This video will define employee engagement and how to conduct an employee engagement survey.
- Do your employees jump out of bed each morning excited to come to work? When they're at work are they totally absorbed in what they're doing? If the answers are yes, then your employees are engaged employees. Employee engagement is about building an environment where employees are fully absorbed by their work, enthusiastic about achieving their goals, and consistently take action to further the organization. A fully engaged employee is willing to go the extra mile because she cares about the organization's well being, he puts his entire mind, body and soul into work when he's on the clock.
In other words, there are three components of engagement. The mind, or cognitive engagement, refers to employees beliefs about the company. The body, or behavioral engagement, refers to the physical effort employees put in at work. And the soul, or emotional engagement, refers to how employees feel about the company. So if you have employees who work hard or put in long hours, can you say they are engaged? Not necessarily. Plenty of people hate their jobs, but work long hours because they think they have to in order to receive a paycheck.
If people don't like their jobs, they're just pedaling the wheels to get by, but they aren't taking your organization to the next level. Engaged employees work hard, but they are also satisfied with their jobs and experience high levels of moral, commitment, motivation and loyalty. In turn, your organization experiences high levels of retention, productivity, innovation, attendance, customer satisfaction, and a good reputation. It's safe to say that organizations who focus on engagement are outperforming competitors who don't.
In one example cited by the Society for Human Resources Management, Caterpillar, an organization that makes construction equipment, found that it's engagement initiatives garnered almost 9,000,000 in annual savings from decreased turnover, absenteeism, and overtime. And they saw 2,000,000 increase in profit. And a 34 percent increase in customer satisfaction. So how do you know if employees are engaged, and what they need to become engaged if they aren't? A survey is a great place to start. You can easily find survey templates online if you need a starting point.
There are also plenty of consultants out there who can help you create a survey and analyze the results. They can help you ensure you get the information you are looking for. Some examples of questions on an engagement survey include: do you know what is expected of you at work, do you have the opportunity to do your best every day, is there someone at work who encourages your development, do you believe your opinions count? All of the survey questions should be aimed at understanding how much your employees are satisfied with your company and their jobs and how well they feel supported to do their best at work.
Also look at how motivated they are, how much they trust leaders and managers, and their intention to stay. You could also use surveys to understand engagement in new hires. Consider doing a survey of new hires at their three month, six month, and twelve month marks to understand how your onboarding program built their engagement, and whether it drove them to be outstanding performers. Keep in mind that trusting leadership builds engagement, so if you do a survey, you have to act on the results. Another way to understand levels of engagement are to look at turnover rates, absenteeism rates, performance or quality scores, and employee development plans.
And plain old feedback is great too. Have ad hoc conversations with your employees and encourage managers to do the same. Actively seek out information in these areas we've discussed when you interact with your employees. In closing, I'll just say that, as I pointed out, there are a lot of things that drive engagement, but it is my personal belief that the foundation of engagement is a positive work environment. If you have a positive work environment, then you have good employee communication and strong relationships.
With communication and relationships comes innovation, learning, and good decision making. Employees are truly engaged when they have the opportunity to be innovative and feel that their ideas are valued. When they have the opportunity to work through their decisions with others, and know that they are trusted to make decisions, then they're engaged, and when they have the opportunity to learn from one another and feel challenged to expand their knowledge, then they are engaged. But you can't have innovation, good decision making, learning, effective communication, and strong relationships without a positive work environment.
- Tying HR to your company's vision and mission
- Strategic planning
- Measuring training program success
- Building engagement
- Creating culture