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Employee Engagement- Definition, Strategy, Measures

by Jody Ordioni

The best way to define employee engagement is to understand it as the level of emotional investment employees have in their jobs. The mark of an engaged employee is the alignment of their goals with that of the company. The concept of employee engagement has gained much traction in the past few years. The passion and motivation of the employee decide the amount of involvement they have within the organization. It has become quite significant from a business point-of-view that employees are engaged with the company. The bottom line is, that employee engagement is one of the standards that measure the success of the company.

Understanding Employee Engagement

Dr. William Kahn defined employee engagement based on three levels- physical, cognitive, and emotional. Highly engaged employees have a strong sense of commitment towards their organization. The beginning of the employee lifecycle marks the start of their engagement- right from the process of recruitment. Employee engagement is not an individual job, it functions as a two-way street. For any employee to actively engage, they need to possess certain traits that make their personality a good fit for the company culture. Optimism, hard work, and dedication are some qualities that aid employees to engage with their workplace more easily.

What Drives Employee Engagement?

The onboarding process plays a significant role in determining whether the employee wishes to continue with the company or not. Thus, it becomes necessary to engage them from the ground-level itself. Give them enough time to master their art, before they battle it out in the office.

Positive work culture is also a great driver of employee engagement. Work culture is an umbrella concept that comprises of aspects like transparency, autonomy in the workplace for the employees, and respectful treatment of everyone associated with the organization. In addition to this, it is also a bonus if the organization can help out its employees with their time-management so that productivity is enhanced and stress is reduced.

To add oomph to your organization, give back to the employees by providing them with learning opportunities and professional development. This type of appreciation is reciprocated by the employees and they are more invested in the organization. It is also advisable to provide the employees with channels to alleviate stress.

The new economy demands flexibility in the workplace. Organizations that allow a greater level of flexibility, experience higher levels of engagement. It implicitly implies that there is a bond of trust in the relationship. Employees also tend to perform better in their comfortable spaces.

Measuring Employee Engagement

Measuring employee engagement is a two-fold process. Firstly, the data is collected through multiple channels. Subsequently, it is analyzed against key metrics that are applied throughout the organization. Pulse surveys are one tool that is used to measure the level of engagement. Opposed to annual surveys, pulse surveys are held as frequently as a fortnight and are a better indicator of real-time development in the organization. To back up quantified data, sentimental analysis is carried out, to provide an insight into the general language of the employees in the workplace. It can be very helpful to weed out toxic strains in the communication channels.

Even after precautionary measures and interactive initiatives, it is possible that employees leave the organization. In such cases, it is important to conduct exit interviews, so that HR can obtain insight concerning what is inconducive in the company environment.

What Lies Ahead?

Engaging an employee no longer falls out of the purview of the companies, in this age. They have come to understand this concept as one they can control and encourage. Sooner companies will start initiating holistic programs to ensure that employee engagement becomes a back-and-forth process. It will allow organizations to look at immediate problems and look for real-time solutions, for both parties involved in this dialogue.

The Bottom Line

Employee engagement is still new territory for most organizations. Its metrics are complicated and as an abstract concept, there is no sure formula for success. For now, a data-driven and technology-aided approach are required to implement and measure levels of employee engagement. The primary goal of this endeavor is to elevate the happiness and experience of the employees. Happy employees bring in happy customers.

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