For all the talk about engagement—what it is, how to achieve it, why it matters—there’s one question that receives precious little attention: How do you quantify employee engagement? How do you measure it? How do you know when you’re on the right track?
There are various answers to that question, some more quantitative than others. Employee engagement surveys, for example, can provide some helpful benchmarks and meaningful metrics.
A bit less formally, but no less importantly, there are some key qualities that define a truly engaged workplace—and if you want to know what kind of progress you’re making toward true employee engagement, looking for these qualities can be a good beginning.
Here are some ways you can tell that your organization has achieved a healthy measure of engagement:
You have a real, year-round strategy in place. Start by asking yourself this question: Is employee engagement something you push hard for a week or two each year, but keep in the back burner the rest of the time? Or do you have a full-time employee engagement plan in place? Simply having a plan implemented reveals much about the company’s intentions, priorities, and potential engagement level.
You have formal structures in place to get employee feedback. Remember the employee engagement surveys I mentioned above? Well, if you don’t even have a survey, that’s obviously a bad sign! On the flipside, having a program in place to gather employee feedback, to periodically take the temperature over the course of the year, is always positive.
You have formal structures to provide feedback to your employees. Here’s the inverse of the last one: In addition to a formal employee feedback structure, engaged organizations also need a formal employee review structure. An annual employee review should be the bare minimum here.
You know why engagement matters. A final consideration: Do you know why employee engagement is important to your organization? Do you know exactly what you’re trying to achieve? Having a clear sense of goals and expectations is critical.
Does your organization have the hallmarks of engagement? As a leadership expert and conference speaker, I know that this is a topic many executives are wrestling with. I hope you’ll find this brief checklist to be helpful!