What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement refers to a professional’s motivation and commitment to perform high-quality work and contribute to company success. Engaged employees exemplify eagerness to perform well, accomplish their tasks, and positively impact the organization. 

Why is employee engagement important?

Engagement is essential for a healthy, growing, and vibrant company and often indicates company success and employee satisfaction. Engaged team members tend to demonstrate:

  • Increased productivity
  • Quality work 
  • High scoring on performance reviews
  • Presenteeism
  • Resilience
  • Fulfillment from their work
  • Strong work relationships

What can HR leaders do to improve employee engagement?

HR leaders can cultivate a work culture that encourages motivation and enthusiasm for reaching personal work goals and company objectives. Implementing the following practices and values can create fertile ground for employee engagement:

  • Consider the employee lifecycle. Every stage of the employee lifecycle impacts engagement. Creating a positive first impression during the onboarding experience is essential to inspiring employee engagement. Helping people ease into a new job and work culture can nurture a positive employee-employer relationship and provide a strong foundation for the rest of the employment lifecycle. 
  • Encourage integrity and individuality. A culture that values honesty, empathy, people’s wellbeing, and a strong work ethic helps foster engagement. Welcoming people’s innovations and contributions encourages them to feel comfortable and develop their skills.  
  • Gather feedback. Asking the right questions can direct HR leaders to pinpoint issues in the company. HR can use employee lifecycle feedback tools, frequent surveys, and performance reviews to determine weak areas. Addressing the problems with a holistic and realistic approach is key to identifying solutions to elevate the company and enrich the employee experience. 
  • Assess the changes. Managers and HR leaders can assess the changes they implement and observe their progress through an HRIS platform and relevant metrics. Evaluating the adjustments holds leaders accountable for their decisions and enables them to learn from their successes and failures. 
  • Carefully select and mentor managers. Managers directly impact their people’s engagement. Thus, to maintain and boost engagement, organizations must hire managers who can effectively lead professionals on their teams, nurture their strengths, and inspire high performance. Even the best managers, however, can improve. Empowering managers with mentorship and coaching opportunities can equip them with the tools to lead, unite, inspire, and guide others effectively. 

When should an organization measure employee engagement?

Employee engagement is essential to any business strategy and shouldn’t be left up to chance. It isn’t enough simply to know how to improve engagement and take steps to do so. You should always measure your engagement initiatives to see if they’re actually helping you meet your goals. That way, you can make changes when necessary or continue doing more of what’s working.

It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting started. In fact, the earlier you are in the process, the better. That means you’ll have more data to work with and analyze in the long term. So plan to measure and analyze data and make it a part of your engagement strategy right from the beginning.

How to measure employee engagement 

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: How do you quantitatively measure something as nuanced and subjective as employee engagement? It’s true, employee engagement isn’t nearly as easy to numerically track as something like time-to-fill or cost per hire. However, there are a few key KPIs you can look at that will help give you a clearer picture of how your initiatives are doing.

Employee engagement surveys

Regularly sending out surveys with both qualitative and quantitative questions is the most straightforward way to track engagement levels at your organization. Try asking questions like:

  • How valued do you feel as an employee?
  • How satisfied are you with your job?
  • How do you feel about your team?

Employee Net Provider Score (eNPS)

Originally used to track customer satisfaction, the net provider score allows you to quantitatively track employee engagement by asking your people one simple question: “How likely is it that you would recommend working at our company to a friend or colleague?” People answer on a scale of 0 to 10, with anyone answering from 0 to 6 considered a detractor, 7 and 8 considered passive, and 9 and 10 considered promoters. Your eNPS = (promoters – detractors)/ total respondents.

Employee absenteeism

A metric you are probably already tracking, absenteeism rates give a numerical picture of how often your people are absent from the office, suggesting their employee experience may be negative.

Turnover rate

Similarly, turnover rate demonstrates how successful you are at retaining people, something employee engagement plays a huge role in.

Employee engagement ideas

Looking for some creative ideas for things you can do in your office to boost engagement? There are endless opportunities, but here are some of our favorite engagement hacks.

  • Encourage positive employee-manager relationships by instating regular check-ins and creating a transparent culture of ongoing conversations, open communication, and two-way feedback.
  • Allow people’s strengths to thrive. Do strength assessments early on and offer opportunities for people to use and develop their strongest abilities.
  • Instill a sense of purpose and meaning into peoples’ work by having strong company values and mission. 
  • Prioritize learning and development throughout the employee lifecycle to allow people to grow. 
  • Make sure people know what the company expects of them and have all the tools and resources they need to succeed. 
  • Implement a system that allows for a consistent flow of recognition and praise.
  • Encourage connection and relationship-building by offering events and opportunities for socializing.

Why should employee engagement be a part of the modern HR strategy?

Engaged team members drive progress. When individuals show up enthused–whether they work from home or on-site–they elevate the company. They spur progress and momentum in their company through their social interactions, innovations, and high performance. This zest for improvement, development, and success is fundamental to building a thriving and vibrant community of growth-minded individuals.

Improving employee engagement with Bob

If your engagement scores are low, it may seem daunting to try to figure out how to move the needle in the right direction. But you don’t have to be alone in the effort. Bob’s HR platform can be one of your most valuable tools in improving employee engagement, with several features designed to enhance the employee experience.

  • Bob creates a streamlined, exciting onboarding experience to engage people from the start of their time with your organization
  • Shoutouts and Kudos encourage open communication and recognition to create an engaging culture of inclusivity and transparency
  • Clubs allow people to connect with each other remotely, and helping foster camaraderie and connectivity