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Measuring Employee Engagement

According to Gallup, only 13% of people whether employed in the organized sector or otherwise are actively engaged at work. They further add that 13% of millennials are engaged, as are 14% of those born between 1965 and 1979 (Gen Xers) and 15% of those born between 1946 and 1964 (baby boomers) — the sheer number of millennials in the workforce makes investing in engagement especially important. These stats though were published in 2018 (Read here). The situation is getting critical with the recent onslaught of COVID-19 and the resultant sense of fear of job security (and growth). 

With such fears playing the minds of the people, it becomes important to start putting the focus on improving the engagement levels of people. A lot has already been written on the benefits of having engaged employees. To summarize, if there is one area that a company shall focus on along with their customer engagement is to focus on employee engagement. Employees bring customers and not the other way around.

If this does not convince you to start measuring the Employee Engagement, then consider that the companies having a more engaged workforce outdo the other companies signed on the revenues (Gallup Report). The variance between profits from the business and productivity of employees is about 20%. Employee Engagement is the culmination of several factors that keep an employee engaged in the workplace. Thus there is no one single factor that can be measured. There are several measures that need to be seen in continuum to understand if Employees are engaged in the workplace. 

Employee Net Promoter Score

Almost every company that we hear of, measures Customer Net Promoter Scores as if their life depends on that. It is important to measure C-NPS, as it is a reflection of how many of your customers might help you with a positive referral or are willing to stand by you, in case something does not go well in your business. 

However, a lot of companies overlook the importance of Employee Net Promoter Score. E-NPS is the ratio of Promoters to Detractors and Fence Sitters. It compares the count of people who are more probable to publicly advocate about the organization against the count of people who are either neutral or probable to speak against the organization. 

Such surveys are best done in a cyclic manner. This way the trends can be compared with each cycle, making the findings from the survey more reliable. 

Gallup Scorecard

Gallup runs its surveys built around copyright protected Q12s. These questions work along with several others in the survey. But one look at Q12 and you will see that they put a measure to the most critical elements of Employee Engagement. At the end of the survey, the result details the level of employee engagement within the organization, team, similar experience groups, etc. The report also provides an overall industry view of how the company has performed against the industry benchmark as well. The Twelve Questions can be found here.

Gallup generally advises the surveys to be done annually. It generally takes a quarter to understand the outcome of the report and constitute an action plan to address the findings. 

Pulse Surveys

Nothing can replace the importance of quick pulse surveys. A company needs to be cautious, however. Have too many pulse surveys and the interest just fades away and too little surveying, does not present enough data points for anyone to hold effective decision making. 

The benefit of Pulse Surveys is that one can customize it to the company culture, values, a major achievement, or a recent challenge, etc. 

Regularly conducted surveys can show the relationship between what keeps people engaged and what are some areas that dis-engage people from the organization. 

Stay-On and Turn-Over Rates

An integral part of any HR reporting system is the cross-examination of the Employee Turnover Rate and causes. While a lot of time the study revolves around the reasons a person left the company, few companies have started to dig deeper to understand what caused the trigger to separate than the action of separation. When you start seeing the trigger as an independent activity, you start uncovering another layer of the interesting reasons why someone left the company. 

An equally important measure to study is to study the Stay-On reasons. When compared with the triggers, this presents an interesting read for most of the organization. A lot of times, the reason for people to Stay-On and Turn-Over are the same. But when you start comparing, you end up learning a lot more about the organization and its underlying sub-cultures.  

Participation in activities

A company runs several activities throughout the year. These activities range from celebrations induced fun activities to career-defining plans, learning sessions. When one starts looking at the level of participation of people in all these activities, it presents insights that sometimes best of surveys are not able to. For example, if a company is planning a lot of career initiatives and yet sees very little participation, it is a red flag that either the people are not interested in the growth within the company or they expect something else from the company.  

With the industry showing signs of recovery the companies can do well by starting to revisit their engagement strategies and their metrics for the same.


Author / Educator – Tanuj Vaid, Head-HR, ElectriAi

An HR Practitioner with over 16 years of experience in making People-Business relations work. A true believer of merging technology, operations, and people experience in the value system of HR. He is passionate about T.E.A.M. (Talent Engagement, Acquisition & Management) and leads the function with People Experience at the core of every action


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