an expert coach you through the results and help you identify the actionable outcomes.
When all said and done, organisations with engaged employees are more successful than those without. Put simply, engaged employees are the ones you want to hold on to and the behaviour you want to encourage from all.
It pays to make an employee engagement survey a priority for your organisation. Our specialists are experts in delivering powerful and effective engagement surveys and you can get started with a 10% discount if your survey is booked and confirmed before 31 March 2017.
You can also read more about our employee engagement survey by clicking here.