With the work environment becoming increasingly complex due to technological advancements that disrupt long-standing business structure, employee engagement has become increasingly difficult to measure.
While we know that employee engagement levels have not improved in many years, employee engagement is still vital to measure and continually work to improve. Measuring employee engagement has historically been reduced to annual surveys administered to employees for evaluation.
Gallup research shows that only 16% of employees are engaged in their jobs.
Why Surveys Can be Deceiving
Annual surveys can seem detached or mechanical. They are useful for measuring benchmarks, but do not take into account real-time factors observed in an impromptu conversation like body language or facial expression.
Think Outside the Box
Take into account other factors that impact employee engagement. Things like hours spent after work, assignments completed ahead of schedule, going outside the realm of typical responsibilities to assist a customer, getting to know other employees outside direct departments or networks can be an indication of a highly engaged employee.
Use Free Data
While the Internet is a double-edged sword, it can also provide a wealth of knowledge about your own company. Review services like Glassdoor can shed light on employees’ perceptions of the company culture, benefits, structure, etc.
Employees today and those rapidly entering the workforce are accustomed to a fully digital life: online shopping, food delivery, social media, email, boarding passes–you name it, it’s digital and it’s immediate. Employees need constant communication in order to perform well, and the same thing goes for a recognition program.
Employees expect employers to not only engage in conversation, but also to provide feedback, encourage growth, and provide opportunities to expand skillsets. Make communication (not quarterly performance reviews) informal and frequent. Have consistent conversations to touch on employee priorities, performance, expectations, and goals and the data will present itself.
Communicate the goal of the recognition program clearly to the workforce and avoid packaging it as a number (i.e. we want to increase employee engagement by x percent). Create a brand around the program and company values and sell it to the workforce.