So many organisations embark on projects to measure employee engagement levels, without fully understanding what they are trying to achieve. In the current economic climate where all spend must be rationalised fully, it will become even more critical to adopt an outcomes focused approach to measuring employee engagement.
An employee engagement survey should be about identifying manageable issues that can be constructively dealt with. The survey is just the starting point of a continual process – involving measurement, action, and review. It should never be seen as a stand alone exercise. Experience indicates that doing nothing with the results of an employee engagement survey is far more harmful to your people than choosing not to do the survey in the first place. So before you take steps in the process you must fully understand:
- Why you want to measure engagement levels?
- What you plan to do with the results?
- What you are measuring?
- Whether key stakeholders and influencers within the business are committed to engagement?
- What you are trying to achieve as perhaps there is an alternative solution?
If a survey is the way forward you must ensure you adopt a consultative approach to the entire process, understanding where you want to get to, what you need to achieve to get there and know the limits of both the organisation and senior managers!
If undertaken as part of a wider employer engagement initiative, a survey can be a highly successful tool for gaining an insight into what your people are really thinking, what drives them and what de-motivates them and if acted upon the benefits to your organisation far out-way the costs associated with running an employee engagement survey. For example:
- When employees are engaged, they are open to releasing their discretionary effort; displaying a greater commitment to the organisation and thereby a greater willingness to contribute to company success (Towers Perrin)
- Engaged employees equals committed employees; and committed employees perform 20% better and are 87% less likely to leave the organisation (The Corporate Leadership Council)
- According to Welbourne (2007), 73% of organisations who have initiated engagement programs have seen an increase in operating profit
Thus it would appear that if managed effectively and led