Organizations with high levels of employee engagement are more successful. According to Gallup, highly engaged teams experience 21% higher profitability compared to those less engaged.
High engagement benefits the employees too. Engaged employees are happier and more satisfied with their jobs, especially when their workplace well-being is prioritized. They’re also deeply invested in the company’s success, adopting a sense of meaningful contribution that mutually benefits their employer.
Yet only 33% of U.S. employees are actively engaged in their job, according to the same Gallup report (The State of the American Workplace, 2017).
This guide to measuring employee engagement describes how to score employee engagement, which metrics to focus on, and the tools you can use to track, evaluate, and boost employee engagement.
Importance of Measuring Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is the level of commitment an employee feels toward the organization and its mission, values, vision, and goals.
When employees are engaged, it translates into benefits like:
- Higher employee retention and professional development
- Greater alignment between employees and company values
- Better productivity results and higher quality performance
- Higher customer reviews and better company reputation
With 51% of employees claiming they’re seeking new jobs or monitoring job openings, employers are under pressure to find new ways to increase engagement, motivation, and commitment.
By measuring employee engagement, you can develop specific strategies that optimize it within your organization.
How Do You Measure Employee Engagement?
You can measure employee engagement either at the individual employee level or as an overall score for the entire staff population. Any given employee has their own level of engagement, but the average engagement level across all employees is the company’s employee engagement score.
To measure employee engagement, there are a few steps to take:
1. Set specific engagement outcomes: To measure engagement, you need to define what it looks like for your organization. Once you’ve defined it, you can choose specific metrics to track, allowing you to use that data to implement strategies that boost engagement outcomes.
2. Conduct surveys: Find out how engaged your employees are by simply asking them. Surveys and reviews are popular employee engagement measurement methods because they allow you to generate data you can then analyze and act on.
3. Discover engagement drivers: Engagement drivers are the specific factors that impact engagement within your organization most intensely. For example, introducing a certain perk may drastically increase your company’s engagement but it may not produce the same results at a different organization. Discovering engagement drivers through exit or stay interviews is how to measure employee engagement without surveys.
4. Measure engagement among key groups: One of the more narrow ways to measure employee engagement is to divide employees into subgroups. Assess engagement factors within certain types of employees, such as by department or leadership level. This helps you identify whether your engagement drivers are universal or particular to certain groups.
12 Employee Engagement Metrics
Employee engagement metrics are quantifiable indicators of employee engagement. Metrics are what provide you with the employee engagement data you can then use to produce your employee engagement scores.
Some examples of employee engagement metrics include:
1. Employee retention and turnover rates — The churn rate, either through voluntary turnover or dismissal
2. Absenteeism and presenteeism — The rate at which employees are either not showing up to work or not working while at work
3. Job performance — How well employees perform their jobs
4. Job satisfaction — How content employees are with their jobs
5. Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) — How employees feel about the company by whether they promote or detract from it
6. Customer success — Whether customers are happy and achieving their desired outcomes
7. Other third-party scores — Ratings from sources like Gallup scales or Glassdoor reviews
You can also measure an individual employee’s engagement by tracking details about their experience with the company. These personal factors include:
8. Commitment to professional development
9. Self-reported rating of well-being and work-life balance
10. Approval of company perks and benefits
11. Alignment with company culture and its goals
12. Satisfaction with compensation amount and recognition levels
Choose which of the above metrics apply to your organization based on your relevant engagement drivers. Use the average results across all applicable metrics to calculate an overall employee engagement score. What is a good employee engagement score varies by organization and depends on the benchmarks you set when you develop your engagement strategy.
How to measure employee engagement metrics depends on the metric itself. For example, retention is calculated by dividing the total number of employees you started the year with by the total number of remaining employees at the end of the year and then multiplying that result by 100.
3 Tools to Measure Employee Engagement
Employee engagement measurement tools help you define and quantify employee engagement. They also help you evaluate and track it so you can strategically improve engagement.
Examples of employee engagement measurement tools include:
1. Engagement survey tools: Surveys are questionnaires that employees fill out and send back anonymously. You decide the types of questions to ask and how the answers are scored, such as on a scale or open-ended.
2. Reward and recognition programs: Employee reward and recognition programs are a great way to boost engagement, but they also provide a method of measuring it. The level of participation you see in reward and recognition programs can be a good indicator of employee engagement.
3. Performance management systems: Job performance systems help you measure and increase employee engagement. These tools provide insight into what drives performance and how it affects engagement. For example, they can help you determine how interventions like performance coaching or leadership training affect engagement outcomes.
Increase Employee Engagement With Workplace Wellness
Workplace well-being is a significant contributor to employee engagement. In organizations where senior leadership is directly involved in employee well-being, nearly 90% of employees surveyed said they’d recommend their company as a good place to work.
The more employees feel their well-being is valued, the more engaged and satisfied they are, and the higher their performance motivation.
- Gallup Inc. (2017). The State of the American Workplace. Washington DC.