According to a recent Gallup poll, 72% of Americans are either disengaged or actively disengaged from their work. The study stated, “Over the past several decades, business and psychological researchers—including Gallup—have identified a strong relationship between employees’ workplace engagement and their respective company’s overall performance. It is likely that organizations with engaged employees experience positive business performance, while workplaces with not engaged or actively disengaged employees are more likely to experience lower productivity.” The study also found that engaged employees were more likely to tell others that their employer was hiring, achieve maximum job performance, and stay at a company longer.
SmartCEO.com stated, “Many firms excel at tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) like profits and customer feedback on a weekly or daily basis, but they fall flat when it comes to monitoring employees’ morale—and it shows.” Unhappy employees alienate clients, lack focus and motivation, and ultimately search for employment elsewhere. They are less likely to take initiative, contribute to team meetings, or make work a priority.
In the past, businesses handed out annual surveys in order to gauge employee feelings about workplace satisfaction. As companies realize the importance of employee engagement, however, it is no longer enough to administer yearly surveys. Rather, businesses must be proactive about monitoring employee satisfaction on a weekly or even daily basis. By making sure their employees are actively engaged, companies will bolster morale and create a better work environment.
One way to measure employee engagement is through the use of business analytics software such as the Employee Net Promoter System (eNPS). The software system allows management to conduct short, confidential employee surveys on a regular basis. Rather than a detailed yearly questionnaire, eNPS allows companies to give short, simple surveys to their employees at regular intervals. The anonymous questionnaires allow employees to answer simple questions such as, “How likely would you be to recommend this company to a friend as a place to work?” and “How likely would you be to recommend the company’s products or services to a potential customer? What’s the primary reason for your response?”
Because the surveys can be conducted frequently, they provide instant feedback into what is and isn’t working in a company. Although employees can be tough critics, they can also provide invaluable insight into how to improve operations. Companies such as Apple, PayPal, and Southwest Airlines use the program to receive regular, detailed feedback from their employees.
Another analytics option is TINYpulse, a cloud-based tool that sends out anonymous weekly survey emails to employees. The program then creates visuals of the data that allow CEOs and executives to easily analyze the information. TINYpulse also allows administrators to customize questions and respond to the anonymous responses, which can open up channels of positive dialogue within the company.
Although analytics tools are useful, they should not replace heartfelt, honest conversations with employees. SmartCEO.com recommends asking employees three questions each week: “What do we need to start doing, stop doing, and keep doing?” This allows employees to voice their opinions and concerns to their direct supervisor. Analytics software and face-to-face conversations within departments should go hand-in-hand. Analytics software provides a useful way for employees to voice their opinions while maintaining anonymity, and honest conversations within departments can prove pivotal in creating lasting change.
According to AON, a global leader in human resource solutions, the top five key drivers of employee engagement are career opportunities, company reputation, pay, recognition, and communication. These key metrics reveal that companies can boost employee engagement through creating the potential for advancement, offering competitive pay, providing recognition for exemplary work, and opening channels of dialogue. Executives should spend time thinking about how their company ranks in each of these five categories, and how they can improve in any necessary areas.
The bottom line is that engaged employees drive revenue, stay at companies’ longer, work harder, recommend the company to their friends more often, and have more positive attitudes. As a result, it is imperative that companies make employee engagement a priority. Business analytics software such as eNPS and TINYpulse will enable companies to receive vital feedback on a regular basis. Companies who are seeking to improve employee engagement should start by implementing regular, anonymous surveys in order to gauge employee satisfaction and discover ways to improve workplace activities.
(Guest post by Cameron Graham of Technology Advice)